George Clooney & Grant Heslov to Tell the Story of Smothers Brothers

December 12, 2011
Source: Deadline

Smothers Brothers

After collaborating as producing partners and occasionally co-stars on films like Good Night and Good Luck, The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Ides of March this year, George Clooney and Grant Heslov are teaming up again through their Smokehouse production banner to tell the story of Tom and Dicky Smothers, the iconic 60's comedians who brought controversial, topical and irreverent laughs to TV with "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman will write the film based on David Bianculli's book Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story Of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Deadline says at this time it's not clear of Clooney is looking to direct or star in the film, but since he's taking one role or the other in many of the films from Smokehouse, it's very likely he'll at least do one or the other. Though the show only ran from 1967-1969 on CBS, the controversial times of liberal hippie culture and the Vietnam War made their material edgy and very bold in its depiction of society in these dark times. The development of the show itself is interesting as the Smothers Brothers went from clean comics to leaders of subculture with such names as young Steve Martin and Rob Reiner on the writing staff.

While the cancellation of the show was linked to the failure to deliver an episode on time, it's widely believe that President Richard Nixon had just had enough of the subversive and critical humor hitting his administration and pulled some strings to shut it down. Sounds like we're looking at a film similar to Good Night and Good Luck but with a focus on the comedy world and their approach to the politics of the 60's instead of serious journalism during the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Since I count the period drama among my favorite films of all time, I can't wait to see how this project turns out.

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