Today in History (1862) - The U.S. government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation. On the same day in 1865, the Confederate Congress voted to enlist 300,000 black troops, granting them freedom with the consent of their owners. Lee surrendered a few weeks later.
I prefer the bleeped version of the latest Saturday Night Live digital short that is making the rounds, but the New York Times promotes the, er, uncut one.
In less than a week the official uncensored version of the video has been viewed by over two million people on YouTube alone. In the process “Saturday Night Live” appears to have become the first scripted comedy on a broadcast network to use the Web to make an end-run around the prying eyes of both its internal censors and those of the Federal Communications Commission, whose jurisdiction over “Saturday Night Live” effectively ends at the Web frontier. [...]
“Those people who go on the Internet will not be shocked by this,” Mr. Ludwin recalled thinking. “Obviously there are some people who will be offended. Those people are probably unlikely to go searching for it on the Internet. It’s just funny.”
Given that NBC is posting this themselves, I'm surprised that they aren't putting in ads; how much would Nike or some other youth-oriented brand that didn't mind being associated with an obscene skit pay to be seen by 3.5 million people, with no other advertising in the video to distract? On the other hand, though I'm rarely in cahoots with those who think being explicit is the same as being stupid and that the euphemism is the highest form of speech, there's still something about that second when you think, "It's what in a -- oh." I hadn't read to the end of the article when I started this post, but it turns out that people at SNL agree with me.
Seth Meyers, the show’s head writer, said that he and Mr. Michaels were also mindful that sometimes the funniest material -- whether on their show, or Howard Stern’s radio show -- was borne of butting up against boundaries, either from the outside or self-imposed.
Sizing up the two versions of the “Special Treat” video, Mr. Meyers observed, “The most interesting thing is that it’s actually not funnier uncensored.”