Tag Archives: fleeting expletives

… And We F**king Love Them For That: SNL’s Jenny Slate & Other Fleeting Expletives on TV

The 35th season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” dropped a bomb on American TV screens – an F-bomb. On her first night on last weekend’s show, newest cast member Jenny Slate swore during the “Biker Chick Chat” skit. Slate’s only the most recent example of the “fleeting expletive” (an instance of profane language or images on a live broadcast). Here are some more examples of live profanity on television.

  • “Saturday Night Live” has long been a bastion of bad language. The most famous instance came in 1981 when cast member Charles Rocket slipped up during a skit parodying Dallas and its “Who Shot J.R.?” episode, uttering “Oh man, it’s the first time I’ve been shot in my life. I’d like to know who the f**k did it.” (Rocket was fired later that year.) A year before Rocket’s expletive incident, future “Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer had let one loose. And in the ‘90s cast members Norm MacDonald and Cheri Oteri also cursed during the show. [NBC Miami]
  • Rock stars have kept the FCC working overtime, too. When U2 appeared at the Golden Globes in 2003, frontman Bono described winning as “really, really f**king brilliant!” The government agency also looked into Motley Crue singer Vince Neil’s exuberant “Happy F**king New Year!” on the “Tonight Show”‘s Dec. 31 broadcast. After a 2005 “SNL” performance, NBC also had to answer for System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian, who yelled “f**k yeah!” (System was performing their song “B.Y.O.B.,” which frequently uses the line “Where the f**k are you?”). [NY Daily News, MSNBC, EW]

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