29 January 2007

You Know... Morons....

    Thirty-three years later, you'd think Mel Brooks' classic Blazing Saddles could be televised uncensored.  But apparently the worry-warts at CMT (Country Music Television) are still worried about the damage that can be done by certain words, and not just the usual suspects like "shit," "faggot" and "nigger."  Among the other offenders: ass, jerking off, and Methodists.

    Remember Madeline Kahn's "Its twoo!  It's twoo!?"  Gone.  Harvey Korman's brilliant litany of ragtags to hire (Rustlers, cutthroats, murderers...)?  Well, everything after and including "bull dykes" got the axe.  The ubiquitous shouts of Bullshit!!?  Gone too.  "Shut up, you Teutonic twat?"  Nixed too.  Even the references to rape ("...people stampeded and cattle raped!") were excised.  Even "Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard" got the silencing treatment.  Oy vey. 

    Now, I'm sure the folks at CMT thought they were doing something right, and, Hell, maybe they were even doing it for Randolph Scott.  (Randolph Scott!)  But taking the cuss words out of Blazing Saddles is like taking "Nazi" and "Hitler" out of The Producers.  You just don't do it, period.  Either you air the whole deliriously vulgar thing or you don't air it at all.  You might as well air Debbie Does Dallas without the nudity.  This coddling, prissy censoriousness offends me--- and I think most sane people--- more than a few peppered "bad" words.  Not just vandalizing a classic, it insults our collective intelligence.  And we've had more than enough of that in the past several years.  Right, Mr Cheney?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, from the sounds of it, you were lucky to see 10 minutes of the movie. Was anything leftover after the zealous cutting?

Dr J said...

More than 10 minutes, alas, all of them hair-pullingly bad. Very, very glad I have the movie on DVD.

Ironically, Sat night TVO, the "provincial" (in both senses of the word) channel, aired The Producers complete with vulgar chats with Brooks and Kenneth Mars. I'm so glad most Canadian stations don't bother with such ridiculous censorship.

Anonymous said...

TBS is notorious for ridiculous amounts of censorship, except they probably do it merely to provide more time for commercials.

I don't watch TV now, but last I saw, TVO was headed downwards: one of the benefits of the station was that they would air movies from the golden age of cinema, not so anymore (unless they recently reneged on that).

sylvia said...

Not in the same league as Blazing Saddles, of course, but for many years TV stations have been airing a similarly Bowdlerized version of Stand By Me, which excises not only the actual naughty words (of which there are many) but also "balls" and "ass": the garbage-dump-guy's cry of Chopper, sic balls! is rendered Chopper, sic kid! (which means the gag doesn't even come close to working: to an adult ear, it's clear he's just saying "sic'em, boy!", but the terrified twelve-year-olds hear a threat to their as-yet-nonexistent manhood), and during the infamous Barfarama scene the crowd chants Lard! Lard! Lard! Lard! -- in two different sets of voices -- instead of Lardass! Lardass!.

To which I say, Come on. Anyone old enough for the premise of this movie -- the protagonists are lying to their parents and going off on a cross-country trek to investigate a dead body -- or for its content (which includes some bad-ass family dysfunction as well as murder, threats of murder, guns, assorted violence, mental illness, and leeches in the undertrou) does not need to be shielded from "fuck" and "shit" -- let alone "balls" and "ass".

Although my very, very favourite Stupid TV Bleep-Out Moment was the time -- I can't remember what I was watching -- when CityTV bleeped out only the first half of motherfucker ...

Dr J said...

Saw the CITY edition of Die Hard, in which Bruce Willis infamous says, "Yippie-cay-yay *****-therfucker." (Would that be a mo' better bleep?) Oh, the silliness of it all.

Stations should learn that the people whom are going to be offended by "ass" and the like are going to be offended just so they can be offended. Let them sit through The Aristocrats and get their umbrage up good and righteously tight.

Blog Archive