This is to address comments by the previous reviewer regarding the ending to the Fable For Our Time sketch.
1) He says the ending is weak because Tom and Dick simply accept Richard Nixon as "the only candidate left". That's true, but you have to remember that at the time Lyndon Johnson was considered as bad or worse than George W. Bush is today. No one wanted another four years of Johnson - and Nixon had not yet proved himself infamous. The mood of the country, unbelievable as it seems now, was that "maybe Nixon will be better." Frankly, I had forgotten this until I watched the show again on DVD.
2) The "sock it to me?" reference is a clear tip of the hat to rival comedy/satire program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, on which Richard Nixon made that same non sequitur comment.
3) The sketch has a double punchline. The first is the "sock it to me" reference, but that's just a decoy. The REAL punch line comes when Pat Paulsen, as a garbage collector, pushes his cart up to the stone, easily removes the sword, and slyly makes off with it. This is meant to intentionally reference Paulsen's mock campaign for president, suggesting that Pat Paulsen, not Richard Nixon, is the real heir to the throne...er...presidency.
4) David Frye has Lyndon Johnson saying, "I come before you today with a heavy heart", not head. The "heavy heart" line was classic Johnson. You had to be there...
Incidentally, the Smother Brothers won their only Emmy Award for this episode - AFTER they had been canceled by CBS.
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