There would appear to be few taboos Comedy Central — and its presumably harried legal department — would ultimately to shy away from. Sh*t? Uncensored? 161 times? Check. Jon Stewart air-skullf*cking Hitler? Check. Sarah Silverman sleeping with a black God then kicking him out of bed? Check. Check.
But it seems when it comes to AIDS jokes, Comedy Central has a bit of a double standard. In the June issue of Maxim, Silverman says the network strategically cut a line from one of her hit show’s episodes.
“In the AIDS episode, the doctor says, ‘You do have … no AIDS!’ And after that he was going to say to the other guy, ‘You do have … AIDS!’” Silverman explained. “Comedy Central said, ‘You can’t have someone get AIDS in a joke.’ As much as I loved how the cadences matched but had severely different outcomes, I couldn’t argue with that one.”
True, it would seem to be reasonable logic, except the network aired an entire episode of South Park — “Jared Has AIDES” — based on the same, endless joke. Oddly, Comedy Central has been reluctant to re-air the March 6, 2002 episode due to controversy surrounding a scene in which the character “Butters” is beaten by his family after a British television station banned the episode. (The episode appears uncut on DVD.)
So, what exactly is Comedy Central’s AIDS joke policy?
The network declined to comment.