The Smothers Brothers
And then there was the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which was attractive to my teenage rebellious side, funny, hip, socially conscience, and was a huge pop cultural showcase for many of the rock bands I loved at that time. Growing up in a small town and isolated you hardly got anything like that, even in magazines. Even if you grew up in LA at the time, but were eighteen, you would be too young to go to any of the rock clubs. So TV was it! The Smothers Brothers had the Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Mason Williams, The Who, Pete Seeger, the Byrds, Donovan, Joan Baez, among many other performers of the age as their musical acts. I suspect that the performances were lip synced or recorded previously to the broadcast, but back then it didn't matter to me, and I probably didn't know the difference anyway.
I often wished that someone would offer some type of variety hour similar today, but I don't know of anyone with that star power like the Smother Brothers, and although they're still around, I don't know if they'd carry enough weight with a younger audience to get the viewers. And if they had someone else as a host, I can't imagine who that might be--to appeal to a young audience and adults as well. At any rate, I recall the era fondly even though it had its share of troubles like every era. I ran across the link to a Smothers Brothers thirty minute podcast called The Uncensored Story. There is also a book out now called Dangerously Funny, which actually I'd like to read.
Last night I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I've read that critics have said it's not as good as the previous two parts to the story, and maybe that's accurate, but if you're a fan of the franchise, I think you'll enjoy it and find it interesting. I certainly didn't find it boring at all, and enjoyed being able to return to the world of Katniss and her plight. Actually I had forgotten how HG: Catching Fire, the second installment had ended, and I thought a brief recap of the ending of that episode might have been nice. But I soon more or less remembered, and was caught up in the current struggle and world building that the Hunger Games captures so well. I can't wait for the final episode.
Friday, as I prepared a late lunch, and did dishes I listened to Fresh Air with Terry Gross, a NPR program I enjoy from time to time depending on who the guest interviewee is. I wasn't aware of Hilary Mantel, nor of her books of historical fiction, but got caught up in listening to the interview, her take on history and life, and oddly enough found her voice appealing. If you care to hear it, you can find it here. Tonight on PBS Masterpiece Theater they'll be showing the first part of her drama, Wolf Hall.
The historical drama about Thomas Cromwell and the Tudor court begins with King Henry VIII, desperate for an annulment from Katherine of Aragon, stripping Cardinal Wolsey of his powers. Wolsey, hoping to regain the king's favor, turns to his ever-loyal aide Thomas Cromwell for help. During the Mantel interview, however, the writer touches on several things of that history that always alluded me like how Henry the VIII, could divorce his wife, and then have her executed. I, of course, still don't quite understand that part of it fully, but can understand more what all that was about after the interview, and understand, it was a different place, time, and customs. Tonight also begins the last part of the Mad Men series. I've enjoyed that program, so I'll certainly tune in to it. I guess I'll have to fire up the VCR tonight.