The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
The Who on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 1967
This is the entire uncut version of The Who’s set on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on September 17, 1967. Only a clip of My Generation can be found in the documentary film “The Kids Are Alright” in 1979 with the logo to the film obscuring part of the explosive climax and acoustic guitar smashing. I can See For Miles is also included in the film but clips of the song with a short film of the band having a romp in the woods goofing around for the camera is added instead of the complete song as it was aired on T.V. This set includes both songs and intros by Tommy Smothers and a short commentary by brother Dick Smothers at the finale complete and uncut.
Tom and Dick as Romans in a 1968 skit.
The show started out as only a slightly “hip” version of the typical comedy-variety show of its era, but 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, credit also goes to the roster of writers and regular performers they brought to the show, including Jim Stafford (who served as their head writer and producer), Steve Martin, Don Novello (“Father Guido Sarducci“),Rob Reiner (“Mike Stivic”), Presidential candidate Pat Paulsen, Bob Einstein (“Super Dave Osborne“, “Marty Funkhouser“, and “Officer Judy”), Einstein’s brother, Albert (who works professionally as Albert Brooks), and resident hippie Leigh French (“Share a Little Tea with Goldie”). The show also introduced audiences to pop singer Jennifer Warnes (originally billed as Jennifer Warren or simply Jennifer), who was a regular on the series. The television premiere of Mason Williams‘ hit record, Classical Gas, took place on the show, and Williams himself received an Emmy for his work as a staff writer.
The series showcased new musical artists that other comedy-variety shows rarely gave airtime, due to the nature of their music or their political affiliations. George Harrison, Joan Baez, Buffalo Springfield, Cass Elliot, Harry Belafonte, Cream,Donovan, The Doors, Janis Ian, Yank Barry, Jefferson Airplane, Peter, Paul and Mary,Spanky and Our Gang, Steppenwolf, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Ray Charles, The Hello People and even Pete Seeger were showcased during the latter years of the show despite the advertiser-sensitive nature of their music.
Seeger’s appearance on the Season 2 premiere which aired on September 10, 1967 was his first on network commercial television in 17 years since being blacklisted in 1950. His performance of “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” was dropped from the broadcast after his refusal to comply with CBS’s request to remove the sixth verse. The song, its story related to the present by the controversial stanza, was ametaphor for President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Vietnam War policy. Seeger was eventually allowed to reappear on the show to perform the song again on Episode 24 later that season.
In 1968, the show broadcast several promotional videos (later known as “music videos“) for The Beatles‘ songs “Hey Jude” and “Revolution“. Before a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Forum, Jimi Hendrix dedicated “I Don’t Live Today” to the Smothers Brothers, as heard on The Jimi Hendrix Box Set.