Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"

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Simon and Schuster, Dec 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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An unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour -- the provocative, politically charged program that shocked the censors, outraged the White House, and forever changed the face of television.

Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. In this first-ever all-access history of the show, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli tells the fascinating story of its three-year network run -- and the cultural impact that's still being felt today.

Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of comedy legends such as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s.

Drawing on extensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players -- as well as more than a decade's worth of original research -- Dangerously Funny brings readers behind the scenes for all the battles over censorship, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches that defined the show and its era.

David Bianculli delves deep into this never-told story, to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this day.
 

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Worth the money!

User Review  - thayermom - Overstock.com

I really enjoyed this book. If youve never seen their shows or havent seen them for years this book is a great blow by blow account of the history of their careers. At times it does feel repetitive ... Read full review

Contents

The Birth of the Smothers Brothers
1
The Smothers BrothersAll Three of Them
10
Tom and Dick Shoot for Paar
23
The Smothers Brothers on the Record
35
High Noon on the Ponderosa
52
Revolution in a Shoe Box
60
The Smothers Brothers
74
Testing the CBS Censorsthe First Encounters
82
The Summer Brothers Smothers Show
179
Were Still Here
193
Meet the BeatlesThis Time on Comedy Hour
206
Pat Paulsen for President
212
David Steinberg Finds Religion
227
Hair Today Gone Tomorrow
234
Beeping Censors Lurking in the Wings
256
Classics and Controversies
270

From Hit Status to Elaine May Not
91
Becoming More Creative and More Substantive
107
Pat Paulsen Leigh French
117
Breaking the Blacklist of Pete Seeger
129
The Who Explodes
140
The Generation Gap Widens Even on TV
146
Wading Back into The Big Muddy
166
Classical Gas
174
Fired Not Canceled
285
The Aftermath the Bedin and the Trial
309
After the Fall and Couples Therapy
332
The Smothers Brothers Legacy
343
Acknowledgments
361
Bibliography
365
Index
373
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About the author (2009)

David Bianculli has been a television critic for more than thirty years, currently on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and at www.tvworthwatching.com. He is also the author of two books on television and its impact: Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously and Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television’s 500 Biggest Hits, Misses, and Events.

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