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Television Comes of Age

Aired May 29, 2014 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cam results, standby. Here we go.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average time spent watching television is five to six hours per day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy. Read visuals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a reason for calling it the book tooth (ph) and the Idiot box and it's to change the channel.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to wrap them at our seat.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must give the Americans the kind of television that they both desire and deserve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Let's try and do it again and let's see what comes out this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Television has grown faster than a teenager. Now, it is time to grow up.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: The TV was the center of the house. Now, I don't remember a time without TV.

NEIL GENZLINGER, TELEVISION CRITIC : By 1960, essentially every household in America had a television. It was a new way of bringing the world to you.

DAVID BIANCULLI, TELEVISION CRITIC, NPR: When something big happened on television, it really did happen to the entire country and impacted the entire country at the same time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep and awakened eye on the world. JOHN HEILEMANN, EDITOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Suddenly, television was the main event. Everything else changed, even the way in which you went about the business of getting some of our elected presidents.

DON HEWITT, CBC NEWS: David, will you hit the one minute button, please, the 30 seconds and the cut, please?

SANDER VANOCUR, JOURNALIST: In 1960, the Nixon-Kennedy debate was a first in television. A lot of people were watching that night. And it introduced a lot of people to Kennedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, let me see the clean shot in tower one, please?

JOHN F. KENNEDY, 35TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Can you hear me now speaking? Is that about the right tone of voice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening. The television and radio stations of the United States and their affiliated stations are proud to provide ...

ROBERT MACNEIL, JOURNALIST: When the networks offered a debate. Kennedy immediately said yes because he was sure he could do better than Nixon.

KENNEDY: I think Mr. Nixon is an effective leader of his party. I hope he would grant me the same. The question before us is which point of view and which party do we want to lead the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Nixon, would you like to comment on that statement?


PHIL ROSENTHAL, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: If you're live on television and the camera right here, there's really no place to hide. Once you see a guy sweating when asked a question, are you sure he's the leader for you?

KENNEDY: That's the question before the American people and only you can decide what you want, what you want this country to be, what you want to do with the future. I think we're ready to move.

MACNEIL: If you saw it on television, clearly Kennedy had won that debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, thank you very much for permitting us to present the next president to the United States on this unique program ...

JAY ROACH, DIRECTOR, GAME CHANGE: It was the beginning of a new form of political craftsmanship. You could structure a message appropriately for the TV camera, you could have a huge impact. And if you couldn't, you were toast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like you now to give a real tonight welcome to the Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. John Kennedy.

May I as you so that I don't look too naive, a tough question right off the bat?

KENNEDY: On whether I'm a Democrat or a Republican?


HEILEMANN: People recognize television was now the medium that mattered. It wasn't before 1960 and it was everyday after 1960 in those presidential debates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honey, let's not watch that. Try to find the Western.


EMILY NUSSBAUM, TELEVISION CRITIC, THE NEW YORKER: Once everyone had a TV set in their living room and advertisers had fully gotten a grip on how effective this was a way to sell products. The very definition of what you were doing was to create entertainment that would appeal to as many people as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beaver, eat your Brussel sprouts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on my pants, my stomach still hurts and my throat.


JERRY MATHERS, ACTOR, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: Leave it to Beaver was something that a lot of families understood. It's the first show that was ever shot from the perspective of a child.


MATHERS: Most people have had a lot of the experiences that the Beaver or Wally had and everyone in their life has an Eddie Haskell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi Wally, some dumb kid fell on a soup (ph).

Good evening Mr. Clever, some poor and unfortunate child is trapped up there.

MATHERS: Everyone has that moment when they were so embarrassed and they thought they'd never get over it, but they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight's special report, a scene of a 1961 image.

DON KNOTTS, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: This is whether the situation is comedy or whether it's a western or whether it's a drama. I think it's the quality of the show itself that's important.

VINCE GILLIGAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, BREAKING BAD: The Andy Griffith Show at Mayberry just handle gentler place. It'd be hard not to want to live in Mayberry. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi Pa. Hi Barn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The core of the Andy Griffith was this rock epicenter of it, calm wisdom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have taken the best parts of myself and people that I'd known all my life and put them into in detail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that there comes a time when you have to stop to play act and tell the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you believe me, Pa? Don't you, Pa?

