SMOTHERED studies the censorship struggles between this breakthrough
CBS show and the network’s strict censors, using archival
footage and interviews with the shows two stars – Dick
and Tom Smothers – and people involved with the show,
including several of its writers. SMOTHERED premiered exclusively on Bravo on Wednesday, December 4, 2002.
SMOTHERED is the first-ever in-depth telling
of the David and Goliath-type battles waged between the Smothers
Brothers and CBS between 1967 and 1969. With a young and brash
stable of writers and performers, including Steve Martin and
Rob Reiner, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour brought an edgy
new brand of political comedy to the airwaves. It was the
Smothers Brothers versus CBS, on-air and, later, in court.
SMOTHERED features exclusive interviews with those who were
responsible for this groundbreaking variety show, including
Tom Smothers, Dick Smothers, writers Rob Reiner, Mason Williams,
Carl Gottlieb and Allan Blye, once blacklisted and controversial
musician Pete Seeger plus former CBS executives. Also included
is footage from the US Comedy Arts Festival Tribute to the
Smothers Brothers and a wealth of clips from the show itself.
CBS moguls and censors flinched at the show’s relentless
salvos against the Vietnam War; just one of the many issues
that wove itself into the fabric of the show. The Brothers
firmly stood their ground against the William S. Paley Establishment
and the wrath of President Nixon. After they were finally
fired in 1969, Tom and Dick Smothers won a landmark lawsuit
against CBS, adding to the show’s status as a turning
point in television history.
SMOTHERED is produced, directed and written by Maureen Muldaur.
The show won a 2002 Cine Golden Eagle Award.
SMOTHERED is currently being distributed by American Public Television to PBS stations across the country, including a pledge version with pledge break commentary by Tom and Dick Smothers. Visit the link below for more details:
American Public Television — Smothered
The DVD of Smothered is available by calling 1-800-903-5709 or by visiting the link below: Time Life — Smothered
To see press articles from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and TV Guide,
click here: Smothered — press articles
For more about the Smothers Brothers, visit their official
web site: www.smothersbrothers.com.