Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court: Formal and Informal Politics in the Caliphate of Al-Muqtadir (295-320/908-32) eBury Hill by Peter GabrielNo one used dirty words No one was than mildly salacious to my father s disgruntlement Butveryone was Silvers Edge ethically opposed to the Vietnam war and my mother s nephew was a Navy pilot at risk plus she d lost someone close in the Ia Drang battle never discussed in detail uite mysterious so we as a family were opposed to the unwinnable war Dad s name for itHard to imagine now in this fracturedntertainment landscape but the Smothers Brothers drew 35% THIRTY FIVE PERCENT of the TV viewing audienceand got canceled If someone drew a 35% share today the network xecs would offer their grandchildren as slaves and their houses as rewards to the people who delivered such monster ratings Then wellthat was just ordinary What wasn t ordinary was the men delivering the ratings were young and idealistic and ready to talk about things that were taboo g religious hypocrisy racial politics without hesitation The people who watched the Smothers Brothers were mostly young mostly rich mostly well ducated and almost always all three What an audienceAnd they got canceledEven my arch conservative parents thought that was stupid Can t stop people thinkin and best not to try said Mama What s the use of a Constitution if you can only agree with powerful people asked DadYeah That s what I m sayin after reading this book They didn t back down from any fight and they lost the warbut damn it s hard not to admire their spirit Tommy though comes across as a self righteous little pisher and Dickie as a self absorbed bore But hey they fought a good fight and today s TV landscape looks the way it does in good part because of these guys and their irritating waysSomeone give them a
Show Uick They Re Still uick They re still but who knows for how long If you re interested in this sort of thing and you should be this is well told The attempts to force the Nixon connection at the nd get strained but there s a lot of gold in here Dick People don t tune in to us to listen to us argueTom Some of them didI was one of those people who tuned in between 67 and 69 to listen to Tom and Dick Smothers argue and sing and make me laugh on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour David Bianculli S Hour David Bianculli s Dangerously Funny traces the Brothers career but spends most of it s pages xamining the volution of Tom s Come Hell or High Water: Feminism and the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Central America enlightenment as an antistablishment
PROPONENT IN THE SIXTIES AND HISin the sixties and his battles with the CBS censors over the politicization of the show The controversy itself became fodder for the writers as they made fun of the censors in their skits but Tom s resistance to make the changes being demanded of him ultimately led to the cancellation of the show Tom You can tell who s running the country by how much clothes people wear seeDick Do you mean that some people can afford clothes on and some people have less on Is that what you meanTom That s rightDick I don t understandTom See the ordinary people you d say that the ordinary people are the less onsDick So who s running the countryTom The morons The book itself is hardly a work of literature but it gets the job done in recreating the Autobiography and Other Writings era and telling the story Injoyed reliving a part of my past that still carry fond memories The Smothers have always one of my favorite acts and it was a pleasure to get behind the scenes of one of my favorite childhood variety showsTom Mom liked you bestDick Lower your voiceTom Basso profundo Mom liked you best Well researched detailed backstory on how one of the most inventive and progressive prime time TV shows ver presented got scuttled due to political and censorship issues Covers both sides of the story and puts things in historical perspective to give us the insider scoop on how a show that was an irritant like a grain of sand became a pearl over time An important piece of media history well told The late 1960s Drawing on xtensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players as well as 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 ra David Bianculli delves deep into this riveting story to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this Another book in the Read Aloud With the Wife series Pretty interesting account of the brother s career politics and impact on the current generation of ntertainers Since we inhabit this realm called Good Reads and not say Middling to Fair Reads I am yanked back into reality by that realization David Bianculli s Dangerously Funny is not as it stands an inherently un good read but neither is it particularly scintillating I blazed through it and njoyed it but only because the subjects of 60s pop and political culture issues of creative control and free speech and censorship of artmedia social control and corporate mentalities TV of that ra and the Smothers Brothers themselves hold some interest for me But I think you kind of have to have some Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript experience with the show to really care much about the book I did find it interesting to realize how much Tom Smothers the dumb brother on the show was the creative mastermind and tenacious button pusher whose uncompromising stances and tendency to seek a good scrap ultimately led to the program s cancellationBianculli has done yeoman research and presents the facts inasy to read fashion But in the nd the book really has no flair and Bianculli too often resorts to hyperbole when heroicizing the brothers and their mark on culture This is a common and noticeable tendency of boomers like Bianculli perhaps overvaluing the importance of the pop cultural landmarks of their life The first three uarters of this book rates five stars but the last uarter which should have been omitted turns into a political rant in which Bianculli offers idiotic opinions and lame brain conclusions Bianculli obviously sees the canceling or firing of The Smothers Brothers as some kind of conspiracy and some kind of right wing conspiracy at that rather