The British TV channel didn’t get to air all eight seasons of That ’70s Show in 2016, because viewers were annoyed with the constant cutting of episodes. This wasn’t about making room for commercials (or “adverts” as us Brits call them), it was clearly to do with some middle-class sissies not wanting to offend people; despite the fact that it’s not really a family-friendly channel (no matter how many times that Friends is aired in order of chronology or theme).
Hell, there are even episodes of Impractical Jokers which are ironically way more offensive (and that’s a reality show). If this censorship had taken place during nightly airings then it would be easy to theorize that Comedy Central U.K. is doing this to prove that English comedy is better. Confirmation bias gets you nowhere! If they really wanted to profit from the series without offending either moralistic critics and fans, they might as well have shown it at night or have it available on their site or on demand in a way which only adults can access.
C.C.U.K. mysteriously censored That Disco Episode (season 1, episode 7) when Steven Hyde said: “I can’t believe they’re gonna waste all their money on a stupid disco
when they could buy a really big bag of caramels.”
When Ski Trip (season 1, episode 13) was aired, they ridiculously removed Fez describing amaretto as liquid candy.
The truncating of Stolen Car (season 1, episode 14) makes the following exchange seem too curt…
Donna: Speaking of,
you know those girls at school who do it, like, all the time?
The hack job of Prom Night (season 1, episode 19) can only be understood by studying what came before and after…
Hyde: You know what you should do? You should definitely rent a motel room.
Eric: Oh yeah, that’s spontaneous.
Eric: Look, if this night is as big as I think I want it to be very, very special because this is gonna be the first time for both of us.
Fez: Oh, you silly virgins!
Eric: Anyway, this is how I picture it.
The trimming of Eric Gets Suspended (season 2, episode 9) is the least incoherent of the censoring…
Eric: You know, Donna, failing classes is not the only way to get attention from your parents.
A lot of girls, when they’re having a bad time at home, just go slutty.
Donna: You know what Eric? You’re right.
Let’s have sex right now.
A different scene where the context has to be comprehended to understand the edits….
Fez: So, you have me in your tub. If you tried to send a sexy message, then message recieved!
Mary: Well Fez, I know we made out in my parents bedroom and I know we frenched in the poolhouse and I know that may seem romantic to some people…
Fez: Tell me something I don’t know!
Mary: I have a boyfriend.
Fez: See, that I did not know!
Mary: Fez I really like you, but he’s in college and we’re still faithful.
Fez: I see.
You know, there are many ways to remain faithful yet still have fun!
Fez: Oh yes!
(takes off his swimming pants) Ahhh, that’s much better!
Teacher: Hey Forman! Smoking on school property?
Donna: No that’s not his, that’s mine!
Eric: No, it’s ehh…it’s mine (takes a drag from the cigarette and leaves it in his mouth) Yeah! Mmm! Menthol!
There’s been worse bad parenting on the channel’s non-censored shows…
Eric: I don’t smoke!
Kitty: I think this might be my fault.
I think he is just imitating me so he can look cool.
The father-to-son apology whose excision is best emphasized with the surrounding material…
Red: Ha! We’re even!
Eric: Oh dad, you’ve got to be kidding me.
Red: Okay. I’m sorry I made you smoke all those cigarettes. Eric: Okay, yeah. That’s okay. Actually I kinda liked them.
Red: Watch it!
Hyde: Oh they’re hot! The blond is blond…and hot!
Fez: Yes, and since I set us up on this date, she’s mine, right?
Hyde: Well I can see why you’d think that, but actually, since I came along to help you out, American custom dictates that I get the blond.
Fez: Once again, the local custom bones the foreign guy.
Hyde: America man! Love it or leave it.
Hyde: Hey Fez, come here. American custom be damned, I want you to have the blond!
Fez: Oh my God!
Blondes are notorious whores! Thank you Hyde!
Hyde: Not a problem.
