Daily Show and bleep censoring

What are the rules regarding late-night cable shows and bleep censoring? Are there any?

It kinda bugs me that the Daily Show is clearly scripted, but writes in so much profanity, then bleeps it out. Are they “required” by some rules to bleep themselves? What are the rules? If they know the rules, why put in so much profanity?

{the profanity is fine by me, bring it on}

Are they bleeping themselves just to seem kinda edgy in some kind of counter-censorship satire? Are they saying - “we can cuss here, but since we’re making fun of shows that can’t cuss, we bleep ourselves just to make more fun of them”?

I know occasionally, they air things that are bleeped in later reruns.

Recently I watched Sara Silverman’s “Jesus is Magic” on very late Comedy Central, and she wasn’t bleeped at all. Apparently, late night cable can go ahead with the profanity.

When can we expect to see “The Aristocrats”?

Censoring is a decision made by the show and the network. I’ve heard either Trey Parker or Matt Stone say that they don’t have to bleep in South Park but that it can actually be funnier that way. I tend to agree.

I don’t think they’re required to “bleep” at all (at least by the FCC) because, IIRC, they aren’t a basic cable package and therefore not under FCC regulation. They do it so they don’t lose viewers.

I know there are some words they always bleep, but as I recall, they bleep less for the 11pm show and bleep more for the rebroadcasts the next day during the day and prime time.

Okay, but if they’re afraid of losing viewers, why do they write profanity into the show to begin with? Writing it in, then bleeping it seems like a cop-out to me.

But if they think it’s funnier that way, I guess I could go along with that.

It’s funnier that way.

Also, they can have it both ways. Those who like profanity can usually mentally fill in what the bleep means. Those who hate profanity have it bleeped out for them. Everybody is happy.

The reason you saw “Jesus is Magic” uncensored is because every night (or morning) at 1 am, Comedy Central airs something called the Secret Stash in which they show a program or movie completely uncensored.

It’s not viewers so much as advertisers. Companies that sponsor shows in prime timeslots don’t want to be associated with potty-mouths. Late night cable is a dumping ground for cheap advertisers who don’t give a shit about anything, which is why Comedy Central can get away with airing uncensored stuff then.

This isn’t an issue for premium cable, since they don’t have advertisers, so they routinely show whatever the hell they want.

The FCC only regulates only “over-the-air” network television. They do not control any cable channels at all, basic or otherwise. Comedy Central is a basic cable channel in many places. BTW.

friedo is correct. The cable channels do what their advertisers want. The uncensored channels are almost always subscription channels which don’t need to pander to them.

And the profanity gets the studio audience laughing, which always sounds good. Craig Ferguson on network television has taken to doing the same thing.

I can’t think of any examples offhand in which profanity is regularly used and bleeped on a show that doesn’t have a live studio audience. I’m curious if anyone can come up with an example.

The above-mentioned South Park is an example. They often bleep things they don’t have to for comedic effect. (And other times they say “shit” uncensored 162 times.)

OK, although I was thinking shows with real live living people. :slight_smile:

South Park has real live people. You just can’t see them :smiley:

The show Arrested Development occasionally bleeped for laughs, and there was no audience. That was a broadcast show, too.

DAILY SHOW is on the former COMEDY CENTRAL which is now known as the FLAVOR FLAV ROAST CHANNEL (how the hell many times are they going to show that thing?) where they don’t beep shit, may as well not beep fuck as basically they cut a little of the ‘u’, and bleep every other dick but not all (though they do bleep pussy) and they fully bleep the N word even when it’s being used jokingly by black comics and rappers about other black comics and rappers. I’ve no idea what their odd rules are.

My favorite bleeping was when they bleeped the word pussy when said in certain contexts but not when said in others (the British context) on the same episode.

oops, double post. :smack:

My favorite AD bleeping was when Buster was showing off his ability to bash Lucille and spewed a bleeped desciption of her that lasted at least 30 seconds, leaving Michael and GOB stunned. Turns out Tony Hale actually recited the alphabet and they bleeped it, knowing the audience would fill in the blanks themselves.

I remember a night when Jon Stewart abruptly called the Bush administration “those fuckers” and it didn’t get bleeped. This was shortly after Nipplegate and in the midst of the FCC ramping up in response. The next night Jon addressed the slip, noting that they didn’t get one complaint about the slip.

I’ll tell you the one I don’t get is Bravo. When they show Kathy Griffin stand-up specials they bleep “dick” but on her reality show she went on at length about having her clit flicked with nary a bleep.

“Dick” is actually profanity, frank sex talk is frank sex talk. Doesn’t really make sense, but I can at least see a rationale behind it. Unless she was using other legally-defined “bad words.”

The story I like to tell in threads like this is how I once heard MTV bleep the word “inserted” as VJ Kennedy was quoting part of the Starr Report. She said President Clinton [bleeped] the cigar into Monica Lewinsky’s vagina.

Bleeping can be hilarious in the right context (as with the aforementioned rant by Buster on “Arrested Development”). In the “My Name is Earl” episode showing the gang as featured on “Cops”, after Earl (in his pre-Karmic epiphany days) steals a police car and brings it to Joy, she says, “You stoled me a police car? Oh, baby, I’m gonna [bleeping] your [bleep] with my lovin’ [sustained bleeps].” Earl tenderly lays a finger on her lips and tells her, “You had me at ‘balls’.”