The Story of Icky Thump and the killer comedy sketch, Wicked Riff Wednesday Ep 8

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“Icky Thump” was the White Stripes highest charting UK single and chartted well around the rest of the planet as well. It also won the band a Grammy Award in 2008 for best rock performance by a duo or group.

The name of the song is a play on the British expression, “Ecky Thump” which loosely means, “What the heck!” Jack White changed it from “ecky” to “icky” thinking that the former would just confuse American teenage audiences. While the lyrics are a criticism of the treatment of immigrants in the U.S., the origin of the title is much more interesting.

The title was inspired by an episode of a British sketch comedy show called “The Goodies”. The episode in question “Kung fu Kapers” also known as “Ecky-Thump” caused one fan to laugh for 25 minutes non-stop, resulting in a massive heart attack and death.

The song, (not the sketch) is one of the greatest riff’s of the early 2000s and that’s why it’s this week’s Wicked Riff!