Comedy Tonight

On February 5, 1967, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered on CBS. I remember watching it, as well as Laugh In, Carol  Burnett, Jackie Gleason,  Jonathan Winters, Jack Benny, and Red Skelton.

I was only 9 years old at the time, and sometimes I just didn’t get the humor.

I think I liked Carol Burnett the best.

It was such an unhappy time, the late 60’s, yet  such shows proliferated. One thing that surprised me as I researched this was how long the sketches were that I found.

What was your favorite comedy show? Know any good jokes?

35 thoughts on “Comedy Tonight”

  1. I need some laughs. I have completely lost my voice, I have chills and a fever of 100. My right ear hurts, and I have a terrible cough. This is the 5th day of this. I am going to the walk in clinic as soon as it opens.

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  2. Hands down my all-time favorite comedy show is “The Simpsons.” I get more belly laughs per half hour from that show than any other show I can name. The great thing is one can get the humor in bits and pieces. Sometimes it’s one of those clever signs they put up. Or it’s a one-liner than is funny in or out of context. The best laughs are the subtle and not-so-subtle shots they take at their parent network, Fox. Most impressive of all is the timelessness of the humor. Some of the shows back in the early and mid-90s seem like they were written with today’s headlines in mind. And the jokes never sound dated. Talk about genius.

    Other contenders were ‘I Love Lucy,” “Seinfeld,” “Cheers” and maybe a few others of the “likely suspect” sort–many have already been mentioned above.

    I am one of the worst joke tellers I know. Can’t easily remember jokes, don’t have a natural gift for acting (Sometimes the way a joke is told is funnier than the joke itself.), and often don’t quite nail the punchline. I love HEARING a good joke; we need as many laughs as we can get in this day and age.

    Chris in Owatonna

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    1. Chris, the way a joke is delivered is often more important than the joke itself. It takes a bunch of confidence to tell a joke well. People who get nervous while telling a joke usually hurry their speech. Maters of joke telling will speak slowly and emphasize the key words. Delivery isn’t “everything,” but it’s darn close to it.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. My favorite uncle, Børge, had a terrible stutter as a child and young man. It became less pronounced as he aged, but never completely went away. Despite this, or maybe because of it, and the fact that he had a marvelous sense of humor, he loved to tell jokes. He’d have a hard time getting to the punch line, and would crack himself up along the way, often gasping for air as he helplessly collapsed in laughter in anticipation of the riotous conclusion to his story. His laughter was so contagious that the whole gathering would be laughing along with him long before he ever got to the punchline. How I loved that man, my childhood protector and co-conspirator in mischief.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I never liked Lucy much. She essentially played a child—an impulsive, not very bright, clumsy child, which made her relationship with Ricky Ricardo weird and uncomfortable. All the plot lines seemed alike to me, with Lucy doing some impulsive, unwise thing that gets out of her control and results in a bawling confession to Ricky. The humor, such as it was, came from exaggerated slapstick—OK in its place but insubstantial.

    One thing I especially liked in the George Burns and Gracie Allen show and that I don’t think has ever been repeated in any sit-com was that George could retire to his den and watch the show unfold, which usually involved some scheming on the part of Gracie and the neighbors, whereupon George could cooly trip them up. The humor stemmed more from language and Gracie’s convoluted logic rather than slapstick and that appealed to me.

    Of relatively modern shows, I don’t think any has been consistently funnier than Malcolm in the Middle.

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    1. When my family watched I Love Lucy, the whole sitcom world was brand new and trying to evolve from humor that worked in radio and vaudeville. The writers would set up humorous situations by having characters make extreme statements or otherwise get themselves in difficult spots. Those old shows look silly today because the setups are so obvious. They weren’t that obvious back then. I guess I’m saying that evaluating humor is pointless if you don’t allow consideration for context. I used to laugh at the Smothers Brothers, but outside the context of the cultural and social tensions of that time, their shows look dated now.

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      1. It’s not just that the humor is dated. Aside from The Honeymooners, it’s hard to think of a supposed comedy show with more toxic interpersonal relationships than I Love Lucy. Not every show of that era was that unkind.

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  4. Back from the clinic. Although I got a flu shot, I seem to be in the middle of a bout of influenza. Nothing to do for it except rest and drink hot liquids. This is dumb! Poo!

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  5. Hi-
    As a kid it was always Saturday morning cartoons. Bugs Bunny and all those Warner Brothers cartoons. Woody Woodpecker or Tom and Jerry didn’t appeal to me so much.
    Then there was Flip Wilson and the Hudson Brothers. And that guy with the emu! Just watched a snipped that still made me laugh.
    Carol Burnett too. Yes to the Simpsons.
    I suspect Mom and Dad thought Laugh In was too radical. We watched a lot of Hee Haw, which is so corny these days… I can’t believe I ever liked it. But the music was good of course.
    Love American Style but that was late at night after Mom and Dad went to bed.

    Mom bought me a lot of LP’s of Broadway Family shows. I played those records of Mary Poppins until I memorized “SuperCalifragilisticexpialidosius”. Maybe that’s why I like musical theater so much.

    Jokes only stick in my head when they’re fresh. Give me an hour I’ll forget it.
    Except for these two:
    “Did you hear about the cannibal that passes his brother in the woods?”

    “Two Cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other ‘Does this taste funny to you?’ ”

    But that emu!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Last night on TV was both ‘Support your local Sheriff’ and ‘Support your local gunfighter’.
    I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Fun characters and pretty good writing.

    =================

    Bartender: Remember what the sheriff said: no more shootin’ till the sun goes down.
    Townsman: Is that what he said?
    Bartender: That’s close enough, brother. Drinks are on the house!

    Joe Danby: I hear you’re gonna try and arrest me. You know you don’t look near as tough as some of them other sheriffs we’ve had lately. Particularly that old boy that done run off about an hour and a half after he took the job.
    Jason McCullough: Joe, you just make me feel tired all over when you talk like that.
    Joe Danby: Now, what do you mean by that?
    Jason McCullough: It’s bad enough to have to kill a man without having to listen to a whole lot of stupid talk from him first.

    Jason McCullough: [Fingering dented badge] That must have saved the life of whoever was wearin’ it.
    Mayor Olly Perkins: Well, it sure would have, if it hadn’t been for all them other bullets flyin’ in from everywhere.

    Mayor Ollie Perkins: I wanted you to meet my daughter, Sheriff. She’s a good cook, a mighty fine looking girl. Takes after her dear, departed mother.
    Jason McCullough: Mother died, huh?
    Mayor Ollie Perkins: Nope, she just departed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Support Your Local Sheriff is one of go-to movies when I need comfort noise in the background and I don’t wanna have to think or watch carefully because I’ve seen it so many times. Those are all great lines.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My first boyfriend introduced me to the Smothers Brothers’ records, and also Jonathan Winters who I thought was pretty hilarious. I like Lucy when she’s doing physical comedy – this is from The Lucy Show where she gets to a top bunk via stilts:

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  8. I don’t have a whole lot to add today although I like everybody else’s comments. But in keeping with the spirit of the day I did spend all afternoon running John Oliver clips on my computer at work.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. comedy and classics channel 4 friday night

    the good place is the funniest damn show i’ve seen in a long time

    son just introduce me to curb your enthusiasm
    larry david ,, funny stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Carol Burnett was hilarious. I remember one skit where two guys get on a plane and the guy in first class is treated like a king while the guy in coach is treated like total crap and nearly dies in the end. Haha. had me rolling…

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