FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEIRREVERANT, INTELLIGENT AND UNDENIABLY FUNNY
'60s VARIETY TV SERIES FINALLY SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY
VIA TIME LIFE DVD, IN SPITE OF THE CENSORS
THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS
THE BEST OF SEASON THREE
Controversial Third Season Arrives First, with 11 Unforgettable Episodes of the
Politically-Charged Final Season Become Available on DVD, Plus Over Five Hours of Bonus
Features, Including Never-Before-Seen Unedited Content, Extended Interviews, Audio
Perspectives, the Infamous "Pat Paulsen for President" TV Special and Much More
5-DVD Set Includes Musical Performances Featuring The Doors, Ray Charles, Joan Baez,
Ike & Tina Turner, Judy Collins, The Cast of Hair, Mama Cass And More
Available Exclusively Online at
Pre-Order Begins July 1, 2008
FAIRFAX, VA - June 23, 2008 - One of the most popular and controversial series in television history, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
, will soon be available for the first time on home video from Time Life. With content hand-picked by the legendary folk singing comedy duo Tom and Dick Smothers, the 5-DVD set includes 11 star-packed episodes from the third and final season of the hour-long variety show - uncensored, as they were originally meant to be aired.
The guest list for these episodes reads like a who's who in '60s comedy and music; George Harrison, Harry Belafonte, Bob Newhart, Steve Martin, George Carlin, The Doors, Ray Charles, Jackie Mason, Cass Elliot, Jonathan Winters, Joan Baez and David Steinberg are just some of the names that appeared with the brothers in the 1968-1969 season. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season Three
features over five hours of fascinating bonus material, extended interviews and new introductions by Tom and Dick Smothers, as well as many of the performers and crew members. Also included are the infamous Pat Paulsen for President
television special (with a newly uncovered, never-before-seen appearance by Robert F. Kennedy cut from the broadcast), featurettes, audio perspectives by Tom Smothers, never-before-seen rehearsal footage, 1968 press conference following the termination of the Smothers Brothers by CBS, the complete Aspen Comedy Festival 2000 Smothers Brothers Reunion, and much, much more.
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season Three
set also includes the stand-alone, bonus DVD documentary Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
. This award-winning 92-minute feature originally aired on Bravo in 2002, and explores the challenges Tom and Dick Smothers faced in bringing political commentary into the realm of comedy television. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season Three
5-DVD set will be available for purchase exclusively online via the Time Life website www.SmothersBrothersDVD.com for $69.99.
The final season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
burst forth with all the defiance and urgency expected after a volatile summer that included the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the violence-filled Democratic National Convention, and the emergence of Richard Nixon as the 1968 Republican presidential nominee. Tom and Dick Smothers begin season three by singing boldly about political unrest and network sensors, and together with their guests, continued in the following weeks to challenge political and corporate authority. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season Three
contains 11 episodes selected by Tom and Dick Smothers, many shown as they were intended, complete with sketches and performances that were cut by the network censors for the original broadcast. Among the original footage preserved is a stunning piece in which Harry Belafonte sings "Don't Stop the Carnival" as footage of police brutality and riots at the Chicago Democratic National Convention plays behind him, and an intense interview with anti-war activist and famous "baby doctor" Dr. Benjamin Spock.
Time Life has also uncovered never-before-seen footage of Robert F. Kennedy originally taped for the Pat Paulsen for President
special. The segment, displaying a comic side to Kennedy, was cut from the original broadcast as the nation mourned the Senator's recent assassination. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
episodes, the deleted segments presented as bonus material, and the many other interviews, rare footage, and extras make this DVD set an eye-opening tour through the 1960s. Award-winning DVD executive producer Paul Brownstein (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Twilight Zone, The Odd Couple, Get Smart
) has spent over a decade researching and overseeing The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
DVD production. Brownstein's extensive research and talent outreach have resulted in an impressive amount of rare, informative and historically important bonus features.
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
premiered in February 1967 and ran for three seasons in a prime-time slot on CBS. Despite popular success and a renewal for a fourth season, the network suddenly dissolved the contract after the third season, with the brothers being summarily - and, as a lawsuit later proved, wrongly - fired. Although the variety show started out as slightly "hip" version of the typical comedy-music variety show of its era, it rapidly evolved into a show that extended the boundaries of what was considered permissible in television satire. While the Smothers themselves were at the forefront of these efforts, a large portion of the credit also goes to the roster of writers and regular performers they brought to the show, some of whom would go on to become some of the biggest names in comedy, including, Rob Reiner, Presidential candidate Pat Paulsen, Bob Einstein ("Super Dave Osborne" and "Officer Judy") and resident hippie Leigh French ("Share a Little Tea with Goldie").
About Time Life
Headquartered in Fairfax VA, Time Life Inc. was founded in 1961 as a direct marketing company specializing in music and books. It has since grown to become one of the world's largest direct marketers of audio and video products, selling more than 13 million units each year throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is the largest advertiser of music products in Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Time-Life set the standard in the direct response industry by pioneering direct marketing techniques, building one of the most trusted and recognized brands in commerce. The company now also sells their products through major traditional and non-traditional retailers around the world as well as via the Internet. Time Life is a registered trademark of Time Warner Inc. used under license by Direct Holdings Americas Inc., which is not affiliated with Time Warner Inc.
THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR: THE BEST OF SEASON THREE
Ship date: August 1, 2008
Online pre-order: July 1, 2008
List price: $69.99
Online Exclusive Collection includes:
- 4 DVDs packaged with a 16-page booklet.
- 1 Bonus DVD - Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 92-minute documentary.
- 11 Uncensored Episodes from the final 1968-1969 season, with on-camera introductions by Tom and Dick Smothers, and audio perspectives by Tom Smothers.
- Pat Paulsen for President television special, narrated by Henry Fonda, and bonus footage of Paulsen's trip to the White House and 1968 Democratic Convention.
- Recently uncovered, never-before-seen appearance by Robert F. Kennedy, cut from the Pat Paulsen for President special.
- Pat Paulsen "On the Campaign Trail" featurette, comedy act footage, and photo gallery.
- A look back at the '60s with a "New Fable for Our Time" featurette.
- Exclusive interviews with Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Allan Blye (producer), Chuck Braverman (filmmaker), Judy Collins, John Densmore (The Doors), Bob Einstein (Super Dave Osborne), Jackie Mason, Bob Newhart, Pat Paulsen and Rob Reiner.
- Interview outtakes with Woody Allen, David Frye, Eddie Fisher, Paul Hornung, Robert Morse, Nancy Ames, and Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara.
- Dr. Benjamin Spock interview, censored from season three opening show.
- Backstage and rehearsal footage including footage shot for a 1969 60 Minutes segment, alternate show opening, audience Q&A, Jackie Mason dress rehearsal, Joan Baez dress rehearsal.
- 1968 press conference following CBS's termination of the Smothers' Brothers contract.
- The complete Aspen Comedy Festival 2000 Smothers Brothers Reunion hosted by Bill Maher, with Tom and Dick Smothers, Steve Martin and Mason Williams.
- "Pat Paulsen's Malignant Humor" - Paulsen's personal notes from his fight with cancer.
- Memorabilia from Tom and Dick's personal archives, including a letter from President Lyndon Johnson praising The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and a note from Congressman Donald Rumsfeld.
- Over 100 letters, memos, carbons, wires, telexes, telegrams and internal correspondence between CBS and the production company, chronicling the censorship ordeal the show faced.
- Footage from 1969 Emmy® award win - "Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music."
- Promotional TV spots.
- Photo galleries