GDG- Just the Facts...

Alice J. Gayley agayley at
Sun Jan 15 19:31:42 CST 2012

<SNIP>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Anither good site that proves it was never said.

Here is what Snopes says:

"Jack Webb's 'Joe Friday' character typically used the phrase "All we want 
are the facts, ma'am" (and sometimes "All we know are the facts ma'am") when 
questioning women in the course of police investigations. Freberg's "Little 
Blue Riding Hood" spoof changed the line slightly, and it was Freberg's 
alteration - rather than anything Joe Friday said - that would enter the 
roll of immortal catch phrases:

    Little Blue Riding Hood:   Why Grandma, what big ears you've got!

    Sgt. Wednesday:   All the better to get the facts. I just want to get 
the facts, ma'am.

Webb biographer Michael J. Hayde described the transition:

As this exchange entered the American subconscious, it soon found itself 
truncated to "Just the facts, ma'am" From that point on, every Webb 
interview, every newspaper and magazine article that had anything to do with 
Dragnet made use of the phrase. For the next year it so dominated media 
coverage of the show that finally, inevitably, the line was credited to Sgt. 
Friday, as if he'd been saying it all along. His actual phrase - "All we 
want (or "know") are the facts, ma'am" - bit the dust. "

 Alice Gayley 

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