As it is, the uncensored song is fantastic -- it's very catchy, upbeat, and I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say, or sing, "F*ck You" with so much enthusiasm and joy. Seriously... it's my new favorite song. If you haven't heard the uncensored, full-on "F*ck You" version, take 3:55 to watch and listen:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Cee Lo Green - F**k You|
I know -- f*ckin' awesome, man! I think what makes it so brilliant -- and why it has become the unsung anthem of 2010 (literally unsung -- it's the most popular song that nobody will air without heavy editing) is that it takes an inherently aggressive, nasty-sounding phrase and turns it into something silly and fun.
Like most basic cable, Comedy Central generally "bleeps" away the coarse language which, if it's done right, can actually add to the funny. But music is another matter entirely. Songs that are bleeped or "edited for radio" (which is a whole 'nuther topic I could go off on) are usually ruined in the process. But not "F*ck You." Because The Colbert Report had a brilliantly simple solution: the euphemism.
They could have used almost any phrase to replace the "f*ck you" and it still would have been funny. Go back and listen -- if the impossibly catchy hook isn't already earworming around your noggin -- but replace the "f*ck you" with almost any variation and you get some instant silliness:
I see you driving 'round town with the girl I love
And I'm like
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
And puck her too...
"Fox News" just happened to be the best choice for their show, and inserting the euphemism aired the song in a way that a)- didn't hack it to pieces with ridiculous bleeps or edits, b)- was true to the spirit of the song, and c)- also made a great bit of comedic political commentary.
Usually, I prefer it when people say what they mean to say. But when writing for the funny, I think the lesson here is that sometimes, it is better to go out of your way to avoid saying what's so f*cking obvious*...
*Because everybody knows what the stupid asterisk really means.
Referenced links: The Colbert Report, Entertainment Weekly