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Chuck Lorre's censored vanity card

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 26th 2008 3:01PM
chuck lorre; vanity card At the end of each episode of The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, producer/creator Chuck Lorre has a "vanity card" that says something different each week. I usually pause my TiVo to read what it says, not realizing that he posts each and every one of them on his website.

This week's vanity card for The Big Bang Theory is pretty juicy. So juicy, in fact, that CBS wouldn't let him air it. The original card explained how CBS censored a joke at the climax of the show where Cousin Leo blames his fake drug addiction on a molester named Chaplain Horrigan. Lorre writes, "In the original shooting script the make-believe molester was called Father Horrigan." But, he says, CBS didn't want to offend Catholic viewers by suggesting that priests are known for molesting little boys. Lorre's complaint is prolific and quite funny, you can read the entire vanity card here. I have also placed a graphic of the card after the jump, just in case it gets taken down from his website (though, I doubt that will happen).

chuck lorre; vanity card

[Via TV Tattle]

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I am Catholic and a loyal viewer of your show. I think that the joke was as effective comically as it aired as opposed to the reference to a Catholic priest. I get that the church has had to deal with alot of sick and perverted and individuals but if you have researched the problem of child molestation in organized religion, the problem is definately not only indiginous to the Catholic church. The joke worked and it was funny, isn't that what's important here?

June 24 2008 at 4:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Andelman

You might enjoy this entertaining audio interview with Bill Prady, co-creator of "The Big Bang Theory": http://www.mrmedia.com/2008/04/bill-prady-big-bang-theory-cbs-tv.html . Prady's other writing and producing credits include "Gilmore Girls," "Muppets in Space," "Dream On," and even an episode of "Star Trek Voyager." You could also subscribe to Mr. Media's RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MrMedia .

April 14 2008 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Midnight Penguin

My question is how many people really have the ability to stop and read the placard, and then how many of those that DO record the show or have a DVR 'actually' stop and read them? The fact they are on his website and he links to the offending cards seems to do nothing but delay those that would want to read them from possibly reading them - but it seems that by censoring him, CBS forced me and probably many others to go read what was written, force this article to highlight the censorship to be written, and in general bring MORE light to this. Honestly, I never read the placards, except for the one during the writers strike (since it looked so wierd flashing on the screen I had to back it up) despite the fact that I watch Big Bang...so all they've done is added even more people to the list that now will read his placards other than the small few that had the ability to pause and 'actually' do take the time to pause. Did they really think he'd just lie down and not write about the censorship??

March 29 2008 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay, one itch scratched, but now I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what word you meant to use that became "prolific."

March 27 2008 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brooks Williams

Lorre isn't really that funny to begin with anyway, let alone Lorre with a dirty joke.

March 27 2008 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm Catholic, even went to parochial school. The joke wouldn't have bothered me one bit. In fact, when referred to as "Chaplain", I made an assumption that it was a reference to a Catholic priest.

I was bothered by CBS's censorship of his original script as well as their keeping him from posting his viewpoint on the after-show placard.

For the last so many months, everyone was distraught over the writers strike, hoping each week for a settlement. Now that their back and doing what we want them to do - write - the corporate suits are already whining about content. What are they looking for, a lame schedule filled with shallow "reality" and "talent" shows like Survivor & American Idol? I can't wait until that genre of "entertainment" follows the path of the 60's variety shows. At least with those, you had real writers and some occasional humor.

March 27 2008 at 6:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even more to the point: Given their history of transferring pedophile priests in an attempt to cover their crimes, what right does the Catholic Church have to pass moral judgment on ANYONE?

March 26 2008 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Interestingly enough, this tale about having to censor his joke is funnier than anything that's ever appeared on The Big Bang Theory.

March 26 2008 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well Mike I suggest you ask yourself where 99.9% of all the jokes in TAAHM stem from.

Usually from sex practices that I won't ever conduct in my whole life or things that will never happen to me. Because they are easy? No. Because it's funny.

And it's not Chuck Lorre's fault that 99.9% of all catholic priests don't molest children but 0.1% do and that the catholic church paid people off and shuffled those molesters around to be able to keep on doing their horrible deeds and that we are now able to laugh about that.

At a certain point, people started making 9/11 jokes. Because it's easy? No. Because horrible things spur "horrible" jokes to be able to cope with the inherent grief process. This joke was a form of outcry about the fact that a rich church is able to get away with this virtually unscathed. I for one was raised catholic and left the church because of their policies towards abortion, homosexuals, contraceptives AND child molestation. I am angry. I (!) can laugh about such a joke. Not because it's easy. But because I am angry that virtually nothing was done about it and only money changed hands. MY money in part because yes, also here in germany there are catholic child molesters and the way it was handled was just the exact same way it was done as in US parishes.

So saying that these jokes are just "easy" is ridiculous. It's a slap in the face of authors and a form of extreme censorship that the power of catholic interest groups and the threat to hammer the advertisers is enough to make CBS censor the show. The media should be free and it's ridiculous that nowadays only comedy shows are able to push the boundaries while other shows like political (!) ones don't even dare to touch controversial topics because of religious interest groups.

I am sorry that I didn't read further than your first two sentences because I was already "on 180" which is a german expression for having a pulse of over 180.

The problem, to re-iterate, isn't that the amount of pedophile priests is that small. The problem is that NONE of them (or virtually none) were thrown in jail like EVERY OTHER child molester. It's not Chuck Lorre's fault that the rest of the priests have to suffer from the fact that their church in Rome decrees things have to be pushed under the rug.

March 26 2008 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike m

as a catholic, i can understand cbs's reasoning. whilst i have a sense of humor, many do not, and would cry foul. the problem here is that less than 1% of all priests have even been accused of such "diddling" as lorre calls it, and just as high a percentage of the general pastoral population, nondenominationals and other prody's alike, are guilty of the same egregious crime, so why pick on Catholics? because it's easier? funnier? the truth is that many catholics are offended by such comments(though i personally can think of far more offensive things about Catholicism than that that has aired recently on television - can you say Lewis Black "is the Catholic Church the root of all evil - which airs on Comedy Central, a CBS owned show)...perhaps that is why CBS censored the joke in this case?

I don't find the joke that funny to begin with, but the Catholic thing would have made me cringe, and think, "ah, another anti-Catholic in Hollywood. Imagine that." At least this way he just comes across as slamming all religion. Either way, the remarks about Christianity are endless and stupid. The only reason they continue is because Christians aren't insane suicide bombers. I don't mind some joking and tasteful humour, but enough with the garbage.

March 26 2008 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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