DAVID BIANCULLI

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Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame: The Smothers Brothers Get Inducted, Not Indicted
January 21, 2010  | By David Bianculli
 
I was an invited guest at Wednesday's Academy of Television Arts & Sciences dinner honoring new inductees into the Hall of Fame -- and it didn't dawn on me, until dawn the next morning, that I had forgotten to take notes. I was there because of, and to support, Tom and Dick Smothers, and just enjoyed the evening thoroughly.

For a TV critic, historian and professor, the whole night was a dream...

Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, who was there to introduce famed announcer Don Pardo, prefaced his remarks by giving credit to the Smothers Brothers for all the cutting-edge comedy that has come since. So did Rob Reiner, who introduced Tom and Dick, and who gave them credit not only for his career (his first show-biz job was as a writer on their Summer Brothers Smothers Show), but for paving the way for All in the Family and other envelope-pushing series.

Other inductees included Candice Bergen, introduced by Murphy Brown creator Diane English, and the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, whose induction was written and presented by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane impishly, and accurately, compared NBC's third-year cancellation of Star Trek to today's boneheaded handling of the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien mess.

NBC, he explained, "was not known for good programming decisions even back then," which got a huge laugh from the crowd in the Beverly Hills Hotel ballroom.

Speaking of which... just this morning (Thursday), NBC issued a press release making it official: Beginning March 1, Jay Leno will return as host of The Tonight Show. Nowhere in the seven-paragraph press release was Conan O'Brien mentioned by name, or his tenure as current host of The Tonight Show acknowledged.

Another bit of class from the network that O'Brien has served loyally since 1993. Way to go, NBC. You're not only "More Colorful." You're More Classless.

 

1 Comments

 

Rich said:

They could do an 'Updated' version of their song of "But We're Still Here!". I'm sure they owe this honor to loyal fans like yourself.

I will never forget how cool that video montage of The History of the country (in paintings & snap shots) was. Quite revolutionary for their time.

Comment posted on January 21, 2010 9:08 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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