It’s always fun when attending a live trophy-show ceremony in Washington to try to figure out which controversial bits will get cut for the subsequent broadcast on TV. Last night’s awarding of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to TV veteran Carol Burnett in Washington was filled with gags tied to the recent government shutdown. But PBS won’t air the ceremony until November 24, at which point the lines may seem stale — or still too controversial for PBS, which relies on Washington to provide a good-ish chunk of its financing. Lines to watch for while watching the November 24 broadcast:
Burnett: “This is very encouraging. I mean it was a long time in coming, but I understand because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington. With any luck, they’ll soon get voted out, and I’ll still have the Mark Twain Prize.”
Tina Fey: “Enough politics. We are here tonight to celebrate the First Lady of American Comedy, Ted Cruz.”
Back in 2006, CBS cut Jessica Simpson’s botch performance of the tune 9 to 5 during a Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, which was too bad, because it was epic and would’ve made for great TV — and higher ratings if properly promoted. In 2010, attendees assumed viewers would just have to take the press’ word for it that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Albee, while paying tribute to dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones at the Kennedy Center Honors, congealed all 2,300 people in their seats when he observed that all brilliant artistic types are Democrats except one playwright he knew once, noted Jones was of average height and “dark-skinned – very dark-skinned”, and raise his straightened arm and clenched fist in a salute to President Obama, who was in the audience, until Obama responded with a brief let-me-meet-you-halfway-in-the-spirit-of-compromise semi-salute.