The first was what you might call a classic Saturday Night Live profanity blunder. Playing a frustrated science teacher in a sketch opposite Cecily Strong and Mikey Day, Sam Rockwell let the f-word slip in his faux exasperation—and, as caught in the above clip, immediately realized his mistake. He is far, far from the first person to accidentally swear on Saturday Night Live, and as a guest star, won’t face the kind of repercussions that seemed to hit cast members like Jenny Slate, who was fired at the end of her first and only season.
There’s accidental profanity, though, and then there’s what Colin Jost did during Weekend Update, kicking off the segment with—what else?—jokes about Donald Trump and “shithole countries.” “S-hole countries,” Jost began. “That‘s what NBC has asked us to say, even though the president got to say ‘shithole.’”
On the east coast, Jost did seem to be truly challenging NBC’s censors. On the west coast, though—where Saturday Night Live now airs live—they were on the ball, bleeping both Jost’s intentional swear word and Rockwell‘s accidental one. It might not just be about speedy censor buttons, though, as suggested by New York magazine’s Josef Adalian on Twitter:
So neither Rockwell or Jost is likely to cost NBC anything in fees, and Jost, at least, got to add Saturday Night Live to the list of news outlets that struggled this week with just how accurately to repeat the president’s words. As for Rockwell? Hopefully he just uses the opportunity to call up Kristen Stewart, commiserate, and strike up a beautiful friendship.
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