The “coneheads” began as a silly comedy sketch on the television show Saturday Night Live in the 1970s. Mets and Yankees pitcher David Cone had a following of “coneheads.” Con Ed employees are sometimes derisively called “coneheads” as well.
The term “conehead” has been entered into a slang dictionary for “a foolish or bizarre person.”
(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
conehead n. [sugg. by “the COneheads,” a farcical family of space creatures introduced on Saturday Night Live (NBC-TV) in 1976] a foolish or bizarre person.
1983 S. King Christine 131: is there any more juice, or did you two coneheads drink it all?
The Coneheads was a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live featuring a family of extraterrestrials with cone-shaped heads, from the planet “Remulak,” posing in the suburban United States as immigrants from France.
The sketch, which was featured in the show from 1975 until 1980, starred Dan Aykroyd as father Beldar, Jane Curtin as mother Prymaat and Laraine Newman as daughter Conjaab ("Connie").
Aside from their obvious physical differences, the Coneheads also had a very nasal, monotone speech, and seemed to have much larger appetites than average humans. They would eat massive amounts of food during meals, (which they referred to as “consuming mass quanitities"), drink entire six packs of beer at once, and smoke whole packs of cigarettes at a time. Despite their distinctions, they were never suspected as being aliens (even when accidentally referring to their neighbors as “Earthlings") by anyone who encountered them.
Much humor derived from the Coneheads’ use of over-technical dialogue, such as referring to food as “consumables”, and saying “I summon you” to ask to speak to another person. The somewhat popular term “parental unit” also came from the sketches. They engaged in strange behaviors, such as rubbing their cones together as a sign of affection, at which point a bizarre, theremin-like noise is emitted, presumably from the cones themselves. There is also a game they play involving tossing rings over each others’ cones, which is somehow sexual in nature, and is considered taboo for the underaged Connie to play.
Dan Aykroyd said he developed the idea for the Coneheads based on the Moai, the mysterious and ancient stone statues of Easter Island, which had similarly conical heads.
The concept was turned into a movie, Coneheads, in 1993, with Aykroyd and Curtin reprising their roles. Michelle Burke played Connie this time out.
David Brian Cone (born January 2, 1963 in Kansas City, Missouri) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. With a sharp fastball but a soft-spoken demeanor, Cone earned a number of devoted fans, dubbed “Coneheads”, who seemed to follow him no matter which team he played for. Cone, a right-hander, was regarded as one of the top strikeout pitchers in the majors during the late 1980s and early 1990s and won the American League Cy Young Award in 1994 with the Kansas City Royals.
28 September 1977, Washington Post, pg. B4:
Hence we have seen the last of Baba Wawa ("unless Barbara Walters does something so extraordinary we can’t ignore it") and even those beloved Coneheads, who came here from the planet Remulac and last year returned to it inside the Chrysler Building.
8 April 1996, New York Times, pg. D6:
Rhyme and reason can also figure in catchy addresses for digital comerce. The Consolidated Edison Company, New York’s electricity provider, has reserved coned.com, but not con-ed.com or, for that matter, conehead.com.
4 April 2003, New York Times, pg. S4:
He’s Back. Break Out the Coneheads
By JACK CURRY
When David Cone makes his first start with the Mets in 11 years at She Stadium tonight, he will be surrounded by old sights, old sounds and old friends. Among the oldest, and definitely the oddest-looking, will be the Coneheads.
Like the 40-year-old Cone, the group is coming out of retirement. They first showed up with their headgear in 1988 and perhaps 50 or more of them—considerably older than the twentysomethings they once were—are expected to be at Shea to cheer on Cone tonight.
After Cone was traded away in 1992, Coneheads popped up here and there, including at Yankee Stadium, which Cone called home for five and a half seasons. But nowhere were the Coneheads as prominent as they were at Shea.
Con Ed coneheads
Originally published on July 20, 2006
New York City • Workers/People • (0) Comments • Thursday, July 27, 2006 • Permalink