Self-Discipline Controls Late Shows, Not Censors

Writers and the hosts keep the truly horrible at bay, but comedy is not based on nice. And sometimes it hurts.

By Craig Tomashoff

It would seem at first that late-night shows are the freshman dormitories of the TV world. After all, both really only come to life in the wee hours. They are relatively independent of adult supervision. And in this sort of loosely structured environment, the boundaries of taste in both can get stretched a bit thin.
"According to our writer staff, no, there are no limits to how far you can go," says Lizz Winstead, head writer for Comedy Central's comic news show, "The Daily Show." "We'll try to push through anything we can."
The truth is, though, that just as college freshmen tend to mellow after a couple of bad hangovers, late-night TV talk shows have apparently come to understand that a little self-discipline is not such a bad thing if you want to have a future.

Copyright 1997 Los Angeles Times

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