Comedienne Sarah Silverman took some heat after tweeting an unfunny “aborsh” joke along with before-and-after photos a couple weeks ago, garnering the attention of Drudge and the worldwide media.

On April 17 Silverman tried to pull the joke back, although as Jivin J pointed out, Politico’s characterization of this as an “apology” was exceedingly generous…

And even that slight surrender apparently grated on Silverman so much she had to take another stab at abortion humor while simultaneously reassuring her peers she was still staunchly pro-abortion, tweeting 11 minutes later…

But it is not like Silverman to pull back. According to Reuters:

In 2001, Silverman joked on NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” that she got out of jury duty by writing “I love chinks” on a selection form.

The joke, again, was the shock value, and her supposed racial cluelessness. The Media Action Network for Asian-Americans demanded an apology, which she refused to give, and suggested the group wasn’t sincerely offended but was rather using the incident to raise its profile.

But in this case it was apparently pragmatism that forced Silverman to check herself. Fame and money preclude abortion jokes, which just aren’t funny to most Americans – or television execs watching their own bottom line. And when even a Tinseltown rag and its followers raise their eyebrows, you know you’ve gone too far…

Back to Reuters:

There’s a long tradition of edgy comedians sanding down their edges as they try to make themselves generically likable enough to score network sitcoms.

Sarah Silverman is not part of that tradition.

With NBC soon to decide whether to give her a show in the fall, the “Sarah Silverman Program” star made an abortion joke that struck some as too flippant….

Drudge linked to the story with the headline, “Sarah Silverman tweets ‘before-and-after abortion’ photos, failing to note that, in fact, no abortion had occurred.

But try explaining that to anyone who sees even the possibility of a Silverman show on NBC as more evidence that a monolithic media has a left-wing, anti-family agenda.

The pilot would seem to have a strong chance of becoming a series when NBC makes its decision this spring about which of its pilots will become series. The currently titled “Susan 313” is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, among others, and Jeff Goldblum has reportedly signed on to guest star. NBC and Silverman’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.

NBC must know what it’s getting into with Silverman. Picking up the show will be a signal that the network is willing to deal with at least the possibility that she’ll say or do something controversial, on or off the air.

Silverman is into gross-out humor, as a scan of her her tweets quickly shows.  NBC obviously knows what it’s getting into if it contracts with Silverman. So apparently anus, rectum, porn, and male anatomy jokes are okay, but abortion jokes go a step too far.  Interesting. One topic Silverman is going to have to censor herself on if she wants to make the big jump from cable to network television is abortion.

[HT: Chicken Man]

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