A look back in time
There are many ways to make people shut up, the legal system is but one of many and the others deserve attention too. Imagine anyone doing roughly the same sketch today, only replace the ‘confused old gasbag’ with a similar ‘confused old gasbag’ who also happens to be a middle aged muslim who didn’t like the show:
If I was the producer in question in a real world setting of the proposed ‘updated’ sketch, the main reason why I wouldn’t dare say what Fry says openly in this sketch would not be that I’d be afraid of a lawsuit; I wouldn’t say it because saying it would mean that somebody might attempt to break my legs or kill me. I think it’s fair to say that back then, it was easier and safer to simply ignore the nutters than it is today.