While I am pleased that we now have two best of volumes of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, I am disappointed that the decision has apparently been made not to issue complete seasons. I am also disappointed to see that some of the shows appear to be edited. Because I am not sure if we will ever get the complete series with unedited shows, I recommend buying the collection if you have fond memroies about the show or are curious to see what it was all about. I’ve taken off one star for that nagging feeling that something is missing.
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This is a GREAT collection! Most people believe Season Three is the topper but Season Two has many, many great routines, guests and skits! We finally get to see Leigh French doing her most famous character in the segments of “Share A Little Tea With Goldie.”
One of the fun parts of watching the SmoBro Shows is the looseness; they may stumble through an intro but, instead of doing another take, they laff and make fun of themselves. During a scene with Mama Cass, Dickie announces a Q&A period; Tommy says “no, we’re not gonna do that now” then you see (but don’t hear) Dickie say to Tommy “why aren’t we doing it?” and Tommy answers…it’s this type of looseness that gives another boost to the show…they leave moments like these in rather than re-shoot.
The interviews are plentiful and insightful. I especially enjoyed the interview with Pete Seeger who gives us a little more insight on his media blacklisting. There is also a gallery showing letters from viewers who protested the upcoming episode with Pete Seeger, calling him “anti-American” in almost every one…they usually start out the same: “I am writing in protest,” which makes it apparent there was some dunderhead that started a “Ban Pete Seeger” campaign and his followers followed orders…it’s SO friggin’ obvious. It amazes me how someone (Seeger) who was against war and for peace could be labeled “anti-American”. It shows how manipulated some of our own countrymen were in the 60′s. Other interviews include Don Rickles, Leigh French, Glen Campbell, Mason Williams, Nancy Wilson, a very funny one from Pat Paulsen and background info on the episodes by Tom & Dick themselves.
Wonderful color and great guests (Don Rickles, Jimmy Durante, Bette Davis, Janet Leigh, Rowan & Martin, Don Knotts, Nanette Fabray, Mickey Rooney, George Segal, Mel Torme and many others).
The rock guests include The Who (yup, the famous clip!), Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Byrds, The Association, The Temptations and Janis Ian (who is also interviewed).
The clip of Tommy finally receiving an Emmy for comedy writing (from the 2008 Emmy Awards) is great; especially when the camera shows Dickie in the audience – you can see on his face how PROUD he is of his brother. These Bros truly love each other, unlike many other “family” acts who squabble continuously over the years.
All these shows were during the hotbed we called the Vietnam war and the SmoBros made us laugh while they ripped apart The Establishment, The Man and The Great Society. This is a priceless set that any TV aficionado (and comedy fan) should have. Even though these are labeled as “Best of” and not complete seasons, that doesn’t mean they won’t release the other episodes in the future. You really shouldn’t pass up the chance to get any sets of “The Smothers Comedy Brothers Hour.”
P.S. I never realized Patty Duke had such a great bod! WOW!
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a television show from the late 1960s which is known today for the struggle the brothers experienced with CBS’s censors.
Season 2′s packaging is just like that for season 3; it is a “best of” collection, and some of the episodes have slight cuts based on what Tom and Dick thought should be included. It is frustrating for completists not to have the entire season here, but it is better than nothing.
In fact, it is much better than nothing. Season 2 is outstanding and features many excellent guests. The second episode alone features Bette Davis, Mickey Rooney, and The Who who famously explode their drum and cause chaos on the stage. Also appearing are James Mason, Edgar Bergen, Don Knotts, and Jimmy Durante and musical guests include Pete Seeger, The Byrds, The Temptations, and Glen Campbell.
There are great comedy bits, like the brothers singing “I Fell in a Vat of Chocolate,” or all dressed up for their parts in Mutiny on the Bounty. Pat Paulsen adds a lot of laughs to the show, especially during his presidential candidacy nomination speeches. “Share a Little Tea With Goldie” has some great moments as well.
Although it is incomplete, this set is definitely worth owning.