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Emmy's Opening Skit Proves News Corp. Can't Take a Joke

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There’s a reason the opening bit at last night’s Emmy Awards on Fox, featuring Leonard Nimoy as the make believe President of Television, didn’t work.

Nimoy was a last-minute replacement.

The pre-taped sketch had first starred 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin -- which already makes more sense since he currently plays a television network president, well, on TV. In the original version, Baldwin was talking on the phone and hesitated, claiming he could hear Rupert Murdoch eavesdropping on the line.

That would have worked.

But Fox, in an apparently protective move, edited out the joke referencing the phone-hacking scandal that embroiled its parent company News Corporation (NWS). And Baldwin, apparently a little too precious about his material, asked to pull the segment all together.

"[Fox] had asked me to do a sketch for them," Baldwin told People magazine. “I flew out there [to Los Angeles]. I did the sketch, and it was shot. They cut out something that I thought was the funniest part. I guess it was offensive to them."

Baldwin also Tweeted "Fox did kill my News Corp. hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little."

Baldwin’s version of the skit, even sans the Murdoch barb, had to have worked better than what made it to broadcast. Maybe Baldwin could teach Fox a thing or two about how to take a joke, if he ever made it a point to poke fun at his own phone blunders.
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