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PBS Cuts Anti-Palin ‘Rape Kit’ and Lesbian Jokes From Fey Award Speech

November 16, 2010

When popular comedian, and Sarah Palin impersonator, Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for Humor last week, she made sure to crack a joke about Palin during the acceptance speech. But as it turns out, an editing job by PBS  turned what was more of a roundhouse kick into a love tap.

The Palin joke originally aired by PBS on Sunday night went like this:

I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn’t thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me. All kidding aside, I’m so proud to represent American humor, I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real’ America. And I am most proud that during trying times, like an orange [terror] alert, a bad economy or a contentious election, that we as a nation retain our sense of humor.

You can see the way the joke originally aired below:

But according to full video of the event, there’s a chunk missing after the marshmallow Palin joke (between the second and third sentence in the transcript above). Newsbusters brings us the part PBS chopped:

And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women [applause before the joke kicks in] — except, of course, those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape kit and stuff,” Fey said. “But for everybody else, it’s a win-win — Unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years – whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us — unless you believe in evolution. You know — actually, I take it back. The whole thing’s a disaster.

The “rape kit,“ ”gay woman,“ and ”evolution” jokes got cut.

The Washington Post, which first broke the story, talked with one of the event’s executive producers about the editing. According to him, PBS was not trying to shelter the comedian from criticism, nor was it trying to censor the jokes.

“It was not a political decision,” said Peter Kaminsky. “We had zero problems with anything she said.” But because the 90-minute show ran about 19 minutes long during last Tuesday’s taping, “We took a lot out,” he said. “We snipped from everyone.”

You can watch the full edited version of the show, as well as the full unedited version of Fey’s speech, on the PBS website.

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