CNN’s broadcast of Adam Sandler’s Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy ceremony was criticized for cutting political jokes made by comedians including Chris Rock and Dana Carvey. Some of the axed jokes were reportedly about Donald Trump. The Kennedy Center, which hosts the award, said it, not CNN, decided what was broadcast, and that the jokes were cut for time.
The broadcast of Adam Sandler’s Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy ceremony on CNN was stripped of its political jokes, with insiders disappointed but not surprised, and the Kennedy Center stating that it, not CNN, decided what was broadcast and the jokes were cut for time.
Last week, there was disappointment among top comedians after a CNN broadcast of Adam Sandler’s Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy ceremony was stripped of its political jokes. The annual honors ceremony has aired on PBS since 2000, but it was picked up by CNN this year. Insiders claim that there was chatter backstage on March 19 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, where the ceremony featuring comedy superstars such as Chris Rock, David Spade, and Dana Carvey was taped, that CNN planned to be “all over everyone’s” political gags. So, when several jokes, some of them about Donald Trump, were axed, it did not come as a surprise.
The Kennedy Center, which hosts the award, says that it, not CNN, decided what was broadcast — and that the jokes were cut for time. However, according to sources, Chris Rock quipped that it was “romantic” that Trump allegedly paid porn star Stormy Daniels hush money so that his wife, Melania Trump, wouldn’t find out about their alleged fling. He also added that the feds arresting the former president, which was expected to happen within days, would be foolish because it would only make Trump more popular. We hear Rock was not pleased with the omission.
Dana Carvey impersonated The Donald, and made jokes about Nancy Pelosi, but those jokes disappeared. Meanwhile, David Spade cracked that because of the “woke police,” the one American humorist who definitely wouldn’t win a Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2023 would be Mark Twain. CNN told Page Six that the jokes were just cut for time so that the live show could be slashed by an hour to fit into its broadcast slot.
The Kennedy Center’s site says the award was named after Twain because he was “a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters … [who] was a fearless observer of society [and] startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.” CNN is in the midst of a tricky overhaul by new president Chris Licht, who is reportedly trying to make the network less partisan and branching out beyond the news. However, the A-list comedy crowd wasn’t sold on the slate of politically safe jokes, with insiders concluding that “These guys aren’t political comics. They just say whatever they think is going to be funny.”