Obviously since those days, with the advent and spread of choice in how TV gets relayed into the home, those who want to see movies in all their uncensored glory can do so easily. Heck – aww, to heck with it: hell – restrictions on what gets onto basic prime-time programming have slackened also. But watching Snakes On A Plane on a Sunday afternoon in a near-empty theater; and more to the point, the scene – you know, the one with the quote – it made me recall, quite fondly, the days when the networks had to get creative with how they dealt with TV broadcasts of expletive-laden movies. And also how their attempts unwittingly became fodder for jokes around the high school cafeteria table the next day. To wit – and I'm aging myself here – a scene in Darkman in which the title hero viciously breaks a carnie's fingers when he was too slow in handing over a prize plush pink elephant, and hands it to his shocked fiancée:
The movie quote: Take the f**kin' elephant!
CTV's late-night cover-up: Take the fuzzy elephant!
Or this nugget sequence I caught as a teenager while watching the curse-ridden Do The Right Thing; a scene in which Radio Raheem berates a Korean grocer for not understanding his request for batteries (in this case I'll spare what the original lines are, on account of sheer obviousness):
Radio Raheem: D, mickeyfickey, D. Learn to speak English first, all right?
Grocer: How many, you say?
Raheem: Twenty, mickeyfickey, twenty.
Grocer: Mickeyfickey you.
Nowadays, so much can filter through censors like a kid with a phony doctor's note can slip into class late. All most networks require is a warning after each commercial break, and they can let loose a torrent of krunk and blood on par with any cable outfit. And frankly, that kinda ruins the fun of it.