Weekend report: ‘The Contest’ turns 20; Colbert gets waxed; and a perv is busted

Today in TV history: The greatest “Seinfeld” episode ever — “The Contest” — aired 20 years ago. “Today if a current sitcom tackled this same subject it wouldn’t be a big deal,” writes Houston Press’s Craig Hlavaty, but “censors in 1992 were still scared of the m-word.”

Some viewers were shocked that an entire episode would be about masturbation, including a woman who complained to the Orlando Sentinel. Her letter was published on Dec. 17, 1992:

Did you happen to watch Seinfeld on Nov. 18? I thought it was just awful. (The show dealt indirectly with masturbation.) As a senior citizen I’ve seen and heard a lot. Twenty-five years working in hospitals introduced me to all sorts of off-color humor. Until that show I enjoyed Seinfeld. Now I don’t know if I want to watch it or not.

“Go ahead. I don’t think they’re planning a sequel,” responded Greg Dawson, then the Sentinel’s TV critic.

* Seinfeld’s Most Salacious Episode, “The Contest,” Turns 20 (houstonpress.com)
* Retro-recapping of a classic “Seinfeld” episode (zap2it.com)

More to read…
* Cleveland Plain Dealer editor and publisher: “We do not have a specific plan, timeline or structure for [what’s next for the paper]. But we will — very soon.” (cleveland.com) | A song to save the Plain Dealer. (youtube.com)
* TV anchor’s Facebook post about Rachel Maddow wasn’t hate speech, says Plain Dealer columnist. (cleveland.com)
* No Ben Bradlee: Marcus Brauchli’s leadership style was too understated for some Washington Post staffers. (washingtonpost.com)
* Rupert Murdoch’s tweet “is more than just dumb,” writes Peter Beinart. “It’s also offensive, both to journalists and Jews.” (thedailybeast.com) | I “apologise unreservedly,” tweets Murdoch. (@rupertmurdoch) | It’s not his first Twitter fumble. (nytimes.com)
* Tribune Co. is expected to exit bankruptcy “over the course of the next several weeks.” (chicagobusiness.com) | Who will buy the Los Angeles Times? (ocregister.com)
* The man posing as a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalist and trying to set up photo shoots with teen girls has been arrested. (jsonline.com)

Real Colbert and wax.

* Stephen Colbert looks at his wax figure and declares: “I’m so beautiful.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Newsweek veterans are planning two “celebrations” of the magazine. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Windows 8 promo on Conde Nast magazine covers raises eyebrows. (adage.com)
* Tacoma News Tribune editor: “Brace yourselves” for our redesign. “We’re about to do something radical.” (thenewstribune.com)
* Newhouse family’s American City Business Journals acquires Streetwise Media. (bizjournals.com)
* Arizona State University’s State Press goes from 5 days a week in print to just one. (downtowndevil.com)