The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) - News Poster

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'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' at 50: The Rise and Fall of a Groundbreaking Variety Show

Two boy-next-door brothers — Dickie, a skilled, rhythmic straight man, and Tommy, a naive-looking comic genius — singing folk songs and improvising comedic conversations about everything and nothing, and who mom liked best: This was CBS' The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Their antics turned television upside down, blending slapstick humor with political satire, making them comedic heroes who blazed the trail followed today by satirists such as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee.

Premiering on Feb. 5, 1967, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour launched the careers of wet-behind-the-ears writers and performers including Rob Reiner (All in the Family), Bob...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Glen Campbell Remembrance: The Battle With CBS To Get Him The Smothers Brothers’ Summer Slot

Ken Fritz was a co-executive producer of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and was instrumental in getting The Summer Brothers Smothers Show (subsequently The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour) greenlighted as its summer replacement in 1969. But it wasn't easy, with CBS censors already nervous about the Smothers' brand of irreverent humor. In a guest column for Deadline a day after Campbell’s death, Fritz reveals how the censors finally relented: In the late '60s The Smothers Br…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Entertainment News: ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ Glen Campbell Dies at 81

Nashville – Glen Campbell had many acts in his long career – sought after session guitarist, singer, TV & movie star and country personality – but his greatest contribution to culture may be the 2011 public announcement of his Alzheimer’s disease, and the documentary about the condition, “I’ll Be Me.” Campbell died on August 8th, 2017. He was 81.

The amiable persona he built as a pop music star was amplified by his variety show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” which ran on CBS-tv from 1969 to 1972. The show opened every week with his hit song “Gentle on My Mind,” and featured the good time personality of Campbell interacting with the guests and musical acts, which included an eclectic mix of artists like Ray Charles, The Monkees, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, The Righteous Brothers, Liza Minnelli and Tom Jones. And this was all before his signature song, “Rhinestone Cowboy,” became an unlikely number one hit in
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

"Hee-haw: The Collector's Edition", 14 DVD Set Released By Time Life

  • CinemaRetro
Time Life has released the retro TV comedy series "Hee Haw" as a 14-dvd boxed set. Here is the official press release:

Program Description

Pickin’ and grinnin’, singin’ and spinnin’ tall tales and corny jokes, the citizens of Kornfield Kounty landed on television in 1969 with the arrival of Hee Haw as a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. With a cast of down-to-earth characters including Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell, knee-slapping comedic zingers, and jaw-dropping musical performances, the comedy-variety show, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, captivated the country. In 1971, after two successful years, CBS dropped the show in an effort to “de-countrify” the network’s programming; however, it was quickly picked up and aired for the next 21 years, making Hee Haw the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in television history.

In a new-to-retail set, Hee Haw: The Collector’S Edition offers 14 Hee-larious
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Michael Dann, CBS Programming Chief in 1960s, Dies at 94

Michael Dann, CBS Programming Chief in 1960s, Dies at 94
Michael Dann, the longtime CBS executive who steered the network’s winning primetime strategy in the 1960s with hokey and hip shows ranging from “The Beverly Hillbillies” to “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” has died. He was 94.

Dann died May 27 at his home in Boca Raton, Fla., according to the New York Times.

Dann held the role of CBS programming chief from 1963 until 1970, when he was replaced by his protege, Fred Silverman. Hits delivered on Dann’s watch included “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Mannix” and the venerable “60 Minutes.”

Dann’s long run at CBS was credited in part to his “uncanny ability to gauge (CBS chief) William Paley’s probable reaction to most program ideas,” according to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Dann brought the Smothers Brothers to CBS, but then battled with the brothers and producers over the show’s liberal political bent.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Frank Sinatra Jr. Dies at 72

  • PEOPLE.com
Frank Sinatra Jr. Dies at 72
[Brightcove "4804745844001" "" "" "auto"] Frank Sinatra Jr., who not only carried his father's name but his musical legacy as well, has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 72. In a statement to the Associated Press, the family said that the musician died unexpectedly on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack while touring in Daytona Beach, Florida. The statement said that the family was in mourning over the passing of their son, brother, father and uncle. The family has not released any further details. Sinatra released seven albums during his life, and appeared on multiple TV shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Dean Martin Show.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Watch the Who Bring Rousing 'Who Are You' to 'Tonight Show'

Watch the Who Bring Rousing 'Who Are You' to 'Tonight Show'
A night after the Who brought their 50th anniversary tour to New York's Madison Square Garden, the rock legends dropped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to make their first U.S. late-night performance in nearly a decade. For the visit, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend delivered a rousing take on "Who Are You," featuring a phenomenal, climatic solo by the guitar god.

