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Download Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Audiobook, by David Bianculli Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (425 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Bianculli Narrator: Johnny Heller Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781400185702
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Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. In this explosive, revealing history of the show, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli tells the fascinating story of its three-year network run-and the cultural impact that's still being felt today. Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of such comedy legends as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s. Drawing on extensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players-as well as more than a decade's worth of original research-Dangerously Funny brings listeners behind the scenes for all the battles over censorship, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches that defined the show and its era. David Bianculli delves deep into this riveting story to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this day. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Compelling and immensely entertaining. Philadelphia Inquirer

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Sussman | 1/15/2014

    " I was really looking forward to reading (or, in my case, listening) to this book. For the most part, it was an interesting and informative look back at a show that was very funny and a major cultural marker of the late 60s. If you're an old fan of the show or simply want to know what all the hubbub was about (material that was ridiculously mild by today's standards), it's worth pursuing. My only real criticism of the book is that Bianculli chronicles every episode of the show in painful detail. It's thorough, but often too repetitious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 12/29/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. Though sometimes repetitive, the detail, research and interviews that have gone into the book are incredible. As someone who knew very little about The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, I found this quite informative while remaining entertaining. Which, in a nutshell, is what the brothers were going for with their show:) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Collins | 12/18/2013

    " One of my favorite shows in my later teen years! The book gives the background to the show and their career at the time. The rumors I remember from those years of the battles with the network were true and then some - but looking back, Tommy (in particular) pushed a lot of network button on purpose! It was a great show and molded, to some degree, my sense of humor for years to come. Recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 11/24/2013

    " I remember enjoying the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, but I was a kid then. I remember there was some controversy about them, but I was ignorant of most of it. This book revealed a lot about the culture clash in the 1960's and gave me reason to respect and admire the Smothers Brothers for what they went through simply to entertain us and to bring new and socially relevant talent to the broadcast mainstream. So add censorship to the battles between the generations in the 1960's. Good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne Gnatuk | 11/24/2013

    " This was quite the nostalgia trip to read - it's also a very interesting story of how the Smothers Brothers conflicted with the television network and were constantly censored. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsten | 11/16/2013

    " Sometimes my interest in American pop culture goes about 360 pages too far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlen | 10/26/2013

    " Great digging and quotes and analysis from Mr. Bianculli. Great nostalgia for boomers. Re-enlightening! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ray Charbonneau | 10/10/2013

    " I'll bet there's an interesting story here, but it didn't make it into the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith Parrish | 9/30/2013

    " Fascinating, illuminating, profile of the Smothers Brothers. I had known only vaguely of the Brothers' battles with CBS but this puts their lives, careers, and show in perspective. A great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 9/27/2013

    " This is one of the best books of 60s era. Dovetails a lot of music, entertainment, politics and social change. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Bisso | 9/4/2013

    " Have been watching the DVDs of the last two seasons concurrently with this well-written and researched book by Fresh Air media critic Dave Bianculli. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Affleck | 1/12/2013

    " Wonderful book, well researched and fascinating account of a different (and yet not so different) time and a look a the entertainment industry. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol Liu | 8/18/2012

    " Not as interesting as I thought it would be at first. Went a bit downhill toward the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Obxboy | 12/25/2011

    " Not just a story of a TV show, but a snapshot of a time of great change for our country. For me, it was a memory of my very early adolescence, but it can serve as a social history for other generations. Reads fast and fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chad | 11/17/2011

    " I enjoyed this book. It felt like the author is a little head over heels for the Smothers Brothers, giving them credit for inspiring every comical utterance in the world from 1970 to present. Nevertheless, it provided a good history of the show and helped put it into the context of that time period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kroxquo | 6/22/2011

    " Fascinating, illuminating, profile of the Smothers Brothers. I had known only vaguely of the Brothers' battles with CBS but this puts their lives, careers, and show in perspective. A great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/21/2011

    " Some new useless knowledge learned from this book: Tom Smothers was the second guitar playing along with John Lennon on "Give Peace a Chance." A good nostalgic read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marci | 2/21/2011

    " Great Read! The Smothers Brothers were ahead of their time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne | 1/8/2011

    " This was quite the nostalgia trip to read - it's also a very interesting story of how the Smothers Brothers conflicted with the television network and were constantly censored. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 1/5/2011

    " Wonderful book, well researched and fascinating account of a different (and yet not so different) time and a look a the entertainment industry. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 11/2/2010

    " Have been watching the DVDs of the last two seasons concurrently with this well-written and researched book by Fresh Air media critic Dave Bianculli. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thorn | 10/10/2010

    " The writing is pedestrian at best, but the story and jokes are good enough to make it tolerable. "

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About the Author
DAVID BIANCULLI is a guest host and TV critic on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A contributor to the show since its inception, he has been a TV critic since 1975. From 1993 to 2007, Bianculli was a TV critic for the New York Daily News. Bianculli has written three books: Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2009); Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously (1992); and Dictionary of Teleliteracy (1996). An associate professor of TV and film at Rowan University in New Jersey, Bianculli is also the founder and editor of the online magazine, TVWorthWatching.com.
About the Narrator

Johnny Heller, a two-time winner of the prestigious Audie Award, was named a top voice of 2008 and 2009 and selected as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile magazine. His adult and children’s book narrations have earned him multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards.