NBA Jam is easily one of the most beloved arcade games from the 1990s and, in its further incarnations, continues to be tremendously loved to this day. Of course, the announcer’s histrionics and signature lines were integral to the impact and success the game enjoyed. From “He’s on fire!” to “Its Gooooooood!” to the above-mentioned “Boomshakalaka!”, the catchphrases took on a life of their own, developing into a distinct aspect of the game’s contribution to pop culture.
But what if video surfaced of the announcer dropping f-bombs and the like while calling the classic arcade game? Wouldn’t that be something? Turns out, such video exists.
The video was debunked and called a fake by NBA Jam voice artist Tim Kitzrow in a response to a request for comment from Kotaku back in August, but former Midway creative director Mark Turmell told GameTrailers that the video could very well be legit (via BuzzFeed):
“I can confirm that in the early days we did record tons of off-color stuff,” Turmell said.
Lines like “Get that **** out of here” and “He’s on ******* fire” were recorded when they worked on the arcade version of the game for Midway. Turmell said they actually tried to put the “Get that **** out of here” line into the final version with a “bleep” sound over the offending word, but the NBA objected and it was removed.
None of the other salty lines made it in the game, but Turmell said there were recordings and Acclaim Entertainment, the studio that worked on the SNES version, had access to all of their arcade audio archives. He said he wasn’t present during Acclaim’s recording sessions with Kitzrow.
“We all laughed at the various lines, so it’d be no surprise if they made a custom EPROM version,” Turmell said. “Not ROM though, because that would have been manufactured.”
The hotly debated video. Of course, video contains some salty language: VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Ha. Whether it’s real or a well-executed fake, it’s hard to argue against how amusing it is to watch. Ah, memories of a simpler time. No f***ing way is there a better basketball video game, amirite?