Category Archives: News

THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR

           Before the Colbert Report, before Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and before Saturday Night Live, as the United States wrenched its socio-political way through the tail end of the Johnson Presidency and the start of Richard M. Nixon’s term in office, there aired a prime time comedy/variety show that grabbed the rug under this country’s status quo and gave it a firm, playful tug.  The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour wasn’t enough of a tug to cause a bone-breaking fall, but it was enough to rock its balance.

            And rock, it did.  In 1967, Tom and Dick Smothers were a couple of clean cut young men noted for their comedy/folk song stand up routines, so CBS felt safe in signing them into a slot opposite NBC’s wildly popular Western, Bonanza.  With writers such as Steve Martin, Rob Reiner and Roger Mason and top quality guests such as The Doors, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Harry Nilsson, Jonathan Winters, Liberace, Judy Collins and Donovan; The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved to be far more popular than CBS believed it would be, and continued through the spring of 1969.

The Smothers Brothers surprised CBS in other ways too.  Back in those days, it was rare to see African American musicians perform on prime time television.  Racial segregation was enforced in the US Southern States until 1965 and the civil rights movement battled to protect people of color all through the 1960s.  Against CBS’ counsel, the Smothers Brothers repeatedly featured black artists such as the Ike and Tina Turner Review, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte and Nancy Wilson.  The Smothers Brothers regularly challenged bigotry, closed mindedness, the Vietnam War and underfunding for education.  They passionately supported comedian Pat Paulson’s 1968 Presidential bid.

Censorship was a constant challenge for the Smothers Brothers.  As a child, I remember my family gathering in the living room to watch their comedy hour.  We would be enjoying one of David Steinberg or Pat Paulsen’s stand up performances, only to hear it interrupted by a blaring “be-e-ep.”  I’d turn to my Dad, who would roll his eyes and mutter, “Nixon” under his breath.  These comedians weren’t censored due to swearing—but due to their political and social commentary.

The Smothers Brothers, their guests and writers fought back against the CBS censors.  Roger Mason, the show’s lead writer and composer and performer of the instrumental hit Classical Gas, recited his poem The Censor on the show, sitting on a stool, cradling his guitar and pointing a pair of scissors directly at the camera.

In the monologue that led CBS to cancel the program, David Steinberg discussed the Biblical story of Jonah.  He said, “as they have been known to do from time to time, the Gentiles grabbed the Jew by the Old Testament and threw him off the boat.”  This thinly veiled double-barreled reference to male genitalia and historical persecution of the Jews during prime time was the final straw for CBS.  That episode did not air, and the Smothers Brothers show was canceled.

If you would like to see that and some of the other fine (uncensored) episodes from the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’s third and final season, just come to the Sueltenfuss Library where you can check out the four volume DVD set, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, PN1992.8.C66 S66 2008.  You will not only be entertained, but you’ll truly taste the flavor of the 1960s.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under General, News

IS Lab Closed Friday

The computer lab on the 2nd floor of the library will be closed all day Friday, July 2, 2010 for maintenance.  Please use the 24 hour lab on the 1st floor of the library.

Leave a comment

Filed under General, News

Sirsi to be down Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Sueltenfuss Library Catalog for books and media will be down on Tuesday, May 18th for maintenance.

Leave a comment

Filed under General, News

OLLU spire set in place on the north tower of Main Building

Get a good view of the spire raising today from 12:30-1:30pm April 21, 2010 on the Sueltenfuss Library front lawn. Refreshments will be served during the viewing.

The Sisters of Divine Providence will lead a blessing and remarks will be presented by:
• Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, superior general of the Sisters
• Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack, OLLU president
• Carlos Gonzalez, OLLU Student Government Association president

1 Comment

Filed under News

Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss passed away on Dec 19, 2009

Former OLLU President, Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss passed away at the age of 88. She was one of the first Texas women to lead a university. Sueltenfuss Library was named in her honor after completion in 2000. Learn more about this pioneer and visionary in higher education. Visitation and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Sacred Heart Chapel today beginning at 9am. View the special dedication to Sr. Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Library Catalog Maintenance

On Tuesday, December 15th, the library catalog will be down for maintenance. Other library resources will still be available.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Research Assistance Desk closed Dec 14, 2009 – Jan 12, 2010

The library research assistance desk will be closed from December 14, 2009 – January 12, 2010. However, students can make an appointment with a librarian from 8-5pm, December 14 – December 22, 2009 and from 8-12pm on December 23rd. Call the library at 210-431-3923 or 1-800-846-4085 or email library@lake.ollusa.edu.

Leave a comment

Filed under News