This video is a little…out there… so bear with me:-) Have a watch, it's only a minute long:-)
Outwardly ‘apple pie’, the Smothers Brothers fronted one of the most volatile and anti-establishment TV shows of all time. Beginning in the ‘wholesome’ conformity of post war America, the ‘Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ ran from early 1967 through to April 1969.
During this time, the country experienced a mass awakening of consciousness. Or a national nervous breakdown. Probably both. It depends on your point of view.
The Smothers Brothers were at the scene of the accident. They featured anti-Vietnam sentiment, sketches about religion and racism, references to censorship, mock presidential campaigns and the Who’s exploding drum kit.
After two years and many censorship battles the network ultimately fired the brothers for a skit about the Bible. Far more controversial content is now commonplace on TV. But the show’s intent, energy and gleefully stupid refusal to compromise is still ahead of the times.
The show champions the idea of variety: that other viewpoints, feelings music, experiences and types of people exist. Furthermore, that they should be visible and represented. Difference should not be censored out of life, the media or society.
It’s this approach that makes the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour a political rather than a comedy show, as much today as back in the 60’s.
This video is a kind of a poem to the ‘Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ putting back in the historical context. The song is ‘Classical Gas’ by Mason Williams, who was also the head writer for the Smothers Brothers.
The photo animation style imitates two short films American Time Capsule and World of 1968 which were both featured on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Wikipedia informs me that these were made by Chuck Braverman (a filmmaker who I have recently gained much appreciation for).
Even using basic Windows Movie Maker, replicating the style this was… time consuming. And I had Google for the images and snapshots of video. God knows how he long it must have taken him back then…