You might think of Tom and Dick Smothers as cute old guys; a quaint, genial and humorously argumentative duo that played folk songs flavored with comedy on variety TV shows and as the stars of their own show in the ’60s. And they were that, but there’s a history to the Smothers Brothers that is easy to miss with forty years removed between their popular heyday and today.

On the face of it, the Smothers Brothers’ comedy seems incredibly tame by today’s standards. But the duo flirted with controversy for years, as they used their show to highlight emerging counterculture elements (with performances from the Who, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez) and laced their routines with satirical jabs at politics and mainstream culture of the time.

Now that sly counterculture aspect of the Smothers Brothers might be remembered once more as producing partners George Clooney and Grant Heslov have optioned the book Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story Of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour to create a feature biopic about the brothers. Read More »

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