Yeah, this one's a dandy. It occurred on MAUDE, a big hit show from the 70s. Remember last month my post on CBS Standards & Practices having a list of unacceptable words? They were even worse in the 70s.
MAUDE was a spinoff of ALL IN THE FAMILY and had that same biting edge to it. Censors were always having fits. Hey, they had an abortion episode on MAUDE. Meanwhile, Marcia Brady struggled with split ends.
On show nights MAUDE had two tapings. One at 5:30 and the other at 8:00. They then edited together the best performances. And in between the writers fixed jokes that clunked.
One week there was a joke the censor objected to. I don't know specifically what the joke was. The producers fought vehemently that the line was acceptable. Finally the censor offered a compromise.
They could do the joke during the 5:30 taping.
But if it got a laugh it had to come out.
What??!! How the hell do you even respond to that????
That’s the kind of thing we had to deal with. I think if that censor were assigned to TWO AND A HALF MEN his head would explode by week two.
Tomorrow: another censorship story...but this one almost got me fired.