The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour – Best of Season 3
**UPLOADER NOTE** - The introduction and explanation for this one gets a bit tricky, because it will have to be a little long. This show and its problems were nearly unique in American History, so please take the time to read this.
The key details to this story will be listed below in a section copied from Wikipedia, but the basics are these: This is the ONLY show in American TV history (until Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect in 2001) to be fired instead of cancelled. Originally picked up as a CBS sacrificial goat to go up against powerhouse “Bonanza” in 1967, in quickly found a place in the hearts of younger viewers and won its timeslot. At first ignored by the CBS Network, the show began to feature political aspects and guest stars reflecting the leftwing views of the Smothers Brothers. This led to increased (and fairly silly) censorship on the part of the Network, until CBS found a technical excuse to dump the show in 1969, despite high ratings. Today, it is seen as one of the most memorable examples of the 1960-70s era fights for free speech (Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, et al), and most of the many DVD Extras included here deal with that.
The 4-Disc DVD collection itself features introductions and wrap-up material on the selected episodes from the Smothers Brothers. The entertainment (even WITH the political stuff, in my opinion) is fairly generic 1960s variety fluff. Some decent gags, a lot of out-dated cheese, a few really great moments. That era’s bad filming techniques and degraded video tape medium is also here, so no griping about the video quality! There are no subtitles. Anyone old enough to remember these when they were aired may also notice the occasional changed song or missing advertised guest star – these are NOT due to censorship, but rather to the occasional failure to negotiate rights from various sources to the material when this was released on DVD in 2008. I do not believe any season OTHER than season 3 has ever been released. Also, this collection features the famous Pat Paulson for President material, which is absolutely hysterical.
Finally, there is a 2002 Documentary called SMOTHERED (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348056/) that I wanted to include in this torrent, but it is on lengthy back order. It covers this whole mess in great detail, and I hope to torrent it soon. There is also a book called “Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (http://tinyurl.com/p3w6hh) due out in 2010 that should go into finer detail for all those interested.
There are at this time few to no torrents available of the many Smothers Brothers comedy albums. I have most of them on vinyl, but getting them ripped and torrented would be time-consuming and scratchy. If anybody has a decent CD of these albums, PLEASE get them up and torrented. OK, details delivered, what follows is technical data and background notes from Wikipedia. Read ‘em or don’t.
Video Codec..........: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate........: 449kbps
The Smothers Brothers are an American music-and-comedy team, consisting of the brothers Tom ("Tommy") and Dick Smothers. The brothers' trademark act was performing folk songs (Tommy on acoustic guitar, Dick on string bass), which usually led to arguments between the siblings. Tommy's signature line was, "Mom always liked you best!" Tommy (the elder of the two) acted "slow," and Dick, the straight man, acted "superior."
In the 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and issued several popular record albums of their stage performances. Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most influential and controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era, due to being very politically left. Despite popular success, the brothers' penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream (and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture) led to their program's cancellation by the CBS network in 1969.
It was The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for which the Smothers Brothers became best known. Premiering in February 1967, it started out as only a slightly "hip" version of the typical comedy-variety show of its era, but rapidly evolved into a show that extended the boundaries of what was considered permissible in television satire. While the Smothers themselves were at the forefront of these efforts, a large portion of the credit also goes to the roster of writers and regular performers they brought to the show, some of whom would go on to become some of the biggest names in comedy, including Steve Martin, Don Novello ("Father Guido Sarducci"), Rob Reiner ("Mike Stivic"), Presidential candidate Pat Paulsen, Bob Einstein ("Super Dave Osborne" and "Officer Judy"), Einstein's brother, Albert (who works professionally as Albert Brooks), and resident hippie Leigh French ("Share a Little Tea with Goldie"). The show also introduced audiences to pop singer Jennifer Warnes (originally billed as Jennifer Warren or simply Jennifer), who was a regular on the series. The television premiere of Mason Williams' hit record, Classical Gas, took place on the show; Williams was also the head writer for the series.
The series showcased new musical artists that other comedy-variety shows rarely gave airtime, due to the nature of their music or their political affiliations. George Harrison, Joan Baez, Cass Elliot, Harry Belafonte, Cream, Donovan, The Doors, Janis Ian, Jefferson Airplane, Peter, Paul and Mary, Spanky and Our Gang, Steppenwolf, The Who, and even Pete Seeger were showcased during the latter years of the show despite the advertiser-sensitive nature of their music.
Seeger's appearance was his first appearance on network television since being blacklisted in the 1950s; it became controversial because of his song choice: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, an anti-war song that the network perceived was an insult to Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam War policy. The song was censored on Seeger's first appearance but permitted on a later appearance.
The performance by The Who was another defining moment in the series. As they often did during that period, The Who destroyed their instruments at the conclusion of their performance of My Generation. However, a "sloppy" stage hand, at the request of the band, had overloaded Keith Moon's bass drum with explosives. When they were detonated, the explosion was so intense that Moon was injured by cymbal shrapnel and, allegedly, Pete Townshend's hearing was permanently damaged, in addition to singeing some of Pete's hair.
In 1968, the show broadcast in successive weeks "music videos" (not called that at the time) for The Beatles' popular songs Hey Jude and Revolution. Before a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Forum, Jimi Hendrix dedicated I Don't Live Today to the Smothers Brothers, as heard on The Jimi Hendrix Box Set.
