- The Howard Stern Show could be considered the epitome of this for radio. Admittedly one of the FCC's most watched targets as far back as 1986, for the next twenty years of his highly rated terrestrial radio career, Stern had to figure out ways to still be funny without violating the rules of what could and could not be said on radio, else he would have faced steep fines and most likely been fired. Hence the phrases oral and anal sex became known as just oral and anal, the word douche bag became douche, and asshole became ass.
- One phone tap for Z100 in December 2012 involved a woman prank calling her friend, pretending to be her masseuse. The "masseuse" then mentions...tickling her taco. It takes a while for the friend to realize, but when she does, she calls the other friend back to question it. Terms like "happy ending" and "your downstairs is your body too" were all used. Z100 may not be the cleanest staton, but how the heck did they allow this in the radio?!
- Another commercial for the adjustable mattress around the same time as the above involved a Freudian slip from the announcer. The line was supposed to be something like that the bed would "improve your resting experience," but the announcer accidentally says "improve your performance".
- British Radio comedy has a long standing tradition of sneaking stuff past the censors. Round the Horne and I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again are especially good examples.
- The ultimate example of this is probably Round the Horne's "Rambling Syd Rumpo", played by Kenneth Williams, a west country folk singer whose songs were littered with nonsense words that, taken in context, sounded utterly obscene.
- Not forgetting Julian and Sandy, who conversed almost entirely in Polari, the slang language used by the gay community at the time. Of course, the whole thing was subverted in the final episode, which introduced Julian and Sandy's wives...
- A novelty act was described as 'The Great Omipaloni' which sailed totally over the heads of audiences (basically Polari for The Big Poof).
- It has been claimed that during Julian and Sandy sketches the audience would sometimes laugh dirtily at lines that even the performers couldn't see any innuendo in.
- Other examples include mentioning that Julian and Sandy were very good at the "cottage upright" (gay male sex in a toilet) and mentioning that, when they were being lawyers, have "a criminal practice that takes up most of their time" - at a time when male homosexuality was illegal.
- Radio comedy "gameshow" I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue subverted this in many ways, by the scripted rounds, host, and contestants.
- A round called Censored Song glorified this trope, in which, by judicious use of the buzzer, a song hitherto thought of as being as clean as Whistler's Mother could be rendered utterly filthy by suggestion. Take Maurice Chevalier's battle-scarred voice, for instance, and insert a strategic buzz in Thank Heaven For Little Girls:Every time I see a leetle girl/Of five or six or maybe seven;/I can't resist the joyous urge to (BZZZZ) and sing Zank Heaven for leetle girls...
"Whenever I feel a[buzz] / I hold my [buzz] erect / And whistle a happy tune / so no one will suspect I'm a[buzz]... Whenever I [buzz] / The people I [buzz] / I [buzz] myself as well..."
- I Whistle a Happy Tune was censored to become
"[buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz], / [buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz] and [buzz-buzz], / [buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz] all tied up with string: / these are a few of my favourite things".
- My Favourite Things:
"[buzz] me, oh my, I hope the little [buzz] comes by..."
- Leaning on a Lamppost:
- Walking in the Air from The Snowman: many instances of a small boy singing "I'm [buzz]ing in the air..."
- Clue also employs double entendres every episode to describe the (fictional) scorer Samantha (who "sits on [the Chairman's] left hand") on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Lines like "Samantha's going out now for an ice cream with her new Italian gentleman friend. She says she's looking forward to licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan" barely even qualify as double entendres...
"Samantha has to nip out now with her new gentleman friend. Apparently, they've been working on the restoration of an old chest of drawers. Samantha is in charge of polishing, while he scrapes the varnish and wax off next to her."
- Another example:
"As is customary, Samantha spent some time down in the gramophone library earlier, fetching the hit singles she's chosen. She's become quite friendly with the two elderly archivists, Jack and Arthur. They've recently gone part-time, so Samantha's come to a working arrangement - she does the paperwork, Arthur gets her 45s out and Jack's off all afternoon."
- And another:
- When talking about a grumpy neighbor who phones her a lot:Humph: She says she always finds time to handle his testy calls.
- A rather risqué example was Stephen Fry on the 30th anniversary special in 2002. In the "Uxbridge English Dictionary" round, in which panellists give "alternate" definitions of English words, Stephen offered "Countryside: to kill Piers Morgan".
- More recently, a Rob Brydon gave the definition "Control: Piers Morgan, A A Gill, Victor Lewis Smith, Simon Cowell..."
- A round called Censored Song glorified this trope, in which, by judicious use of the buzzer, a song hitherto thought of as being as clean as Whistler's Mother could be rendered utterly filthy by suggestion. Take Maurice Chevalier's battle-scarred voice, for instance, and insert a strategic buzz in Thank Heaven For Little Girls:
- I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again got into trouble for including the phrase 'Cowpoke' by BBC executives who mistook the innocent slang for a cowboy as a bizarre sexual fetish. They totally missed the fact that the same episode featured a character called Martha Farquar.
- Many running gags on The BBC radio comedy The Goon Show were the punchlines of dirty jokes, entirely meaningless out of context. Such as spy-themed story called 'The Pink Oboe'. When the BBC finally twigged, the Goons took the entirely reasonable position that if the people complaining already knew the jokes, they had no business being offended by them. There was also a regular character named Captain Hugh Jampton. They didn't always get away with it — in an episode about the Roman Empire a reference to "the lays of ancient Rome" was cut, although the joke later came to light when the uncut script was published.
- And then there were the names... Justin Eidelburgernote , anyone?
- Also this little gem:Doorman: Are you a member?
Neddie Seagoon: No, I'm a country member.
Doorman: Oh, I remember.
