About The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was extremely popular with younger viewers during its 1967-1969 run. That fact alone probably doomed it from the start.
What socially conscious teens and twenty-somethings wanted to hear during the Vietnam War era was exactly what CBS didn’t want Tom and Dick Smothers to talk about. And they sure didn’t want musical guests like Simon & Garfunkel to sing about it, or The Who to smash their instruments in angry revolt.
But that didn’t stop the Brothers or comedians like Pat Paulsen and David Steinberg. The Smother Brothers consistently locked horns with the CBS censors regarding content, which led to the show’s cancellation in April of 1969. Ironically, the series had just been renewed for a fourth season.
Looked at today, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is a vital time capsule. The writers – including comics like Steve Martin, Rob Reiner, and Bob “Super Dave” Einstein – won one Emmy and were nominated for another. Despite its relatively short run, The Smothers Brothers was arguably the most controversial and transformative variety show of its time.
Notable guest stars: Bette Davis, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, Mickey Rooney, Janet Leigh
Produced by Saul ilson, Ernest Chambers, Alan Blyem George Sunga (Emmy nominees). Art direction by Romain Johnston and set decoration by Charles Kreiner (Emmy nominees). Written by Allan Blye, Bob Einstein, Murray Roman, Carl Gottlieb, Lorenzo Music, Steve Martin, Cecil Tuck, Paul Wayne, Cy Howard, Mason Williams (Emmy winners) and Ted Bergman, Sam Bobrick, Ernest Chambers, Ron Clark, Gene Farmer, Hal Goldman, Al Gordon and Saul Ilson (Emmy nominees)