The video: On Sunday night, PBS broadcast "The Thirteenth Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor." The award's recipient, Tina Fey, gave what was initially called a "genuinely sweet" and "self-deprecating [acceptance] speech that was equal parts dry and witty." But Fey, it turns out, was not entirely sweet. Today, The Washington Post reports that PBS cut some "anti-Palin remarks" Fey made in her speech, including jokes about rape kits and evolution. (Watch Fey's unedited speech below; the portion PBS cut begins around 12:30.) One of the show's producers insists that Fey's remarks were trimmed merely because of time constrictions, saying "it was not a political decision." Commentators, however, aren't so sure.
The reaction: Sure, Fey "got a little political airbrushing," says Paul Farhi, in The Reliable Source column in The Washington Post, but it's not the first time a Twain winner has been edited for being too risqué. When George Carlin was posthumously awarded the prize in 2008, the show's producers played a video of his famous "Seven Dirty Words" routine, but bleeped out key bits. Whatever PBS's motivation, says Robyn at Celebrity Dirty Laundry, it was a good cut. "I am not a huge fan of Sarah Palin but really there is a time and a place to voice your opinion." C'mon, it was a genuinely funny moment, says Funny Or Die. Fey "nailed it" with her "pointed Palin joke." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- Briefing: Offshore drilling and the environment
Subscribe to the Week