GILLIGAN: People appreciate emotional honesty. They appreciate it more than laughs. It's great if you can achieve both simultaneously. And the Andy Griffith Show actually did that very often for a sitcom and it shows unexpected depth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm thinking a new format. The second desk (ph) numbers should come before the big sketch.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I like it too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you know? Look at that tie you're wearing.

CARL REINER, PRODUCER, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW: I only wrote what I knew about which was my life. If you're writing about that, nobody can say, "That's not true." It is true. I'm living it.

ROSENTHAL: On the Dick Van Dyke Show, we could believe the actions of the characters because we could relate to them. This wasn't a genie in a bikini in someone's bottle on the mantle. These were real people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women are more, more ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honest and direct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. They're more ...


REINER: We all have the same needs, feelings relationships with husbands and wives. That was the kind of comedy we do. The problems of living. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey, how much do you like that baby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rob, don't tell me you're jealous already.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The season opening episode for the 1963 season was seared into my head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, my wife's got a baby on the same day in the same hospital and the hospital was very busy, Mr. Peters. What am I getting at?

ROSENTHAL: They thought they got the wrong baby from the hospital. So he calls the parents of the other kid and thinks, you know, we may have your kid, you may have our kid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. We're Mr. and Mrs. Peters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mrs. Peters, welcome, come in.

ROSENTHAL: It was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Here, they're tackling a subject without tackling it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn't you tell me on the phone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And miss the expression on your face?

REINER: The network worried about the fact that the African-American might be upset by it. The network was always a little behind, there's always somebody back there who doesn't have B, A, L, L, S balls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Hollywood, the winner Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke.

REINER: I wish somebody had told me I would have worn my hair.


TOM SMOTHERS, COMEDIAN: I got to tell you this one, you know, those knock, knock jokes?

JACK PAAR, TALK SHOW HOST: Yeah, but they are old now.


PAAR: Yeah.

SMOTHERS: But I got a real good one, I get a real funny one.

PAAR: All right.

SMOTHERS: Go ahead start say knock, knock.

PAAR: I say.

SMOTHERS: Yeah go ahead.

PAAR: Knock, knock.

SMOTHERS: Who's there?

T. SMOTHERS: There's only three networks and there's only one late night show really, you know, it's Jack Paar.

PAAR: They don't understand how we do this show, we just keeping talking with no script.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. It's agony.

DICK CAVETT, TALK SHOW HOST: Jack Paar invented the Late night television talk show.

PAAR: Do you feel confident that you -- that there's not a man in the world to beat me?

CASSIUS CLAY, HEAVY WEIGHT BOXER: I'm as good as (inaudible).

CAVETT: Jack had in his corner his personality, it's fabulously interesting complex, frightening, neurotic, but in other cases enthusiastic and informed personality. It made for great television.

PAAR: How much time I have done? I don't have a watch. You do. How much?


PAAR: Has he been charming? I'll put an hour on that.


BIANCULLI: Johnny Carson inherited the tonight show but he made it his own.

JOHNNY CARSON, THE TONIGHT SHOW HOST: It's going to be wild tonight. I can always tell.

ROSENTHAL: He posted a nightly party.

CARSON: Are you married?

ROSENTHAL: And his buddies came and they started playing together. You felt like what it must have felt like to go to Vegas at three in the morning and have the rat pack come on.

DEAN MARTIN, ENTERTAINER: Where is he in? No, but where's the guy you talk to?

CARSON: I love that.

CAVETT: It was a beautiful thing to watch a guy working at his best.

CARSON: OK. Mingle. ED AMES, ENTERTAINER: Well, do we have it already?

CARSON: Get you act and let's go.

CAVETT: To watch it closely he is gauging how much longer he can wait to let the last guy before what he says will be irrelevant to what happened and he gets it just on the nose. It's beautiful. It was.

CARSON: I didn't even know you were doing it.

SCHLATTER: Johnny was the best audience in the world and he loved comedy.

FLIP WILSON, COMEDIAN: The woman is watching you, she's watching us in the corner of her eye. She says, "What are you looking at?" And I said I'm looking at that ugly baby. That's bad looking baby, lady.

SCHLATTER: Johnny was there listening for you he wanted you to score then when you score he scored.

