PBS Tames Tina Fey's Sarah Palin Comments

Somewhere Samuel Clemens is not smiling

Anyone who has seen even five minutes of "30 Rock" knows that Tina Fey almost never pulls punches.

So it must have seemed odd to PBS viewers who tuned into a program Sunday night in which Fey was presented with the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, to hear the "SNL"-alum speak so tamely about Sarah Palin.

"I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight," Fey said on the broadcast. "My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me."

As it turns out, that's not all she said -- but the most biting bits landed on the editing room floor.

Earlier in her acceptance speech Fey blasted Palin's politics.

"And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women," Fey said, "except, of course, those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape kit 'n' stuff. 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."

That clever rant never made it to air -- a fact that PBS executive producer Peter Kaminsky insists has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with timing. The 90-minute show ran 19 minutes too long, Kaminsky said, and something had to go.

"It was not a political decision," Kaminsky told the Washington Post. "We had zero problems with anything she said."

That may be true but you'd think a sophisticated show honoring comedy could find some place to cut other than, you know, the honoree's jokes.

Selected Reading: The Washington Post, PopEater, YouTube.

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