The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Season 3

by Andrew Gilstrap

10 December 2009

 

In the late ‘60’s the Smothers Brothers were ruffling feathers, raking in huge ratings, and getting canceled in the process. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season 3, a DVD release that’s as much a history lesson as it is a comedy show. In addition to 11 uncensored episodes (presumably, the full 26-episode season isn’t available due to licensing issues), the set also contains a ‘60s retrospective, interviews, rehearsal footage, the brothers’ post-cancellation press conference, a 2000 Comedy Hour reunion, scans of more than 100 documents relating to the show’s censorship battles, and even a whole disc dedicated to hangdog comedian Pat Paulsen’s presidential runs. And, of course, deleted footage—which, in the case of the Comedy Hour, reaches far beyond your usual cutting room fare. Time and time again, The Smothers Brothers used humor—both light and dark—to reflect the world that existed outside of the studio doors. They ended up getting fired in the midst of their third season, but their show’s short run left an indelible mark on the television landscape. This set will make a John Stewart fan grin and a Rush Limbaugh fan cringe—give wisely.

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