WILSON: Enough is enough and now calm down. Yes, madame, the Pennsylvania railroad will go to any length to avoid having differences between the best that perhaps it would be more to your convenience if we would to rearrange your seating. And as a small compensation from the railroad, if you'll accompany me to the dinning car we'll give a free meal. Maybe we'll find a banana for you monkey.

CAVETT: Hi I'm Dick Cavett funnier than Chet Huntley, taller than Mickey Rooney and as pure and honest as New York, New Jersey.

ROACH: The Dick Cavett Show was amazing because you could get people like Norman Mailer and then Woody Allen.

WOODY ALLEN, COMEDIAN: My only New Year's resolution this year I think I'm going to try to sleep through the Nixon Administration.

SEPINWALL: You have authors and you would have heavy weight boxers. There were conversations.

CAVETT: When you mention the national anthem and talk about playing it at any unorthodox way. Immediately get a guaranteed percentage of hate mail from people to say how dare ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not an orthodox.

CAVETT: Isn't unorthodox?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. I thought it was beautiful when they go.

CAVETT: They just thought anything that's interesting ought to have a place on a talk show rather than young pretty actresses who have used word excited in every sentence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't frequently seen on television is that by choice or? RALPH NADER, CONSUMER ADVOCATE: Well, of course it is the most impressive medium of all. It's the medium that's going to use or save America or send it down into demise there's no question in mind.

CAVETT: I'm getting out of it myself. We'll be back after this.

MERV GRIFFIN, TALK SHOW HOST: What you do is you put the best possible guests from different kinds of businesses maybe not everybody in show business, some politics, some news paper people get them all in the stage together and hope that something works. But it's a big show, it's a great platform for people who have something to say.

CLEVELAND AMORY, TELEVISION CRITIC: The point is that they take these scripts out of their drawers. They change the things around maybe it doesn't work with Green Acres but on many of these shows and that's why night after night you turn on these serials and they all seem as if they came out of the same bread box.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back then you have lots and lots of copy cats you got the Adams Family and then you have the Munsters. You've got Bewitched and then you've got I dream of Jeannie, you know, the old saying is imitation is the sincerest form of television. So if one person is doing this fantastical hit we're going to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now was that considered a crime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm afraid not, there aren't any laws to protect us against bad TV shows yet. So you're safe.


BIANCULLI: What I'm surprise by are some of the shows that I can't even imagine the pitch meetings for. Like Hogan's Heroes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a story about American prisoners of war in a Nazi concentration camp which doesn't exactly sound like it's a funny comedy.

BIANCULLI: That shows you how weird the 60s was right there.

GEORGE CARLIN, COMEDIAN: Here's another one of our fine shows for this year, zoom, Pit Stop. The moving story of an effeminate race car driver who was really an astronaut for the Mafia, 9:30 Eastern Time, 8:30 Central time, quarter after two Pacific Time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CBS presents this program in color.

ROSENTHAL: I didn't have colored television until I was 16 years old. Yes, I lived like an animal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The following program is being brought to you in living color on NBC.

HANKS: Getting the colored TV was huge because suddenly we can watch Walt Disney's wonderful world of color on Sunday night's which was like just an acid trip of a show. We just could not believe it. Tinker Bell going bing, bing, bing and it was like oh, it was like special effects part they've to launch (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world is a carousel of color.

BIANCULLI: It also happened just coincidentally at the time when what we think of as the mod 60s came in. Colors were all over the place just as TV could start to take advantage of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, glad you could make it.

SALLY FIELD, ACTRESS: I remember saying stay tuned for Gidget next in color.

Wednesday nights at 10 to 15th in color on ABC.

FIELD: It was a big marketing film (ph).

GILLIGAN: Colored TV was a huge step forward as far as the technologies went. And yet, I think of the Lost in Space. Lost in Space started off as a black and white show and then went to color. It didn't get any better when it went to color.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Smith, you're alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I'm alive. Do I look like a corps?

NUSSBAUM: The period has a reputation for being TV as a kind of candy. Sometimes it would go like it was this really aggressive innocence to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're only blow that in an emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an emergency. You're standing on my foot.

ALAN SEPINWALL, TELEVISION CRITIC, HITFIX.COM: Gilligan's Island makes no sense whatsoever logistically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to make a spider drunk.

SEPINWALL: How was the professor able to build all the stuff but not build the damn raft?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this stick of true dynamite that I made.

SEPINWALL: It makes no sense if you pull any single thread on it. But it was just like the kind of show designed to live forever in syndication.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you looking for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A nun, who else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding?

NUSSBAUM: Flying Nun is the most I think crazy show. Like what is that about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, Carlos, it's very simple. You see, I only weigh 90 pounds and the combination of my cornet and wind listening.

FIELD: It was just a complete nonsense. Let's face it. It was in hide at the 60s that everyone was eating granola and dropping out and doing God knows what else and I wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello Central? I'm switching to my eye glasses. But I'll hold on my wallet but keep my shoe open.

ROACH: Television more than ever in the 60s was a place to escape to.


ROACH: It seemed like it was almost sort of a willful rest but from the stuff that was going on out in the world than in real in life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's a Bulletin from CBS news. There's has been an attempt thus perhaps you know now on the life of President Kennedy. He was wounded in an automobile driving from ...

DAN RATHER ANCHOR: Until nearly 60s, television news was by enlarge seeing is something of a back water to print journalism and even to radio, but Kennedy assassination was the moment that television journalism came of age.

BOB YOUNG, NBC NEWS: We'll continue a full-day coverage of the Presidential funeral and the final procession ...

RATHER: More and more people were depending on television to give them the headline news of the day.

CHET HUNTLEY, NBC NEWS: 330 Americans were killed in combat last week in Vietnam. But the number of wounded 3,886 was the highest of any ...

JEFF GREENFIELD, JOURNALIST: Most of the 1960s, the country as what you saw on your entertainment and what you saw on the news was, you know, planetary.

DOUGLAS KIKER, NBC NEWS: Never has this descent been as emotional as intense.

MORLEY SAFER, JOURNALIST, 60 MINUTES: In the 60s, it was one thing after another. Each year, it was filled with poor events.

FRANK MCGEE, NBC NEWS: Governor Wallace has ordered 500 Alabama national guards went in to (inaudible). At the moment, they are under his control.

HEILEMANN: When there was the Civil Rights Movement, or it was the Kennedy assassination, or the space race, when there was a huge thing that happened, it happened on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The witness to that violence that had seemed to be unprovoked on the part of the demonstrators.

GREENFIELD: Television became the fire in which the whole tribes gathered around to listen to the elders tell them what was going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police reinforcements moving down Balboa Street now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, live from New York ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Hollywood ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From beautiful Downtown Burbank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the star of my show, Bob Hope.

GEORGE SCHLATTER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER LAUGH-IN: Variety was the backbone of television back then. One year, there were like 18 different variety shows. Everybody had a variety show.

CAROL BURNETT, COMEDIAN: Everyone was different because of who was helming the show.

BIANCULLI: Dean Martin was just so loose. He acted as though he was doing the whole show drunk without a rehearsal.

DEAN MARTIN: That's a real international show. Now, where else could you see a smooth Italian in a slippery pole?

SCHLATTER: He was funny. He was really, really funny.

PETULA CLARK, SINGER: He always looks as if he was a bit lost. People thought that it because he was tidily. But that was part of the charm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here he is. Ed Sullivan.


BIANCULLI: No matter who control the TV set the other nights of the week on Sunday night, you know, eight o'clock you were going to watch Ed Sullivan.

SULLIVAN: Now, ladies and gentlemen, a very fine hourly act.

SCHLATTER: Ed Sullivan was a phenomena and he was powerful force.

SULLIVAN: Quiet please, quiet.

BIANCULLI: The beauty of the Sullivan kind of variety show is that if you didn't like something, something else would be around in four minutes.

SENOR WENCES, VENTRILOQUIST: No Yanni no. No. No. Why. Why? It is very difficult. Easy.

ROSENTHAL: Advertisers wanted everybody. And so they got everybody. The little kid and his grandparents go watch the same show.

BURNETT: They were having elephant on, and then the next thing somebody doing Shakespeare, and then the next thing a comic. There would be an acrobat and then an opera singer over next bit, which was true variety.

CLARK: Forget all your cares and go Downtown, things will be great when you're Downtown.

