May 05, 2011 2:05pm PT by Philiana Ng, Marisa Guthrie
ABC Bleeps Osama bin Laden Joke From 'Happy Endings' But It Airs in Canada (Video)
Days after President Obama announced that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed, an unlikely television series found itself in a bit of a bind.
ABC's midseason comedy Happy Endings aired an episode last night called "Of Mice and Jazz-Kwon Do," taped weeks prior, in which Zach Knighton's character compared an elusive mouse in Elisha Cuthbert's apartment to a "bin Laden."
During the airing in the U.S., Knighton told Cuthbert -- in discussing the hardships of trying to capture said mouse: "He's my bin Laden. ... Jessica bin Laden, a super hot Arab girl I went to college with." Then the audio cuts out, though Knighton's mouth is still moving.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that there was more to the joke, with the silenced line being, "She was the one that got away."
Given that the actual Osama bin Laden is no longer the one who got away, it's understandable why ABC cut the line. But it aired in its entirety on Canada's Citytv, suggesting ABC was mindful of the particular sensitivities U.S. audiences might have to a joke about the terrorist leader.
Video on ABC.com goes even further than simply bleeping the line. The scene in question has been altered, with the camera awkwardly cutting away immediately after Knighton finishes the line about college.
Watch the censored scene below: