TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Comedy Central Censors Sarah Silverman’s AIDS Joke

sarah_silverman_053007.jpgThere 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.

EARLIER:

  • Sarah Silverman’s One Night Stand With God
  • Red, White & Working Blue: Jon Stewart ‘Air Skullf*cks’ Hitler
  • Mediabistro Course

    Magazine Writing

    Magazine WritingStarting September 4, learn how to get your work in top publications! You'll learn how to create captivating stories editors will want and readers will love, understand which magazines are right for your stories, craft compelling pitch letters, and more! You'll leave this class with two polished articles and corresponding pitch letters. Register now!