Even so, it's mystifying when morning DJs and late-night talk show hosts mock Osbourne's supposedly unintelligible manner of speech. I can understand everything Ozzy says just fine. (Or so I thought.)
Granted, Ozzy is the Mel Tillis of heavy metal. But is he really impossible to understand? CL decided to find out. In a highly unscientific study, we determined whether two Ozzy fans could decipher what Osbourne was saying by playing them four sound bites from the show.
Contestant No. 1, Scott, is a Black Sabbath fan who's never actually seen the series, so the quotes were fresh to his ears. Contestant No. 2, Darren, is an Anthrax fanatic (the band, not the bacteria) and an avid Osbournes viewer. Scott and Darren were each played four sound bites from the show, with Ozzy's quotes pulled out of context from the rest of the dialogue. If deducing what Oz was saying was too difficult, they were allowed to hear the quote in the context of the conversation. What follows are their initial responses to four medium-difficulty quotes.
Quote 1: "International rock star and gravy-maker extraordinaire."
Scene: Ozzy makes Christmas gravy.
Contestant 1: (snickers) That sounds like pure gibberish.
Contestant 2: I heard "rock star" and "extraordinaire" -- that's all.
Quote 2: "Please, Sharon! I'm standing here like a stripper with no clothes on!"
Scene: Ozzy waits for Sharon to dress him for an autograph signing.
Contestant 1: I know my Ozzy, and I can't tell one fucking word he just said.
Contestant 2: Please, Sharon, what are you doing standing over a stripper with no clothes on?
Quote 3: "How the fuck do you feed a tree? Do you put a ham sandwich down for the tree?"
Scene: The family discusses son Jack's recent hippie camping trip, where campers were urged to "feed a tree before you feed yourself."
Contestant 1: Something about a ham sandwich. I think Ozzy's eaten several.
Contestant 2: Wow, these are hard. I'm 0 for 3. This is great.
Quote 4: "It's not all fun and n-n-no work; you've got to do a certain amount of work."
Scene: Ozzy tells Jack to straighten up after Jack runs away to Sunset Boulevard.
Contestant 1: Life's not all work and no play or something like that.
Contestant 2: Something about it's not all work and no play, but he stutters it.
The results of our test revealed two valuable pieces of data. The first: Yes, it's very difficult to understand Ozzy Osbourne. The second: It's unlikely Osbourne ever coaxed his fans into worshipping Satan with backward messages, seeing as fans can't understand his comments when he's speaking forward.
And just think: Now that the Osbourne family has signed on to another season, you have a fresh opportunity to formulate your own game of "What the Hell Is Ozzy Saying?"
H-h-have fucking f-f-f-fun.