When I was at Sideshow a joke was cut from the script because it contained the word “gay.”
The joke has nothing to do with homosexuality, it wasn’t derogatory or even teasing, the word was merely a passing reference. The joke was in a story about the National Party door knocking for John Howard1 (for regular readers this was also the story which bore my intro- lock up your daughters). The joke was, for those of you who will inevitably ask-
“But they’ll have to be quick on their toes. We talk a lot faster ‘round here. Before you can say ‘Ah yeah, g’day, I’m the member for Mallee,’ the city slickers will have nicked your wallet, slammed the door and turned you gay.”
Pretty inoffensive really.
The ABC disapproved of this joke. They said that there was absolutely no way they were saying “gay” at 7:30 on a Saturday. Not on the ABC. They wouldn’t stand for it.2 So, grudgingly, the line was changed. It now read-
“The city slickers will have nicked your wallet, slammed the door and turned you fabulous.”
The result of this was that Paul spent the entire rehearsal flouncing around the studio saying “Fabulous!” with increasing levels of sarcasm. At one point he introduced the fabulous La la Parlour with such a flourish both its members got rather frightened. This probably wasn’t helped by the fact one or two member of the crew were slightly hysterical by this stage.
The joke was eventually cut from the segment3. It failed to work in front of this audience because it was slightly confusing. Especially confusing was Paul’s slightly aggressive delivery of it. It was, without doubt, one of the best jokes in the monologue.
Much more recently when I was working on GNW there was a story about a topless hairdressing salon in Sydney.4 Some of the funniest jokes in the draft basically implied that the hairdressers were just strippers with scissors. Because, well, they are cutting people’s hair without their shirts on.
These jokes were cut from the final draft. Apparently it was legally compromising to imply that the hairdressers weren’t properly trained. There are a couple of serious flaws in this logic-
1- Who exactly takes anything said on this show seriously?5 And-
2- Have you ever meet a hair dresser that watches GNW? Cause I certainly haven’t.
I’m told this kind of thing happens in TV-Land all the time.
1- It pains me slightly that I’ve only been alive for 19 years and I’ve experienced 4 Prime Ministers. This didn’t happen that long ago but we’ve had two Prime Ministers since then.*
*I also apologise for the weirdly highlighted nature of this number 1. I did it by accident and now it won’t go away.
2- Ok, so I’m paraphrasing/blatantly making this bit up but I’m sure they said someone along those lines.
5- Click on this hyperlink. And the one that says “La la Parlour.” They’re Youtube videos of the episode, and you should totally watch them. Espeically if you never saw Sideshow.
4- I didn’t write for this story, for the record
5- Except for angry people with bicycles, obviously.
This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to say that I don’t represent GNW-TV in any way. They could probably deny they’ve ever meet me if it came down to it. All views on this blog are mine, and mine alone.