The Who's Tonight Show performance marked the first time the band had appeared on an American late-night show since September 2006, when Daltrey and Townshend appeared on
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Flashback: Watch the Who Blow Up 'Smothers Brothers' in Primetime

Flashback: Watch the Who Blow Up 'Smothers Brothers' in Primetime
Editor's Note: The original version of this story misidentified the last time the Who had been on a late-night talk show. The text has been corrected and Rolling Stone apologizes for the error.

The Who kicked off a new, North American leg of their Who Hits 50! Tour this week and will perform tonight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Although the group's members have appeared on late-night talk shows individually since then, and Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend appeared as a duo version of the Who on Letterman in
See full article at Rolling Stone »

AFI Honoree Steve Martin Is More Than Just a Comedian

AFI Honoree Steve Martin Is More Than Just a Comedian
Steve Martin isn’t someone who’s expecting to live on in posterity.

“I think it’s misguided if you actually believe you’re going be remembered,” he says. “There’s so many great artists, so many great writers filling up the shelves consuming essentially airtime and people fall by the wayside as time goes on. I don’t have any pretensions to any of that.”

The comedian, actor, writer, producer and banjo player was speaking by phone the morning after his final visit to “Late Show With Letterman” and before he began filming Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” — and about a month before he receives the 2015 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Given the list of film luminaries who have accepted AFI’s highest kudo before him — including Spielberg, Scorsese, Welles, Streep, Streisand, Hoffman, et al — he said he was “surprised” when learning he was following in their footsteps.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Unexpected Resurgence of the Comedy Duo

  • Vulture
The Unexpected Resurgence of the Comedy Duo
Not all that long ago, way back in the 1990s, when every other stand-up comedian was getting a sitcom deal and every funny group of friends was aiming to be the next Kids in the Hall, the comedy duo looked to be nearly extinct. At the very least, the duo, or double act — that foundational comedic configuration, the straight man and the quipster, the stooge and the bananaman, the fat one and the skinny one — seemed quaint, archaic, and prepped for retirement. Sure, it had given us Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Nichols and May, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and the Smothers Brothers, but that was precisely the point: By the end of the 20th century in American comedy, the duo hadn’t felt really relevant since the 1960s, possibly since the 1930s. They had the whiff of vaudeville about
See full article at Vulture »

Steve Martin to receive lifetime achievement award by Amber Wilkinson - 2014-10-04 23:35:46

Comic Steve Martin will be honoured with the 43rd American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating his career in film. The award will be presented to Martin at a gala tribute in Los Angeles, California on June 4, 2015.

Martin began his career writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, winning an Emmy in 1969. He went on to forge a career in comedy before his first film - seven-minute short The Absent-Minded Waiter - was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977. His break-out role came in 1979's The Jerk, which he also co-wrote, and he went on to star in a string of comedy hits, including Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Little Shop Of Horrors and Planes, Trains And Automobiles.

Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees Sir Howard Stringer said: "Steve Martin is an American original. From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

AFI to honour Steve Martin

  • ScreenDaily
AFI to honour Steve Martin
The comedian and entertainer will collect the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 4, 2015.

Steve Martin is an American original,” said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI’s board of trustees. “From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution.

“His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author – and a national treasure whose work has stuck with us like an arrow in the head. AFI is proud to present him with its 43rd Life Achievement Award.”

Martin began his career writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, winning an Emmy for his efforts in 1969.

Successive TV appearances led to a breakout film role in The Jerk, spawning a long career in features that brought global recognition.

Celebrated roles include
See full article at ScreenDaily »

AFI to honour Steven Martin

  • ScreenDaily
AFI to honour Steven Martin
The comedian and entertainer will collect the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 4, 2015.

Steve Martin is an American original,” said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI’s board of trustees. “From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution.

“His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author – and a national treasure whose work has stuck with us like an arrow in the head. AFI is proud to present him with its 43rd Life Achievement Award.”

Martin began his career writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, winning an Emmy for his efforts in 1969.

Successive TV appearances led to a breakout film role in The Jerk, spawning a long career in features that brought global recognition.

Celebrated roles include
See full article at ScreenDaily »

AFI To Honor Steve Martin With 43rd Life Achievement Award

Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees, announced today the Board’s decision to honor Steve Martin with the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Martin at a gala tribute in Los Angeles, CA on June 4, 2015.

