Do you know where your children are?

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Do you know where your children are? - Public Service Announcement

"Do you know where your children are?" is a question used as a public service announcement (PSA) for parents on American television especially during the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Two claims have been made to the origin of the phrase: WKBW-TV news anchor Irv Weinstein circa 1964,[1] and Mel Epstein, the Director of On-Air Promotions at New York's WNEW-TV, who began using the phrase in 1967 in response to rising crime in the city.[2]

The question "Do you know where your children are?", preceded by an announcement of the current time, is typically asked around 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM, depending on the market and the time of the local youth curfew, usually immediately preceding the station's late-evening newscast.[1][2]

As of November 2017, this question is still asked before the beginning of a few 10:00 PM news reports, on Fox station WNYW for example.[3]

The PSA was featured on Time magazine's "Top 10 Public-Service Announcements" list.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

The PSA was often parodied.

Following a White Zombie's performance at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, Dennis Miller quipped, "It's 11:00; do you know where your zombies are?".

The line appeared in The Simpsons episode "Bart After Dark", upon which Homer Simpson responded to the television, "I told you last night — no!"[4]

Bill Watterson featured a reference to the announcement in the first book of comic strips for Calvin and Hobbes.

The line was also parodied in the 1990 film, Class of 1999 when Ms. Connors (Pam Grier) sarcastically says to Christy (Traci Lind), "It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your boyfriend is?".

The line was parodied in the Beavis and Butthead episode "Citizen Butt-head", where Butt-head approaches a microphone in the middle of an assembly with Bill Clinton, saying "It's 10 PM; do you know where your wiener is?"

Toni Braxton references the line in her 2005 song Midnite from her album Libra as "It's midnite tell me, do you know where your man is?".

The line was used as the tile for and basis of a song by Michael Jackson, recorded in 1987 and from 1990-1991; the song was never released during Jackson's lifetime, but was included on his posthumous album Xscape.

In the Freddy's Nightmares episode "Bloodlines", Freddy Krueger quips, "It's after midnight... Do you know who your children are?" The PSA is also referenced in the title of another episode of the same TV show, titled "Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?"

In the 2010 American-British romantic horror film Let Me In, the PSA announcement shows on the TV screen while Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) sneaks out of their apartment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Top 10 Public-Service Announcements - What Time Is It?". Time. Retrieved 3 April 2016. First launched by a small ABC affiliate in upstate New York... 
  2. ^ a b Kovalchik, Kara. "The Origin of "It's 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?"". Mental Floss. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  3. ^ The news intro of the evening news bulletin on WNYW.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Public-Service Announcements - What Time Is It?". Time. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 

External links[edit]