Anything that was current was on the Ed Sullivan Show.

SULLIVAN: Here comes Richard Pryor.

RICHARD PRYOR, COMEDIAN: Thank, thank you.

SULLIVAN: Rodney Dangerfield.

REINER: Everybody wanted a showcase and if you got in on Sullivan you knew -- you can talk about it then the next you just see Sullivan.

RODNEY DANGERFIELD, COMMEDIAN: My whole life I don't get no respect. No respect from anyone.

REINER: He's a performer. You couldn't get a better place to sell your product.

BURNETT: When I started out, they would say variety is a man's game. It's Dean, its Milton Berle, it's Jackie Gleason, it's Theodore, the guys. But variety is what I know. I felt it was in my genes to do this.

REINER: She had been so good on the Garry Moore show. She always knew she can sing and dance and be funny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honey, where is the ...

BURNETT: On my show, I would do pratfalls and jump out of windows and get hides (ph) in the face and it was heaven.

I think it's gone, Oh God.

TOM SMOTHER, COMEDIAN: You know, I see rerun of Carol Burnett show and goddamn they're funny.

RICHARD SMOTHER, COMEDIAN: There's never been a better three-wall sketch show ever.

T. SMOTHER: She was great in bed too, Dick, you remember that.

R. SMOTHER: Stop. You never when to bed with -- well. HARVEY KORMAN, ACTOR: You're not supposed to catch, you're supposed to bow.

TIM CONWAY, COMEDIAN: But I get dizzy when I bend over.

BURNETT: When Tim Conway came on, his goal in life was to destroy Harvey.

Here's Tim with our own Harvey Korman as a brand new dentist with his very first patient.

I use to have a pool back stage not as to whether Harvey was going to break up. But at how far he could get along with the sketch before he broke up.

HARVEY: Hey, no one came. No one came.

CONWAY: Take a firm hold on the hypodermic needle.

HARVEY: Right.

SCHLATTER: And they never knew what he was going to do. But they knew it's not going to be what they expected.

BURNETT: When they did the dentist sketch, none of that was rehearsed.

HARVEY: Yeah, I'll be right with you.

BURNETT: When Harvey was helpless, tears coming down and Tim swears that Harvey wet his pants during that sketch.

GILLIGAN: I don't know why that works so well watching two actors break character and just crack each other up should not be as entertaining. But somehow when it's Tim Conway and Harvey Korman doing it, it just -- I could watch that stuff forever.

BURNETT: I just thought if we have planned the audience will -- were going to go out there and do what we do best and it worked.

SCHLATTER: You can plan it, you can write it, you can rehearse it but you hope for some magic and it was Carol, the magic of Carol Burnett.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying he's a TV addict? Perhaps she's been staring at this electronic blessing, the television set, for so long that his life has become his.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he'd be stuck at days of confusion that he no longer knows whether he's watching the action or he's participating in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension.

GILLIGAN: There was a desire on the part of writers and producers to push the envelope and stretch the medium and you certainly saw that was the Twilight Zone. It was a very cinematic show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a new world. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of times.

GILLIGAN: Rod Serling who created the Twilight Zone came to the realization that through the winds of fantasy or science fiction, he could actually tell stories about racism, he could tell stories about fascism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, I shall talk to you about glorious conformity.

SEPINWALL: It was a way to deal with a lot of the issues that America was starting to go through at that time. But in a fantastic settings so that there's some divide between you and the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They sent four people, a mother and the father and two kids who looked just like humans but they weren't.

NUSSBAUM: The Twilight Zone had this little O'Henry (ph) like twists on and it was -- it had unhappy endings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They picked the most dangerous enemy they can find and it's themselves. Now, six months a fugitive, this is Richard Kimble with a new identity and for as long as it is safe a new name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Fugitive was kind of a Sonberg (ph) character study.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wear the eyes of strangers. Keep moving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody wanted to see what happens to the fugitive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, to answer your question is how long is it going to go on or will we even find her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm about ready to give up. I'm tired.

BIANCULLI: When it ended, it broke the viewership record set by the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It was one of the first TV shows that actually went somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Youngstown is not exactly on our course.

