I was watching Jonathan Ross last night like millions of others, not because I wanted to see what happened but because I think I've seen nearly every episode since I was 15 years old. And it was very enjoyable, he dealt with it very well and managed to remain his usual self just a little bit more restrained.
Something I noticed however was how much swearing must have been cut out during the editing stages, the only word I noticed being when Tom Cruise mumbled "shit...shit" to himself when being asked to sing. Now the only reason I noticed this is that I was looking for it however I was thinking... is this a good thing?I have no problems with swearing, to me swearing is only offensive when it is has some sort of malicious intent. The best example I can think of is Eddie Izzard, never have I heard him use it with the intent to shock or offend, it is simply like any other word in his vocabulary. Some comedians however like to use it for shock which is fine, this is adressed in "The Naked Jape" by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves, and it can be effective in comedy.
The more we swear however, the more used to it we become and the less it does shock. We can see this as children, say "poo" to a five year old and they giggle uncontrollably say "cunt" and their head explodes (I assume, I haven't actually spoken to any five year olds recently to try this) whereas anyone who watches a lot of stand up, or any Charlie Brooker, who seems to be a fan of the word, they don't see it as bad as perhaps it once was. This means that by curbing the amount of swearing acceptable we can bring back it's shock factor, leaving it as a tool for future generations of comedian to use and for the current comedians to continue to use it as their safety blanket when stuck on stage. I must admit though, although I do believe this, I am frightened what else these new rulings will bring; comedy is best when performed relaxed if they have to worry about every word they say and every move they make it's going to seriously effect creative freedom and that is terrifying.