- Then there's a seemingly innocent aside by young Bluebottle:Pulls up trousers, tucks in shirt. Heh heh... my hands were cold.
- And the punchline to a specfically Royal Navy joke (clue: disregard rum and the lash and focus on the third alleged staple of Navy life)."Bend over for the Golden Rivet!"
- The question must be asked, how did they get away with this?Seagoon: But my wife...I can't leave her with 38 children!
Grytpype-Thynne: Isn't that enough?
Seagoon: Yes...I suppose a rest would do her good.
Grytpype: It'd do you good too, you naughty boy.
- Seagoon is frequently referred to, and sometimes calls himself, a Charlie. Meaning a patsy or a fool, this comes from rhyming slang: Charlie Hunt...
- For a Bilingual Bonus, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan had both lived in India and could speak a degree of Hindi. They played two comedy-Indians whose dialogue sounded, to British ears, like Hindu-flavoured gibberish and made-up-language. it was only when the Goons went out to India on the World service and complaints came back that the BBC realised Lalkutta and his chum were trading long strings of Hindu obscenity and expletives. They were edited out of all broadcasts to India afterwards.
- Proving later radio comedy could still pull it off, Radio Active in the 1980's had a sketch about a musical singer trying to suggest to a spectacularly dense producer that a song called "If You See Kay..." might just conceivably be misinterpreted.
- When Mark and Lard did their afternoon show on Radio One from 1997-2004, a regular feature was a kind of budget soul singer named Fat Harry White, who would tell "anecdotal" stories laden with unsubtle and usually filthy double entendres. A memorable example was when he was talking about camping with one of his "beautiful ladyfriends" who opened the tent to allow him access following a downpour — "when she parted her wet flaps, I was keen to get stuck in!". On one memorable occasion they had the "controller of Radio One" telephone the studio in protest when the boys chose to "axe" Fat Harry and demand Harry's return in "unintended" Fat Harry-style innuendo: "I've a good mind to call you into my office and give you a dressing down, and we all know how you're left spluttering when you've had a mouthful from me! If you don't put Harry back right this instant I'm coming down there to pull you both off!". It's amazing that they got away with that stuff on an early afternoon show.
- Then there was their cruder but just as audacious feature "Lard's Classic Cuts", where they would play a damaged vinyl record which jumped and skipped and just happened to turn the air blue, just as if they'd been edited for innuendo or swearing. How did they get away with it on national radio at lunchtime?Max Bygraves, "Messing About On The River": There are boats made of s/hit, which reach you in / bits, for fu/k/ing about on the river...
- Their 1998 Best Of Special features a fake ad for an album by a fictional angelic chorister (presumably inspired by Aled Jones) that includes the line "Hear Tommy's angelic tones, preserved forever, before his balls drop". Seriously, how did they get away with that?
- How did they get away with it on national radio at lunchtime? Firstly, because it was radio (where you can get much more crap past the radar than on TV, at least in the UK) and secondly, because it was lunchtime. The kiddiewinks were all at school then, and there isn't that much crossover between the adult listenership of Radio 1 and the people who complain to the BBC about double-entendres on the radio. It's possible there wasn't anyone listening to the show who was inclined to complain.
- Then there was their cruder but just as audacious feature "Lard's Classic Cuts", where they would play a damaged vinyl record which jumped and skipped and just happened to turn the air blue, just as if they'd been edited for innuendo or swearing. How did they get away with it on national radio at lunchtime?
- One ad for modded game controllers featured two gamers, one of whom possessed a game controller rigged for a "hyper" mode. The loser says that his friend "really kicked my ass", and goes on to state, "Your right hand must really get a lot of practice from all that time you spend in the bathroom, huh?"
- Big Finish Doctor Who:
- The audio drama Zagreus has the Doctor yell what sounds a lot like "shit!" under cover of a noisy sound effect shortly after a bit of totally unsubtle sucking up to The BBC.
- At the end of the audio drama Orbis, the Headhunter is quite proud of herself after rescuing the Doctor, defusing a threat to the universe, and destroying an entire planet in doing so. Having lived for 600 years with the people of that planet, the 8th Doctor was not so impressed:
- One of the audio adventures gimmick is that they can get away with things they couldn't possibly do on TV, but that the Doctor acts as he always did, being very embarassed and fussy whenever the people around him starts swearing or talking about sex.
- William L. Shirer gave broadcasts from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940. He tried several methods to decoy the censor board; he used Americanisms, because the censors only knew British English, he spoke ironically, or put things to his manuscripts that he expected to be censored, but he hoped that maybe they allow something else in exchange.
- At the height of the Jimmy Savile scandal, while the BBC were doing their best to keep quiet about the whole thing, BBC Radio Ulster read out a text on air from a listener who praised Sir Jimmy for having fixed it for him to "milk a cow blindfolded".
- Once, the German radio station Bayern 4's children's hour, Radio Mikro, played Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl (And I Liked It) on listener's request. Once the song had finished, the two hosts took almost a minute to snark and joke about the obviously risque implications of the song, but in a way that was both vague and innocuous enough to fly over the heads of all the young listeners tuning in... but probably not their elders and betters.
- New Dynamic English:
Max: Hi, Elizabeth. How was your visit to Boris's lab?
- Kathy explains that the reason she divorced with her ex-husband was she got cheated.Kathy: I worked during the day, and he worked at night. We never saw each other. And then he started seeing other people, other women.
- This exchange:
Elizabeth: Interesting, but I can't talk about it.
Max: Ah, a secret, huh?
- Kathy explains that the reason she divorced with her ex-husband was she got cheated.
- Lo Zoo Di 105: More like using the radar as a pool-sized toilet, at that!
- Although BBC Radio has banned the entire discography of Lostprophets, they still played the band's hit single "I Knew You Were Trouble" after the fact.
Radar / Radio