The 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award tribute special will return for its third year on TNT when it airs in June 2015, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Steve Martin is an American original,” said Stringer. “From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution. His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author – and a national treasure whose work has stuck with us
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Steve Martin To Receive AFI Life Achievement Award

  • Deadline
Steve Martin To Receive AFI Life Achievement Award
Steve Martin has been named recipient of the highly prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award to be presented June 4th and aired on TNT and later on sister network TCM. After generally reserving this coveted prize to actors and directors who made their mark in dramatic films this is second time in the past three years that the American Film Institute has decided to lighten things up by giving their award to a person who made their mark in comedy. And it has paid off. Mel Brooks got the honor in 2013 and it resulted not only in a hilarious and memorable evening, it got higher ratings and brought the AFI special its first Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special in August. But Martin is the first recipient who actually started and made their reputation as a stand up comic. And his films beginning with The Jerk and continuing with such modern comedy
See full article at Deadline »

Steve Martin to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award

Steve Martin to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award
Steve Martin has been tapped as the 43rd recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, to be presented at a June 4 gala.

This is a good year for Martin, who received an Honorary Oscar last November and recently opened a new musical, “Bright Star” (which Martin created with Edie Brickell), at the Old Globe. He was given a Kennedy Center honor in 2007.

The American Film Institute tribute will air on TNT.

According to the American Film Institute, the Lifetime Achievement nod is given to “an individual whose career in motion pictures or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture.”

In making the announcement, AFI board of trustees chairman Howard Stringer said, “Steve Martin is an American original. From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview: Director Rob Reiner on Latest Film ‘And So it Goes’

Chicago – Rob Reiner has lived two distinct show business lives. He played a major role in one of the most famous television shows in history, “All in the Family,” and broke out afterward as a classic American film director, with hits such as “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Princess Bride.” His latest film is “And So it Goes.”

The film stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, as an older couple discovering a connection that on the surface seems highly unlikely. This is Rob Reiner’s 15th feature film as director, after such classics as “The Sure Thing,” “Stand By Me,” “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Misery,” “A Few Good Men,” “The American President” and “Ghosts of Mississippi.” Michael Douglas last worked with Reiner when he portrayed the title character in “The American President.” Reiner himself performs a small supporting role in “And So it Goes.”

Michael Douglas (left) and Rob Reiner
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Elliot Wax, TV Agent Who Packaged Shows From ‘Carol Burnett’ to ‘Three’s Company,’ Dies at 84

Elliot R. Wax, a former television agent at William Morris and the leader of his own agency, died on May 4 from complications of kidney disease at his home in Lake Sherwood, Calif. He was 84.

Wax packaged many hit variety and comedy shows while at Wma and found success running his own firm, Elliot Wax & Associates, as well.

While in the television variety show department at William Morris, he was involved in the packaging and selling of numerous variety specials with stars including Danny Thomas, Carol Burnett, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Andy Williams, the Osmonds and Dionne Warwick. While representing writers and producers, Wax packaged variety series that included “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Sonny & Cher Show,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Redd Foxx Show” and “The Glen Campbell Show.”

While a VP at William Morris, Wax made the move into the business of packaging half-hour television.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Mickey Rooney, Legendary Actor, Dies at 93

Mickey Rooney, Legendary Actor, Dies at 93
Mickey Rooney, the pint-sized actor who was one of MGM’s giant box office attractions in the late ’30s and early ’40s, has died, sources confirm. He was 93.

As adept at comedy as drama and an excellent singer and dancer, Rooney was regarded as the consummate entertainer. During a prolific career on stage and screen that spanned eight decades (“I’ve been working all my life, but it seems longer,” he once said), he was nominated for four Academy Awards and received two special Oscars, the Juvenile Award in 1939 (shared with Deanna Durbin) and one in 1983 for his body of work.

He also appeared on series and TV and in made for television movies, one of which, “Bill,” the touching story of a mentally challenged man, won him an Emmy. He was Emmy nominated three other times. And for “Sugar Babies,” a musical revue in which he starred with Ann Miller,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

TV Review: ‘Quality Balls – The David Steinberg Story’

TV Review: ‘Quality Balls – The David Steinberg Story’
David Steinberg comes across as such a genial, emotionally healthy fellow one can appreciate why he’s survived so long in the comedy game when some of his contemporaries didn’t. So it’s easy to forget what a fascinating career he’s enjoyed until treated to something like “Quality Balls – The David Steinberg Story,” a breezy trip through the comic’s career, from his early Second City days to standup material that landed him on Richard Nixon’s enemies list to his third act as a successful director. The title might come from an admiring observation by Jerry Seinfeld, but this is completely Steinberg’s show.

Those only marginally familiar with Steinberg will likely marvel at the names he can casually drop (Johnny Carson, Groucho Marx), and might wonder why his biblical sermons — which he began by ad-libbing, remarkably, a byproduct of his time studying theology at yeshiva before
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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