getTV to Air Landmark Episode of THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR ft. The Who, 9/17
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of a landmark moment in television history, getTV will air the historic episode of THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR that featured The Who in an explosive performance on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 9PM ET/8PM CT-exactly half a century after its initial broadcast.
Jeff Meier, GM & SVP, Programming for getTV said, "We are thrilled to bring one of rock 'n' roll history's most seminal TV moments to getTV viewers on its 50th anniversary, to both those who saw it the first time it aired and will never forget its tremendous impact and to younger rock music fans who may have only read about the incident."
The Who had just charted their first U.S. Top 10 hit "I Can See for Miles," when they were set to appear on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," a comedy-variety show that had first debuted in February 1967 but was already getting a reputation for pushing the envelope on what was acceptable for Sunday night viewing at that time. After performing their hit single, the group, which liked to shock audiences with destructive behavior, planned to perform what was to become one of their signature songs, "My Generation," and then at the end, trash their instruments and release some smoke powder from Keith Moon's drums. Dissatisfied with how it came off during rehearsals, Moon secretly persuaded one of the show's stagehands to fill his kick drum with explosives, which set off an enormous blast in which the drummer was knocked backward onto the floor, his arm cut by a flying piece of his broken cymbal.
Not only were The Smothers Brothers, the rest of the band and the audience in shock, The Who's guitarist and songwriter Pete Townsend later blamed his tinnitus and severe hearing loss on the incident.
"The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" continued to court controversy by mining humor from politics, the Vietnam War, religion, sexuality and censorship with appearances by outspoken musical artists, including The Beatles, Steppenwolf, Donovan, Pete Seeger and Jefferson Airplane, in which lead singer Grace Slick performed in "blackface." Emmy-nominated three years in a row for Outstanding Musical or Variety Series, the show received an Emmy in 1969 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music. Although the show was renewed for a fourth season, The Smothers Brothers were fired by CBS in Spring 1969 after Tom Smothers publicly criticized the network's corporate censorship, lobbying the FCC and members of Congress on the issue.
Immediately following "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" that evening at 10PM ET/9PM CT, getTV will air an episode of "The Sonny and Cher Show" featuring a guest appearance by the late Glen Campbell, who died August 8 at age 81 following a seven-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. On the show, which originally aired February 4, 1977, Campbell performs "Southern Nights", followed by a medley with Cher that includes "Country Boy" (You Got Your Feet in L.A.), "Don't Pull Your Love Out on Me, Baby" and his 1975 smash hit "Rhinestone Cowboy."