Controversies and cancellation
With the focus of the show having evolved towards a more youth-oriented one, the show became both popular and controversial for those same references to youth culture and the issues that both interested and affected this particular target audience. Three specific targets of satire — racism, the President of the United States, and the Vietnam War — would wind up defining the show's content for the remainder of its run, and eventually lead to its demise.
Whereas most older audiences were tuning into shows like the western Bonanza, the younger generation — ages 15–25 — were watching the Smothers' more socially relevant humor.
The Brothers soon found themselves in regular conflicts with CBS' network censors. At the start of the 1968/69 season, the network ordered that the Smothers deliver their shows finished and ready to air ten days before airdate so that the censors could edit the shows as necessary. In the season premiere, CBS deleted the entire segment of Belafonte singing against a backdrop of the havoc during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with two lines from a satire of their main competitor, Bonanza. As the year progressed, battles over content continued, including a David Steinberg sermon about Moses and the Burning Bush.
With some local stations making their own deletions of controversial skits or comments, the continuing problems over the show reached a boiling point after CBS showed a rerun on March 9, 1969. The network explained the decision by stating that because that week's episode did not arrive in time to be previewed, it would not be shown. In that program, Joan Baez paid tribute to her then-husband–David Harris–who was entering jail after refusing military service, while comedian Jackie Mason made a joke about children "playing doctor." When the show finally did air, two months later, the network allowed Baez to state that her husband was in prison, but edited out the reason.
Despite the conflict, the show was picked up for the 1969/70 season on March 14, seemingly ending the debate over the show's status. However, network CEO and President, William S. Paley, abruptly canceled the show on April 4, 1969. The reason given by CBS was based on the Smothers' refusal to meet the pre-air delivery dates as specified by the network in order to accommodate review by the censors before airing. This cancellation led the Brothers to file a successful breach of contract suit against the network, although the suit failed to see the Brothers or their show returned to the air. Despite this cancellation, the show went on to win the Emmy Award that year for best writing. The saga of the cancellation of the show is the subject of a 2002 documentary film, Smothered.
• 1961: Live at the Purple Onion
• 1962: The Two Sides of the Smothers Brothers
• 1963: Think Ethnic!
• 1963: Curb Your Tongue, Knave
• 1964: It Must Have Been Something I Said!
• 1965: Tour de Farce: American History and Other Unrelated Subjects
• 1965: Aesop's Fables
• 1966: Mom Always Liked You Best!
• 1966: The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight
• 1968: Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
• 1969: Golden Hits of the Smothers Brothers, Vol. 2
• 1988: Sibling Revelry: The Best of the Smothers Brothers
Full Torrent Contents:
SBCH - 202 - Mama Cass - Harry Belefonte - Pat Paulson.avi
SBCH - 206 - Pat Paulson for President Special.avi
SBCH - 209 - Donovan - Dion - Jennifer Warnes - George Harrison.avi
SBCH - 212 - Bob Newhart - Cast of Hair - Paul Hampton - First Edition.avi
SBCH - 213 - George Carlin - The Doors - The Committee.avi
SBCH - 216 - Jackie Mason - Ray Charles.avi
SBCH - 219 - Liberace - Hedge & Donna - David Frye.avi
SBCH - 221 - Jonathan Winters - Leigh French - Judy Collins.avi
SBCH - 223 - Joan Baez - Jackie Mason - The Committee.avi
SBCH - 226 - Ike & Tina Turner - Mason Williams - Pat Paulson - Biff Rose.avi
SBCH - 227 - Anthony Newley - Leigh French - The Clingers.avi
SBCH - Never Aired Episode - David Steinberg - Nancy Wilson - Dan Rowan.avi
SBCH - Typical Episode Photo Spread.jpg
SBCH DVD Cover.jpg
SBCH DVD Extra - 2000 Aspen Comedy Arts Festival Seminar (Feat. Writers & SB).avi
SBCH DVD Extra - A Fable For Our Time.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Assorted Guest Stars Singing Theme Song.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Bob Einstein Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Bob Newhart Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Bob Newhart Rehearsal.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - David Steinberg Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Dr. Benjamin Spock Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Emmy Award Acceptance Speech After Firing.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Full 20-Minute Jackie Mason Performance.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Full Joan Baez Performance (That Caused All The Fuss).avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Harry Belefonte Interview about Censored song.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Interview with Doors' Drummer John Densmore.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Interview with filmmaker Chuck Braverman.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Joan Baez Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Judy Collins Interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Mom Liked You Best (Mom smacks Dickie Smothers).avi
SBCH DVD Extra - On Air Q&A About Censorship after Belefonte segment was cut.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Only Surviving CBS SBCH Promos.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Post Firing Press Conference.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Producer Allan Blye interview.avi
SBCH DVD Extra - Rob Reiner Interview.avi
DVD Extra - Archive Footage of Mock Interviews supporting Paulson.avi
DVD Extra - Archive Footage of Paulson with Robert Kennedy.avi
DVD Extra - E! Promo for 1968 Presidential Special.avi
DVD Extra - Pat Paulson Addresses the DNC.avi
DVD Extra - Pat Paulson Presidential Special Promo.avi
DVD Extra - Pat Paulson Visits the White House.avi
DVD Extra - Pat Paulson's 1992 Campaign (Comedy Act).avi
DVD Extra - Paulson's 1996 Campaign Frozen TV Dinner Fundraiser.avi
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour – Best of Season 3 Notes.txt