Different scene, equally coherent (despite the emasculation)…
Bob: Oh hi honey, you’re mom and I are going out tonight. It’s happy hour are Swingels.
Donna: What’s Swingels?
Bob: It’s a singles bar.
Midge: No, it’s a swingers bar! Bob: It’s both.
Donna: And you’re neither!
C.C. U.K. tried to curb the influence of a dogging joke in Red’s Birthday (season 2, episode 10)…
Bob: I left my wallet in the car.
Midge: Oh, I left my sex with Bob in the car.
In that same episode, the broadcasting network removed Eric saying (in his mind) “She’s sucking my tongue.” but they kept him thinking “Even her spit is sweet. It’s like liquid Jolly Rancher!”
A gift/sex pun is emasculated…
Kitty: Would the special birthday boy like a special birthday present? [she looks under the cover a bit]
Oh, it’s already unwrapped. Red: Just my size.
[kissing then ceiling crashes down]
Kitty: [coughs] Oh, my.
Red: Well, happy birthday to me.
C.C. U.K. might as well have deleted the entire exchange involving
“b!tch” in Laurie Moves Out (season 2, episode 11)….
Kelso: Wow, I see what’s going on here, you’re breaking up with me.
Laurie: No. For me to break up with you, there would have to be something between us to break.
Kelso: OHHH! I cannot believe that you’re being SUCH a…
Bitch? Duhhh! Look Kelso, it was fun, and sweaty and all, but you’re just a guy I fooled around with when there was nothing good on TV. Sorry. (she leaves)
A feminist C.C. U.K. censor had edited Red’s New Job (season 2, episode 14)…
Laurie: Kelso, Im feeling really close to you. Um I think I want a relationship!
Kelso: Yes. Thats what I want! A sexual relationship.
Laurie: NO, no, I mean, I want more from you than just sex.
Kelso: Dont be silly, Laurie, sex is enough for any woman.
The castration of a sex joke…
Hyde: I’ll be in the basement.
Kitty: No, you sit!
Hyde: Oh, sure, when things get ugly, suddenly I’m family!
Laurie: Not to me, freak. Hyde: You are so going to end up in porno!
Burning Down the House (season 2, episode 15)…
“Love? I don’t love her, man. I just think we should be having sex and all because she’d enjoy it.”
The First Time (season 2, episode 16) was slimmed down to no good end…
Hyde: The circus called.
They said they’d pay you fifty bucks a week if you can kiss your own ass.
Fez: Take a message.
Donna: My parents are renewing their wedding vows.
Eric: Wait, so double-dating degenerates and skeezy bar hags just lost its appeal?
You’d be amazing how fast skeezy bar hags lost their appeal. But then like, two beers later, it all comes roaring back!
The excising in Parents Find Out (season 2, episode 19) is more akin to what would happen for the Disney channel, Nickelodeon or ABC…
Fez: Dear Penthouse.
Moon Over Point Place (season 2, episode 26) was edited by a prude for Comedy Central UK…
You’re uptight like a little pilgrim.
Some feminist didn’t approve of the stoner circle moment in Baby Fever (season 3, episode 7) when a stoned Donna gives a apathetic reply to a feminist speech…
Hyde: As the voice of a new generation of smart, independent women you need to make this dill-hole realize that a mind and spirit like yours has more options than your mothers had.
Donna: Yeah. Sorry. What?
Comedy Central UK’s inconsistent hacking (i.e. given how they aired The Keg) of Ice Shack (season 3, episode 10)…
Eric: Is there beer? Kelso: Tons.
Finally, there was no reason for the stereotypically conservative English network to delete the final one-liner in this segment from The Trials of Michael Kelso (season 3, episode 18)…
Donna: What the hell happened to you guys?
Eric: We got beaten up.
Hyde: By men.
Eric: By big, strong men.
Fez: Hey, guys, as I was getting beaten, I think I got to second base.