Great Moments In Network Standards & Practices: The Uncensored 'Dick In A Box'

Just five days after SNL's "Dick in a Box" (variously and coyly referred to as "A Special Box," "Special Treat in a Box," and "A Special Christmas Box") debuted on the show and on the YouTubes, the NY Times delivers the inside scoop on how a brave consortium of late-night programming executives, lawyers, and NBC's highest-ranking officers decided to release an uncensored version of the liberally bleeped clip on the internet, allowing fans to remove any lingering doubts that the male sex organs being sneakily proffered to the delighted women in the video may have, in fact, been referred to as "cock(s) in a box," best network decency practices be (cautiously) damned. Reports the Times:

"We were all laughing," said [late-night programming executive Rick] Ludwin, who had been accompanied by a representative from the NBC legal department. And then Mr. Ludwin said he had a change of heart.

"Those people who go on the Internet will not be shocked by this," Mr. Ludwin recalled thinking. "Obviously there are some people who will be offended. Those people are probably unlikely to go searching for it on the Internet. It's just funny."

Still, the material was touchy enough, Mr. Ludwin said, that he sought final approval for the Web version of the video from the highest echelons of NBC, including Kevin Reilly, the president of NBC Entertainment , and Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal Television Group.. Both approved the idea, he said. Another executive suggested that a disclaimer be placed before the Web-only version of the video that warned of its explicit content, a proposal that was immediately accepted.

The rest, as they say, is history: Zucker and Reilly approved the clip (which would go on to rack up over 2.5 million views on YouTube), shared an affirming high-five over their mutual, cutting-edge embracing of the internet platform, then briefly mused about "how awesome" it would be to cut holes in some boxes and spend the last few work days before Christmas gifting their privates to various staffer members.

Because we must, here's another opportunity to watch the clip. Good news: After a few days, It still holds up!