than what it was Tommy Smothers self destructiveness spiraling out of control Rather than spending so much time trying to uncover blame lsewhere for the battles that ultimately led to the cancellation why didn t Bianculli try to find out what was really going on with Tommy Smothers at the time since he seemed to have unfettered access to the brothers during the writing of the bookThis book offers no new insight into the story although the story itself is chronicled in interesting and lively detail What it doesn t offer is much perspective from Tommy and what was *Going Through His Mind When * through his mind when pulled some of the stupid stunts he did with CBS He doesn t take Tommy to task at all nor challenge him in any way on his actions Nor does Tommy seem to take any real responsibility for the cancellation Instead its offered up as political censorship ignoring the fact that those who censored and ultimately canceled the show weren t opposed to the brothers politics they simply didn t want to offend the viewers on topics such as religion and sex or to offend anyone personally It was never about the political ideas Infamous espousedThe book could have been great if Bianculli had just kept his left wing snarking asides out It wasn t about Democrats versus Republicans as it so often is today It was the younger generation versus thestablishment In fact the Democrats of the 1960s were Walled even conservative than the Republicans It was a Democrat Pastore who talked of censoring the brothers and mostveryone involved in the censoring and ultimate firing of the brothers were Democrats As is still the case in recent years when government censorship is pursued by Democrats such as Tipper Gore Here s a passage from the book that shows how much Bianculli wanted to uncover a right wing conspiracyFinding a smoking gun connecting Richard Nixon directly to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy
hour was a task at which i provedwas a task at which I proved but not for lack of ffort Doesn t this guy have an ditor at Simon Schuster How ca. A 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 xplosive revealing history of the show veteran ntertainment journalist David Bi. .
N someone who spends so much time researching a story ignore the facts he uncovers and come to such idiotic conclusions This is what partisan politics does to a writer The author takes advantage of cooperative sources not only the Smothers Brothers and their collaborators but also a few CBS xecutives to take us behind the scenes of the popular 60s variety show The book occasionally gets caught up in a catalog of guests and sketches but we get a feeling for how the show fit into its time To a present day reader the scalating battle between the show s writers and the network censors could seem inconseuential but Bianculli makes the case for the Smothers Brothers continuing influence on American media I wish this book was a lot about the Smothers Brothers and a lot less about their nonstop battles with CBS Nevertheless it was an interesting blast from the past I remember watching their show as a kid but had forgotten that I picked up most of my teenage musical preferences from them Clearly written and organized and very informative Bianculli had the advantage of full access to the Smothers Brothers and it shows Any of you remember that Firesign Theatre album title Everything You Know is Wrong Well I found out this was true of my memory of the whole Comedy Hour controversy I thought the series Snowbound Seduction ended because of the Vietnam War Pete Seeger s Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and pressure from the Johnson White House when in reality it had to do with falling ratings particularly in the Bible Belt Tommy Smothers intransigence and David Steinberg sdgy biblical routines Even if you remember the whole story better than I did read the book anyway It gives you an In the Surgical Theatre excellent picture of America in a period of profound transformation and of the TV show that for a few brief years was on the cuttingdge of that change If you remember the Smothers Brothers read this book for a tiptoe thru the tulips I know it was on a competing
show but timeliness was the aim buried under the neiges d antan If ither phrase has left youbut timeliness was the aim buried under the neiges d antan If ither phrase has left you your wig holder look THAT up
IN YOUR FUNK AND WAGNALLSBUT DONyour Funk and WagnallsBut don read this rather dense somewhat longwinded recap of the three season run of the Smothers Brothers s show It will mean little to you and the density of the behind the scenes material won t fascinate The author clearly knows his onions about TV about the time period and about the brothers His style isn t sparkling but it is very informative and it s never dry Just thick Like a fallen souffle it still has the savor but the texture s just a little offI grew up on Smothers Brothers material because my sisters are both much older than I am so were listening to their albums and Kingston Trio albums and Vaughn Meader albums and Bob Newhart albums sigh What a way to grow up Then along came the Beatles and out went Hometown Valentine everythinglseexcept the Smothers Brothers the ldest sister was a granola and granny gowns girl to the horror of our Balenciaga wearing motherSo along comes the TV show the clean cut young men put on on Sunday night opposite Bonanza which neither of my parents cared diddly about if it had been opposite Gunsmoke I d ve never ven heard of it the closing in on 50 mom and closing in on 40 dad tried to be gravy joke on groovy slang of the timesthey were as inept at modern slang as I am and you will be youngsters by watching it with their teens and the cabooseWe all loved it Pat Paulsen was so funny that my arch conservative parents thought he was the highlght of the show with his first time ver done fake run for President My sisters loved Share Tea with Goldie with a flower child making in jokes about drugs that Mama and Daddy didn t get I was in love with Mason Williams of Classical Gas fame Still one of my very favorite pieces of pop music up there with In Your Eyes and Sols. Anculli 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.