George Clooney and Smokehouse Pictures are set to produce a movie about Smothers Brothers Tom and Dick, in an adaptation of David Bianculli’s book, Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The film will follow the controversy surrounding the Smothers Brothers’ short-lived television variety show, which debuted in 1967 and was abruptly canceled by CBS in 1969. The program attracted a young, anti-establishment audience, and often featured anti-war activists and punchlines at the expense of the government — which in turn led to infamous censorship battles between The Smothers Brothers and the network.
In their Archive Interview from 2000, Tom and Dick Smothers spoke in depth about the cancellation of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour:
Rob Reiner, who was a writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, discussed the controversy surrounding the show, and what he learned from it:
And CBS Executive Mike Dann, who got the program on the air, called the show’s cancellation “the biggest crisis he ever had at CBS, and the most lamentable:”
More about the upcoming Smothers Brothers biopic here.