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In series 2 of Archer in the episode where they go to Monaco, there is a hotel manager called Benoit. Whenever Benoit says his own name, or someone else says it, Archer immediately says "Balls".

I think I'm missing the joke. Why does Archer say that?

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Benoit is a French name pronounced like Ben Wa. When Benoit tells his name to Archer, he laughs because it reminds him of Ben Wa Balls, a sex toy.

Source 1

As the Gran Prix was going on, Benoit checked Malory Archer, Sterling Archer, Lana Kane, and Ray Gillette into a nearby hotel. When Archer asks him his name, Benoit tells him his name, only for Archer to laugh, since it reminds him of Ben Wa Balls, a sex toy.

From Urban Dictionary

Archer: Sounds like 'Ben Wa Balls,' Benoit... Balls. See? You can't even say it without saying 'Balls.'

Archer: Hang on! Benoit Balls!

Transcripts

  • 23
    It takes a deep knowledge of esoterica to keep up with Archer. – Todd Wilcox Mar 16 '17 at 0:32
  • 3
    Right, I'm just saying, you say that's a mispronunciation but I do not believe that it is. FWIW, the IPA for the name is ​"[bənwa]". – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 16 '17 at 10:50
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    @BoundaryImposition And what's the correct pronunciation of "ben wa"? – David Richerby Mar 16 '17 at 14:48
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    Benoit isn't actually pronounced like Ben Wa. It would be the closest an English person might be able to pronounce it, but in french it would be closer to B - the "U" sound from Murder - N - wa as in waaaaa (think of a low, crying sound) but cut short. Does that help? – Fred Mar 16 '17 at 16:51
  • @DavidRicherby: Touché. Well, this is why we have IPA! Anyway I'm not aware that the pronunciation of "Ben Wa" substantially varies across the English-speaking world, though I suppose I wouldn't be surprised if the scousers managed to mess it up ;) – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 16 '17 at 16:53

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