Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Jack Black gets musical pass for profanity on Letterman

June 16, 2009

In the same broadcast that saw him apologize to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for a joke about her daughter, late-night TV host David Letterman was back on controversial ground again during his show on Monday night, when comedian Jack Black inserted an “F-word” into his impromptu song. 

It was the kind of “fleeting expletive” that recently became the subject of a high profile case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided that the federal government can fine broadcasters for airing a single expletive blurted out on a live show. Fortunately for Letterman, his guest’s brief foray into profanity aired after 10 p.m., which means that it does not risk a fine from the Federal Communications Commission.

Black’s use of the “F-word” can be heard at the end of the video in the link below (warning: Fan Fare has not edited it out). He was talking about a song that he would like to record, and then things turned blue.

Normally, “Late Night with David Letterman” and similar talk shows bleep out profanity of the kind Black used on the program. But apparently they just missed it on Monday night.

Did the fleeting expletive go too far? Or is it alright for late night?


As someone who lives in a free country (ie, not America) I find your censorship pathetic and weird.

Posted by PJ | Report as abusive

They didn’t censor it because he muffled the word! C’mon


I know it must be a slow news day, but can you come up with some real news stories please? make it up if you have to..Living in Australia, there’s live TV shows where all sorts of profanity is used. Now one complains or takes it to the supreme court, its just assumed that people can take a joke, and are smart enough to swith the TV off if they dont like it.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Oh, please! I had seen the broadcast and didn’t even notice it. After being TOLD he used the “F-word”, I had to play the clip three times to try to locate it. I’m still not even certain that he actually used it. This is definitely a tempest in a tea kettle if ever I’ve seen one.

Posted by Thomas H. | Report as abusive

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