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The Summer Brothers Smothers Show starring Glen Campbell

The Summer Brothers Smothers Show
by Billy Ingram

If I were to pick my all-time favorite TV series this would be it.

The Summer Brothers Smothers Show was the summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the first writing gig for Carl Gottlieb who went on to write for shows starring Flip Wilson and hit movies like The Jerk and Doctor Detroit.

The Smothers’ summer series starring Glen Campbell won the Emmy for best variety writing in 1968. Here Gottlieb talks about the process of working with guys like Rob Reiner and Steve Martin, and Tom Smothers moving into more of a producer role along with Alan Blye.

After The Summer Brothers Smothers Show, the brothers launched into their best year on CBS - and their last.

On June 23, 1968, Glen Campbell made his debut as host of the Summer Smothers Brothers Show. Here's a primetime promo...

"Spreading my arms to the left and right, I assured Joe that on the political continuum, Glen’s show would be at the far end of where Tom and Dick already were positioned. Emphasizing this All-American, chart-topping country and pop music star’s following, I suggested that Chevrolet should be our prime target because Glen could be their next Dinah Shore. With that statement Joe organized a meeting in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel with Chevy’s agency, Campbell Ewald, wherein I repeated the arms-spread pitch about the continuum and the references to Dinah. The agency and clients seemed to agree, and within days they committed to the show." - Ken Fritz, co-executive producer of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Every episode of The Summer Brothers Smothers Show ended with this song, Natural To Be Gone, performed by Glen and John Hartford followed by a teriffic end theme... and dig that crazy Dr. Pepper commercial.

 

The Summer Brothers Smothers Show not only led into a smash ratings season for the Smothers it spawned a spin-off, The Glen Campell Goodtime Hour, initially produced by Tom Smothers.

 

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SUMMER replacements on television traditionally fall into the categories of network throwaways made up of pilot films of rejected series or tryouts for new talent. Two of this summer's better replacements fall into the latter category. - NY Times / June 24, 1968
 

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