Dangerously Funny by David Bianculli
The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"

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Synopsis

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.
 

About David Bianculli

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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.
 
Published November 26, 2009 by Touchstone. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dangerously Funny

Kirkus Reviews

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A comprehensive history of the embattled, groundbreaking variety program The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Dangerously Funny: The Uncens...

BC Books

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A in-depth yet readable look at the influence of this short-lived prime time network television series.

Jan 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Dangerously Funny: The Uncens...

BC Books

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“It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. May we never groq so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our ...

Oct 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Dangerously Funny: The Uncens...

The Star

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Tommy and Dick Smothers are pushed against the man and paid the price. Today they stand as trailblazers, proof that popular culture always wins.

Dec 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Dangerously Funny: The Uncens...

The Moderate Voice

Once upon a time — specifically, 1967 — Tom and Dick Smothers, a rising brother comedy team folks singing parody nightclub act, a big hit on Jack Paar’s Tonight show, and The Jack Benny Show, were given their own TV show on Sunday nights almost as sacrificial lambs to try and take on the NBC powe...

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Dangerously Funny: The Uncens...

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