The Daily Show: Butchered in Britain

Posted in censorship, comedy, Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Media, More 4, news, television by Deputy city editor on October 30, 2007

Elizabeth Kucinich, or possibly Venus

More 4’s censorship of The Daily Show is now so oppressive it is amazing that Stewart tolerates it. Perhaps he doesn’t know. Compare the show available on More 4 with the version available on the internet and weep. The October 29 edition was practically destroyed. The guts of Stewart’s commentary on Governor Schwarzenegger were simply ripped out. As were the guts of Jason Jones’s piece “Is America ready for a FLILF” (Jones: “It’s an acronym. And a palindrome.”) including the central core of an astonishing interview with the formidable and gorgeous Mrs Dennis Kucinch, the Titian-like English wife of the Democratic presidential candidate.

This is some of the most daring comedy on television anywhere and the response to it by the supposedly edgy More 4 is to depute some hack to rip the show to pieces.

Satire is dead on British television. It’s been 45 years since “That was the week that was” and Britain’s cowardly, government-supporting broadcasters no longer do satire. The only possible exception is “Have I got news for you” which is an establishment affair, quite frankly.

If More 4 cannot be bothered to schedule Stewart’s show properly someone else should pick it up.

More 4 has from the start ruined this show with continuous bleeping and pixellating, so keen is it to ensure that its viewers cannot see some of the best material. Now with the entirety of The Daily Show online we can see the full disgrace of their editing and scheduling.

More 4 may argue that as they run the show at 8.30pm they have no choice. Why? It is a grown-up show and should be run after the 9 pm watershed. Isn’t it on at 11pm in Ameruica. It’s TV for grown-ups. Except in the UK. Until More 4 schedules this show properly and stops shredding it to make it suitable for children the only place to watch it is online. This is yet another example of how British broadcasters treet their audiences on a spectrum that starts with indifference and runs to complete contempt.

Colbert’s show, which is even rougher, is not shown at all in Britain. Not only does Britain not make the best television in the world, we’re not even allowed to watch it.


12 Responses

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  1. mediawench said, on October 31, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Wow. That’s really pathetic of More 4.

    On a related topic, whatever happened to Chris Morris?

  2. Jonathan Miller said, on October 31, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Morris seems to have been quiet. Nothing new from him this year. A bit toxic for our cowardly commissioning editors?

  3. simon leathers said, on December 5, 2007 at 6:48 am

    The Daily show is shown a couple of times each day here in the states as with most cable shows.This is mostly because there a number of shows on at the same time and people searching for some good satire flick over these to see which one is the juicest for that day. I would request that ” spitting image” return to the airways as I believe this was the best political satire ever invented.
    If you want to watch the Americans best effort at pushing the envelope try and find “the family guy” show. It is shown on Fox and various cable channels. Enjoy!

  4. Spanner said, on February 1, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Now that’s an interesting observation. As a Brit living in the US, I am constantly frustrated by the censorship imposed in the US on British comedians. I didn’t realize it was a reciprocal agreement.

  5. gloria riddell said, on February 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

    i lived in england while spitting image was aired,really sharp and funny. would love to see some of it in the us. s.colbert and j.stewart are my daily bit of sanity, too bad for the brit restrictions. in the past the brits were always cutting edge what happened?

  6. lipplog said, on June 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I’m shocked! I thought we Americans were the prudes! Do UK channels censor shows like THE WIRE and DEXTER as well? Sheesh!

    Anyway, in case you haven’t discovered yet, or don’t want to spend money buying it on iTunes, you can always go to and for Uncensored Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

    Hell, I haven’t had cable tv in years. Who needs a tivo when you have high-speed internet and a 30 inch Apple cinema display?

  7. Jacob Moriarty said, on August 18, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    “Satire is dead on British television. It’s been 45 years”

    Have you never seen ‘The day today’ or ‘Brass eye’ or even listened to bbc radio 4 comedy such as ‘The Now Show’

  8. Declan said, on September 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. We haven’t had a decent satire on the news since The Day Today in the mid 90’s.
    The Daily Show is not only very funny, it lets us Brits glance at the zeitgeist and the more extreme content of the unintentionally hilarious (but equally depressing) Foxy News.
    More 4 have a Jewel in their crown but they seem to be treating it with disdain. When the show doesn’t air in the US, More4 just slip on a repeat from the previous week, no explanation, no apology.

  9. Steve M said, on November 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm


    I understood that the Daily Show is cut to remove references to the Colbert show (the check in is removed which I’m told is often very funny) and to pixulate any Apple logos on laptops etc (we have laws against product placement in-show).

    Can’t really comment about other cuts as the Comedy Central feeds don’t work for me!

    From what I’ve read elsewhere the Colbert Report is shown on FX (UK) – this is on Digital Satellite so I don’t have it..

    Still – it is annoying that anything is cut.

  10. Jonathan Miller said, on November 12, 2008 at 10:54 am

    The cutting is brutal and thoughtless.

  11. ... said, on September 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Mock the week?

  12. Ethan said, on October 6, 2009 at 2:03 am

    The Colbert Report is on Fx. The Daily Show should be on after the watershed.

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