Sunday, April 11, 2010


Reasons I liked That Was The Week That Was, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Politically Incorrect, Laugh-In, SNL, and now love Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me! What am I leaving out?

An American version of TW3 was on NBC initially a pilot episode on 10 November 1963, then as a series from 10 January 1964, to May 1965. The pilot featured Henry Fonda and Henry Morgan, guests Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and supporting performers including Gene Hackman. The recurring cast included Frost, Morgan, Buck Henry and Alan Alda, with Nancy Ames singing the opening song; regular contributors included Gloria Steinem, Tom Lehrer and Calvin Trillin. The announcer was Jerry Damon. Also a guest was Woody Allen, performing stand-up comedy; the guest star on the final broadcast was Steve Allen. A running gag on this version of the show was a mock feud with Jack Paar, whose own program followed TW3 on the NBC Friday schedule; Paar would repeatedly refer to TW3 as "Henry Morgan's Amateur Hour." After the series' cancellation, Lehrer recorded a collection of his songs used on the show, That Was The Year That Was, released by Reprise Records in September 1965.

In the American version, an episode showed a smiling U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson contemplating an easy 1964 campaign against the Republican nominee, U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona. The satirists sang that Goldwater could not win because he "does not know the dance of the liberal Republicans", then a substantial component of the GOP, many of whose members had supported Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York for the Republican nomination.


Howard said...

Good stuff!

Brahm said...

Hmmm. Interesting, dont know that one, am going to look for it!

Joy said...

I wish they had DVD's of the show, but it was so topical that it would be history now. I think there are some YouTube segments from it.