26 July 2009

The Simpsons Censored

I have just watched the Sunday afternoon showing of The Simpsons on Channel 4. It's a classic episode where the family dog Santas Lil Helper is behaving badly and Lisa is off school with the mumps.  There is a scene where Marge is demonstrating to Lisa how an experienced seamstress can develop a callous on her index finger.  She pricks it with a pin lightly, then hard enough to bend the pin and then - and this is where Channel 4 censor it - she holds a cigarette lighter beneath it and blackens the surface without flinching.  The joke in the scene is the way Marge's demonstration escalates to an unexpectedly ridiculous level but without the cigarette lighter it's just a freaky moment. The comedy suffered as a result of censorship.  It was my understanding that channel 4 was one of the more liberal broadcasting bodies but now I'm not so sure.