DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
40 Years Ago -- On April 3, 1969 -- CBS Fired the Smothers Brothers
April 3, 2009  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment
 
blue-suits-color.jpg

Okay, I'm obsessed. And I'm writing the final chapters of my book on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, so this date is foremost in my brain right now.

Forty years ago -- on April 3, 1969 -- CBS fired the Smothers Brothers.

Their variety series already had been renewed for a fourth season when CBS pulled the plug. "Fired, not cancelled," is what Tom always says when talking about the show, and it's a crucial distinction. Ostensibly, the brothers were fired for not delivering tapes of their shows in time for preview by affiliates, but what really did them in was using their prime time show to say something that mattered.

Or try to.

The show that was pulled by CBS and never shown, the one with the second comic sermonette by David Steinberg, ended with Tom acknowledging something no other prime-time TV was prepared to do that weekend. He noted the first anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and said, "Let's hope his dream will someday come true."

In prime time, on broadcast TV, that type of political passion from an entertainment program was as rare then as it is now. Back to the book And on days like this, when I realize how singularly brave and important a show Comedy Hour was, I can't get back quickly enough...

 

1 Comment

 

Bill Brioux said:

Plus, don't forget that other anniversary--it was 39 years, 11 months and three weeks ago that David Bianculli first started working on his Smothers Brothers book. Did you say you were working on the LAST CHAPTER??? Congrats, dude. (Very funny, sir. And I'm closer. Finished another one last night, with not many left to go. -- David B.)

Comment posted on April 3, 2009 4:59 PM
 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
SDLKJ
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
1 Comments
 
 
Karen D Pearson
How backward people were then (and still). I was born August 1945 in the city of Lawrence KS; where basket ball was invented Univ of KS. I grew up with people from other countries and from different states. I'm glad I grew up in Lawrence in the 50's & 60's. Also with great parents and LOTS of Aunts, Uncles and cousins I had. Back in my father's days he was manager of B.F. Goodrich and everyone knew and liked him (he was born and raised in Iowa and Neb.) My mother was born and raised her early years in a small town close to Lawrence. The other half of the town knew her. As the saying goes: "Those were the days". I REALLY am sorry for other people who are so STUPID, they really miss out on knowing some really nice people. KDP
Jul 16, 2019   |  Reply
 
Kim from SK
Just googled because of your basketball comment...just as an FYI - "James Naismith, a Canadian who moved to the United States, invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1890s. This new sport soon became popular as an indoor sport that needed a minimal equipment, gaining popularity at high schools and colleges in Canada."
Aug 14, 2019
 
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: