Speaking of the PTC and the f-word, that reminds me of something I still find amusing. An uncut version of "Saving Private Ryan" aired on Veteran's Day in 2001 and the Parents Television Council (PTC) gave it thumbs up. But when ABC showed the same version of the movie on 11/11/2004, the PTC joined the censorship charge causing many affiliates to probably show "The Andy Griffith Show" or "Billy Graham."
And then I started to wonder about about the history of that monosyllabic word.
From 1980-90, "Saturday Night Live" owned the word. Charles Rocket. Prince. Morris Day. Aerosmith. They all snuck 'fuck' or 'fuckin' passed censors during live telecasts. The only casualty? Charles Rocket. Now very few people care about late-night profanity. The FCC didn't even blink when Colin Farrell said "I shit you not" on SNL (12/11/2004) in the midst of their big censorship hunt of 2003-2005.
But don't worry, Sweet Child O' Mine. The 1990 American Music Awards ushered in a new era of profanity when Guns N' Roses twice squeezed 'fucking' into a live primetime telecast on network TV. And the shit really hit the fan when U2's Bono exclaimed "This is really, really fucking brilliant" during a live telecast of the 2003 Golden Globes. That last event resulted in the FCC report, "How to Dismantle an Atomic F-Bomb."
Here's a short & recent history of famous incidents for 'fuck' on U.S. TV:
This list is definitely not intended to be a comprehensive log. If you know of other famous events, feel free to add them in the comments section.