PBS cans technical virgin

A kids show host is fired for appearing in a blue parody PSA.

Published July 25, 2006 5:01PM (EDT)

Yesterday, the PBS Kids Sprout network canned Melanie Martinez, host of "The Good Night Show," after discovering that she had talked about anal sex in a series of parodies of pro-virginity public service announcements several years ago.

One of the clips, called "Technical Virgin," is a funny (if not gut-busting) take on the idiocy of abstinence campaigns. In it, the fresh-faced Martinez announces seriously: "I've got big plans for my future: a good college, a career, maybe even my own business someday. But one thing I'm not planning on is getting pregnant. That's why I choose anal sex. I mean sure, it hurts a little, and I wind up walking funny for a day or two. But I think my future's worth it."

According to reports, Martinez, whose role on "The Good Night Show" mostly involved reading kids to sleep, told network officials about the videos last week. She was immediately removed from the air. The network is now running cartoons in place of the program until a new host (who presumably has never talked about, joked about or had anal sex) is hired. Sandy Wax, president of the network, told reporters that "PBS Kids Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character's credibility with our audience."

I'm not sure which of her 2-to-5-year-old audience members are going to be downloading pro-virginity parodies.

But there's a larger question at stake: Are people who entertain children not allowed to have participated in other activities, like acting in comedy sketches, or in dramatic movies, that may have contained "inappropriate dialogue"?

For example: Robin Williams. He's a funny guy. Remember his bit about Ling-Ling the panda, who needed a mate at the zoo, so, as Williams tells it, "they go to China, they anesthetize a panda, which is kind of redundant, and bring him back to America, and name him Ping-Pong. When his Chinese name was 'Moo-shu Ka Her,' Bear with Balls of Steel. And they put him in the cage with Ling-Ling and say 'Go mate,' and he looks at her like, 'I would never fuck her. That is one ugly panda bitch. If you were a panda, you would know she's one ugly panda bitch. I'd rather lick my own balls than fuck that panda bitch. I wouldn't fuck her with a koala's dick.'" Should copies of "Aladdin," "Flubber" and "Robots" be recalled from video store shelves?

And what about Chris Rock? A big hit in "Madagascar"! Remember his old routine about the dying Make-a-Wish Foundation kid who says, "I want some big titties in my face! It's my last wish!" Rock is also the guy who famously said that a father's most important job is to keep his daughter "off the [stripper's] pole."

This may come as a shock, but did you know the guy who played Donkey in "Shrek" was once a stand-up comedian who did a routine in which he told Bill Cosby to "have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up, Jello-pudding-eating motherfucker"?

And how do we even begin to explain Bob Saget to innocent young ears?

Seriously, people. No network with a name like Kids Sprout should be this humorless.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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