If you were one of the people who missed Saturday's SNL (a demographic that's growing more and more these days,) you may have missed the live unraveling of a memorable (possibly fatal) botch from new featured player, Jenny Slate. In an otherwise uneventful premiere of the venerable variety show, which featured Megan Fox as the host, Slate was in a sketch with veteran cast member, Kristin Wiig as a "biker chick" who was to say the word "frickin" in just about every line. The ill-fated catchphrase attempt would be misspoken as Slate would end up accidentally uttering the other F-word (NSFW) in which "frickin'" generally serves to replace.
This is hardly the first time that the "dreaded word" has made its way on the air during the course of SNL's 35 years (by both cast members and musical guests.) However, history has shown that punishment for the deed can often depend on the question of whether or not the cast member is expendable. Perhaps, the most infamous and frequently-cited example of a cast member having the book thrown at him, was the 1981 incident of the f-word during the "Goodnights" segment by ill-fated Weekend Update Anchor, the late Charles Rocket. (Although, most of the cast members, as well as exec-producer, Jean Doumanian were purged from the show after that disastrous season, leaving only Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo to remain.)
SNL made headlines about a month ago when they cut female featured players Casey Wilson and Michaela Watkins. (Although, I don't know why, as they cut featured players ALL THE TIME.) While the incident looked to be unintentional, it will be difficult to see what kind of repercussions (if any) will occur for Slate (who, with Nasim Pedrad, replaced the departed temp cast members.)
From the standpoint of an entertainment fan, I think the show has much more to worry about than a headline-generating botch. This isn't a story about the "offensiveness" of that word, but rather how network brass react to it being on the federally-regulated public airwaves. If anything, it was the only relevant moment of the show, which also had to squeeze THREE performances out of musical guest, U2. The show is currently in that place it sometimes ends up in some seasons, where they've hit the creative wall and need to once again find its own roots. (Funny sketches, a decent impersonator who legitimately lampoons the sitting President for the cold opening, etc.) They've clearly got some work to do, but they've also bounced back on more than one occasion.