"Censored" isn't the right word, but "removed to reflect recent developments in Pakistan" isn't the sort of thing that fits in a headline or brings in the traffic. Anyway, bin Laden’s demise has begun to affect comedy:
Days after President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed, an unlikely television series found itself in a bit of a bind.
ABC's comedy "Happy Endings" aired an episode in which Zach Knighton's character compared an elusive mouse in Elisha Cuthbert's apartment to a "bin Laden."
During the airing in the U.S., Knighton told Cuthbert -- in discussing the hardships of trying to capture said mouse: "He's my bin Laden. ... Jessica bin Laden, a super hot Arab girl I went to college with." Then the audio cuts out, though Knighton's mouth is still moving.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that there was more to the joke, with the silenced line being, "She was the one that got away."
But they played the line in Canada, suggesting that Canadians either don’t follow the news, or understand the trials and difficulties of being a comedy writer. You come up with a topical line, it can be ruined just like that. But they persevere. It’s a matter of pride and craftsmanship. You can imagine the writer sitting back, looking at the screen with a satisfied glow, thinking that’s a great line. It’s just brilliant. The way it raises the specter of bin Laden, then undercuts it by turning it into a romantic pursuit. Man, I hope they don’t find him the week this airs. It’ll fall completely flat. People will be going, like, huh? What does that mean? And so the line was removed, lest it interfere with the suspension of disbelief most television requires.