Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour - Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of the Smother Brothers Comedy Hour [Documentary]

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Item:  TMEL 23332D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 32 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 2002
  • Label: WEA / Time Life
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , , , &
Featured: , , , &
Directed by
Music by
Written by
Produced by

Entertainment Reviews:

USA Today - 02/07/2003
"...[The clips] demonstrate that the show is still funny..."

Product Description:

Focusing on an important time in American television history, SMOTHERED is a documentary about the Emmy award-winning CBS television show THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR, originally broadcast between 1967 and 1969. With their affable demeanor, traditional folk-tune routines, and and semi-Vaudevillian comedy, Tom and Dick Smothers delighted and challenged their faithful audience. Interviews with celebrity writers, performers, and news makers such as Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Rob Reiner peppered the show with dynamic conversation. In addition, the show's open forum for Vietnam War protest and commentary on the popular drug culture of the time stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Week after week, censors banned whole segments. One of the most famous instances of censorship was singer Pete Seeger's performance of the antiwar anthem, "Waist Deep In The Big Muddy." Eventually, the show's social consciousness was the reason for its undoing, and it was cancelled, despite being the first program to give the long-running, seemingly unchallengeable BONANZA a run for its ratings money.

As seen on the Bravo Network, SMOTHERED is directed by Maureen Muldaur. Including previously unavailable material, the film reveals the complete story behind the show's cancellation. The Smothers Brothers themselves get in on the storytelling action, making this an indispensable guide to a ground breaking television show and its impact on the culture of the era.

Plot Keywords:

Documentary | Politics | Television Personalities | Television Programs

Production Notes:

  • Mason Williams, a writer and frequent performer on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR, scored an unlikely top ten hit, "Classical Gas," during the run of the show.
  • THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR featured some of the earliest writing work of comedian Steve Martin, nearly a decade before he shot to superstardom.
  • One of the featured performers on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR was Bob Einstein, who appeared regularly as the character Officer Judy. Einstein would later be recognized for his persona Super Dave, a parody of Evil Kenevil.
  • THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR was CBS' second attempt at a vehicle for Dick & Tommy Smothers. The first was a short-lived 1965 sitcom which starred Tommy as an angel who showed up at Dick's door.
  • The SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR was cancelled by CBS in 1969. The Smothers Brothers attempted to bring the show back, appealing to other networks, but did not succeed. In the late '80s, CBS invited the duo for a reunion special which led to another short-lived variety series featuring many of the regulars.
  • One of the popular recurring bits on the SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR featured comedian Pat Paulsen in a mock-run for the 1968 presidential election. There was some worry that Hubert Humphrey might lose votes to a write-in campaign for Paulsen.
  • THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR helped the career of singer Glen Campbell, whose guest appearance on T.S.B.C.H. lead him to to get his own popular CBS show, THE GLEN CAMPBELL GOOD TIME HOUR.
  • While best known for its counterculture connections, the SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR featured a number of stars such as Jimmy Durante, Bette Davis, Kate Smith, Nelson Riddle, and Robert Kennedy.

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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 92,546
  • UPC: 610583353297
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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