“Viewers of TV Land will not be able to watch insult comic Don Rickles compare President Barack Obama to a janitor at the recent American Film Institute tribute to Shirley MacLaine,” The Hollywood Reporter revealed. “I shouldn’t make fun of the blacks...President Obama is a personal friend of mine,” said Rickles. “He was over to the house yesterday, but the mop broke.”
"He is not being censored," a Rickles agent told the paper. "Before all of this started, we knew Don's spot would be cut a bit for time, as would others, including possibly Shirley herself since the show ran over and we knew it was likely that might be edited.”
“It’s not going to make it on the air —that’s all I’ll say about it,” says a spokesperson for the Viacom-owned cable channel, which presented Rickles with its Legend Award in 2009. Viacom is notorious for loading its channels like Comedy Central with anti-conservative humor and tasteless humor of all times (on race, see South Park on Jesse Jackson). Liberals were not offended when the omnidirectional Rickles mocked Sarah Palin as he sat beside her daughter Bristol on the Jay Leno show. The paper’s story added:
Was it racist… or just Rickles? Dennis Haysbert, himself skewered by the comic for appearing in Allstate Insurance ads, carefully tells THR, “I thought what Don said about me was very funny.” (Rickles has appeared with him on The Unit.)
But, observes Tamara Rawitt — who attended the AFI event and co-created and produced In Living Color — of the POTUS slam: “What was kind of magical was watching a room of deeply discreet A-listers secretly get off on watching someone getting a day pass to rant and rave. You need two AARP cards to get away with stuff like that.”
Speaking of Palin, you might recall PBS edited out Tina Fey's very political and very insulting remarks against Palin and "women like her" in 2010 when she won the Mark Twain Prize for Humor from the Kennedy Center:
"And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women [applause before the joke kicks in] -- except, of course, those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape kit and stuff," Fey said. "But for everybody else, it's a win-win -- Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us -- unless you believe in evolution. You know -- actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."