Dangerously Funny

Dangerously Funny

The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"

A dramatic behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour—the provocative, politically charged program that shocked the censors, outraged the White House, and forever changed the face of television.

Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. Censorship battles, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches defined the show and its era. In this compelling history, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli draws on decades worth of original research, including extensive interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players, to tell the fascinating story of the show’s three-year network run—and the cultural impact that’s still being felt today.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439101179 | 
  • September 2010
List Price $16.00
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Video

TV critic David Bianculli on the background of his new book, Dangerously Funny

A rollicking history of the rise and fall of the wildly influential Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and its lasting influence on the cultural landscape.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Six months after the tragic events of 9/11, at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, five defiantly outspoken performers were saluted for their often costly efforts to exercise their First Amendment rights as comedians. One was Bill Maher, who lost his ABC latenight talk show Politically Incorrect after remarking of the Al-Qaeda terrorist hijackers who commandeered passenger airliners and steered them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, “Staying in the airplane when it hits the building—say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.” Another was stand-up comic and... see more

About the Author

David Bianculli
Summer Davis

David Bianculli

David Bianculli has been a television critic for more than thirty years, currently on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and at www.tvworthwatching.com. He is also the author of two books on television and its impact: Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously and Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television’s 500 Biggest Hits, Misses, and Events.

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