Kiefer Sutherland Reveals Origins of Jack Bauer’s ’24’ Catchphrase, ‘Damn It’ (Video)

“We never meant it to catch on like it did,” the actor tells Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show”

As catchphrases go, it’s not all that exciting. But it’s certainly memorable. Kiefer Sutherland‘s Jack Bauer has become synonymous with shouting, “Damn it!” Usually he’s taking out his frustrations on his “24” co-star Mary Lynn Rajskub‘s Chloe O’Brian.

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On “The Tonight Show,” Sutherland revealed the origins of “Damn it,” and why it became such a prevalent part of Jack Bauer’s vocabulary.

“There’s no other expletive you can use on network television,” he said. “I mean, really there isn’t a single other one.”

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Sutherland added that the phrase became a convenient way to get his character out of a scene. “We never meant it to catch on like it did,” he added.

Fallon had a tally he found on the Internet of the total number of times Jack Bauer has uttered his catchphrase across nine seasons and a made-for-TV movie. Through the 10th episode of “24: Live Another Day,” he has said it 144 times.

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“You can’t swear, but kill as many people as you want,” Sutherland laughed, suggesting that he thinks Bauer has probably killed twice as many people.

“24: Live Another Day” closes its limited-run season on Monday night at 9/8c on Fox, where there will probably be more casualties, and more “Damn it!”

Relive all your favorite “Damn it” moments from “24 in a fan-made compilation of the phrase’s appearances through the show’s first 8 seasons.