A dingo ate my baby

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"A dingo ate my baby" is a cry falsely attributed to Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton as part of the death of Azaria Chamberlain case in 1980, at Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia. The Chamberlain family had been camping near the rock when their daughter was taken from their tent by a dingo. Prosecuting authorities rejected her story about a dingo as far-fetched, charging her with murder and securing convictions against her and, also, against her then-husband Michael Chamberlain as an accessory after the fact. After years of challenge in the courts, both parents were absolved of the crime and a coroner found Azaria's death was "the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo".[1]

The phrase was popularised via the case, but Chamberlain is reported to have either called out to her husband, "A dingo took my baby!",[2] "That dog's got my baby!" or "My God, My God, a dingo has got my baby!"[1] In 1988, Meryl Streep played Chamberlain in the film Evil Angels (also known as A Cry in the Dark)  – in which she exclaimed "The dingo took my baby!"

In popular culture[edit]

  • In "The Stranded" episode of Seinfeld (Season 3, Episode 10), Elaine does a mock Australian accent and exclaims "Maybe the dingo ate your baby!"
  • Dingoes Ate My Baby is the name of a fictional band in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer[3]
  • In The Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Australia" (Season 6, Episode 16) Bart says to an Australian farmer "Hey! I think I hear a dingo eating your baby!" and again in episode "Lisa Gets an A" (Season 10, Episode 7) while Lisa plays a video game called Dash Dingo, the antagonist tasks the character with finding and devouring "7 crystal babies".
  • In "Those Big Pink Things with Coconut" episode of Two and a Half Men (Season 2, Episode 14), Charlie says to Alan "Does the dingo feel sorry for the slow-crawling Australian baby?", and also Charlie refer to his mother and says; "And the dingo found another Australian baby?"
  • In the 2000 movie 28 Days, Sandra Bullock references A Cry in the Dark when Meryl Streep says, "A dingo stole my baby!"
  • In "Flour Child", an episode of Frasier (Season 2, Episode 4), Eddie is attacking a bag of flour that Niles is using to simulate an infant. Daphne puts on an Australian accent and exclaims "That dingo's got your baby!"
  • In the "Mystery Spot" episode of Supernatural (Season 3, Episode 11), Dean refers to what Sam is saying as "dingo-ate-my-baby crazy."
  • In the "Good Queen Fun" episode of Project Runway (Season 5, Episode 6), guest judge RuPaul responded "Oh, did a dingo eat your baby too, mate?" to contestant Keith Bryce after Bryce apparently took offense to critique from the rest of the judging panel.[4]
  • In the "Mother Tucker" episode of Family Guy (season 5, episode 2), Brian and Stewie host a radio show named "Dingo and the Baby".[5]
  • Modern Family's episode "Australia" references this joke when Claire's computer, previously being used for a project referenced as her "baby", is nabbed from a tent by a wild dog.[6]
  • In the Hot in Cleveland episode titled "That Changes Everything," when Joy's grandchild goes missing, Regis Philbin's character says "Maybe a dingo ate it."
  • In the Psych episode titled "The Old and Restless," Shawn tries to get into a retirement home by saying, "Dingo ate my baby."
  • In The Rugrats Movie, a news reporter on the scene of the Pickles' house asks Didi: "Is it true that a dingo ate your baby?"
  • In "Product Recall" episode of The Office (Season 3, Episode 20), Kevin makes a few Australian stereotypes in an Australian accent, including "alligators" and "dingo babies."[7]
  • In season three episode five of The Tick, titled "Devil in Diapers", Mr. Mental, disguised as a baby and being cared for by The Tick, is attacked by government agents disguised as dingoes. For a moment a newspaper can be seen with a picture of The Tick and the headline "dingoes stole my baby!"
  • In the 2008 comedy film Tropic Thunder, character Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) says: "I'm sorry a dingo ate your baby", during an argument with the Australian character Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.).[8]
  • Pro-wrestler Chris Jericho on WWE Raw. March 18th 2013. He offered his various mocking pronunciations of rival Fandango, which included in an Australian accent - "Fan-Dingo ate my Baby-O!"
  • During the "Barry Gibb Talk Show VI" sketch on Saturday Night Live (Season 39, Episode 10), Jimmy Fallon (as Barry Gibb) takes offense to a guest's actions and goes on a usual hubristic rant, with one of his hyperbolic claims to importance being "My baby ate a dingo!"
  • In the episode "Grandpa" of the show High Maintenance after Gatsby the dog jumps on The Guy he says "that dingo better not eat no baby" to Beth. Beth (played by the Australian Yael Stone) replies "that's not even funny. It's a real thing." When The Guy tries to excuse himself since he has not seen the film, Beth soberly replies "it's real people's lives".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Inquest into the death of Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain [2012] NTMC 020" (PDF). Coroners Court of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Government of Australia. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Using the Chamberlain Case to explore evidence in history" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-25., National Museum of Australia, p. 7, 2001. Accessed 2014-10-25.
  3. ^ Miet, Hannah (12 June 2012). "The Dingo Did, in Fact, Take Her Baby". The Atlantic. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Missy (21 August 2008). "Project Runway recap: Fit for a Queen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  5. ^ Ezell, Silas Kaine (2016). Humor and Satire on Contemporary Television: Animation and the American Joke. Routledge. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-1-317-11941-8. The show name changes from 'The Lunch Hour' to 'Dingo and the Baby,' ...
  6. ^ Mylchreest, Ian (28 April 2014). "Modern Family's Australian episode was a cliched travelogue". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  7. ^ West, Abby (29 April 2007). "The Office: Another Dunder blunder". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  8. ^ Khoo, Olivia (29 July 2011). "Australian cinema up in the air: Post-national identities and Peter Duncan's Unfinished Sky". Continuum. 25 (11): 548. doi:10.1080/10304312.2011.575212. Retrieved 6 December 2019.

Further reading[edit]