The Stormy Success of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"
In early 1967, folksinging comedians Tom and Dick Smothers kicked off their own variety show on CBS. Their competition was stiff -- NBC's "Bonanza," the one show that CBS could never seem to dislodge from its top-10 spot in the ratings. But the brothers beat "Bonanza" with a combination of topical comedy and musical guests like the Turtles, Buffalo Springfield and the Who. The only problem was that the show's anti-war humor and social satire often ran afoul of CBS censors -- and even prompted protests from the White House, leading to a series of conflicts between the Smothers Brothers and Big Brother.
Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," by David Bianculli
"Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' "
"The Smothers Brothers Redux: A Bittersweet Reunion at CBS," Andy Meisler, The New York Times, January 31, 1988