Over the edge
By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/21/2001 7:00:00 PM
It doesn't always take an outraged minister or, in the case of Fox, an FCC commissioner, to get a TV network to rethink its bawdiest programming. Sometimes it's just the CEO in his La-Z-Boy. That's how Comedy Central's TV Funhouse lost one of its more outrageous bits, "Porn for Kids." In one of the many strange things going on at the weekly take-off on lame children's shows, Funhouse creator Robert Smigel intercut nudity-free scenes from a cheesy porn flick with adorable Central Casting youngsters cheering "Porn for kids, porn for kids!"
Network President Larry Divney saw it at home during its weekly Wednesday-night airing and sought out programming chief Bill Hilary the next day. Upon reflection, the execs and Smigel, famed for his cartoons on Saturday Night Live, agreed to edit the segment before its Sunday night rerun, dropping child actors and changing the segment to Porn for Everyone.
It's not unusual for Comedy Central to trim a bit after a program airs. The show drew just a half-dozen calls from viewers. "On a show like this we've pushed the boundaries and sometimes we go over the line," Hilary said. "Part of the joke is that it's porn for kids and there was no porn in it." They left in animal puppets having sex with real animals, a projectile-vomiting turtle and Robert Goulet.
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