Jon Stewart for a change actually saw the movie he was discussing with his guest, Colin Firth, last night: the terrific "The King's Speech." But the segment that applied most excitingly to that film was Larry Willmore's inspired attack on the bowdlerization of Mark Twain. "The King's Speech" received an R rating because of a flood of expletives that the King spews as part of his speech therapy.
Lesser distributors than The Weinstein Company might have been tempted to cut the curse words to get a PG or PG-13 rating. That would have been the equivalent of taking the "N word" out of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn": not just diluting the power of a work of art, but denying history. Stewart and Willmore demonstrated the perils of a cultural whitewash with wit and clarity. Why isn't Willmore on more? He's rarely less than hilarious.