GENZLINGER: In a lot of ways, television was showing slices of the world that people they'd never seen before. Route 66 was an innovative show because it was actually filmed on location. So the audience must being expose to things that just been more in part of their local orbit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Space, finally found you.

GILLIGAN: You know, there's a little bit of the Mayberry aspect to the world of Star Trek and that's going to sound like an odd analogy but follow me here. People want to believe that such a place can exist, the idea of a future in which a lot of the biases and fears of the past has evolved out of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where I came from? Size, shape, or color makes no difference.

BIANCULLI: There's one episode we're some of the members of the crew were taken over by these mental giants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is psychokinetic power of yours, how long have you had it?

BIANCULLI: They forced Cap. Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura to kiss. It was the first interracial kiss on television.

CLARK: NBC asked me if would do my own special and I have always adored Harry Belafonte. We decided to do one duet called The Path of Glory. It's an anti-war song and we both felt very strong about it and I just touched his arm. Sponsor went crazy. My star doesn't touch that mans arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Petula Clark says I'm not doing it over and it's my show and it's going in that way.

CLARK: And we weren't having any of that nonsense. No way. So it went out the way we wanted it to go out. I didn't really have any other problems with sponsors but that sort of gave me a taste of what could happen.

GILLIGAN: In the TV business, 60s was probably about the last decade during which the sponsors had a really iron grip on content.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brought to you by Dash.

ROSENTHAL: Even if they tried to keep TV as white homogeneous, whole milk product the world found its way in. It just had to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to whoever remembered to bring a silencer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runs in-line on my suit.

BIANCULLI: With I Spy, Robert Culp and Bill Cosby were equals. Cosby is this pioneer in terms of a black male lead in a drama.

ROSENTHA: He made race a none issue because he's undeniable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner is Bill Cosby in I Spy.

BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Bobby and I try and put forth an example of a way it should be racially in this country. We need more people in this industry to put forth that message and let it be known that the bigots and the racist that they don't count. Thank you. DIAHANN CARROLL, ENTERTAINER: As television changed, it was helping all Americans to understand that this is what America looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frankly, you're not exactly what I expected.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not from what I read here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you expect me to be older or younger?

CARROLL: Julia was going to be the first time at a black woman starred in her own television show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Had Mr. (Colden) told you?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What color are you?

CARROLL: She was a young black woman who would -- an educated racing her son alone. It had a universality that's just something new.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you'll keep out of mischief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll just watch the old TV.

ROSENTHAL: In the 60s, America was exploding in a way that needed to be reflected on TV.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dragnet came back in the late 60s and Friday was now in a very different world than he had been in the black and white days and suddenly there were the damn dirty hippies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll make you a book. He's been driving an asset we've been hearing about.

HANKS: Jack Webb would let you about the dangers of marijuana, smoking, and crazy drug culture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying to deal with the counter culture but they don't understand it. So it's just basically they're stereotypes of what the hippies were like and it plays exactly like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep your nose out of my purse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep yours out of the asset, next time I will.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NBC presents Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our country would be much better off with a strong leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know but Sinatra can't do everything.

HANKS: When laughing came along, we'd never seen anything that was kind of like grown ups acting goofy and hip that way, you know, and had girls dancing in bikinis that they had to joke walk (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's in there with you?


HANKS: And there was nothing but jokes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was at the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything serious?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A black widow bit me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it never would have happened if you'd been a gentleman.


SCHLATTER: We took it to the network and the network said, "What the hell is this?" They said, "This makes no sense." I said, "Right."



ROSENTHAL: They acknowledged the hippie generation, yet the hosts were in tuxedos smoking cigarettes. They were still your parents. But the other people let loose on the show where this kind of young Vaudeville.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, she socked at yourself.

ROSENTHAL: We knew that Sock It To Me didn't mean Sock It To Me, right? So we thought.




SCHLATTER: It was not as subversive as it sounds. Yes, it was -- it was fun.


SCHLATTER: It was the first time a presidential candidate had ever appeared on a comedy show and that, they've got them elected and I've had to live with that -- anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family that watches Laugh-in together really needs to pray it again.

ROACH: It just seems like it's happening right now and it's about right now that was greatest thing ever that there's a fusion of politics and comedy and everything else into one television show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we take over, I'm going to look out for you.

ROSENTHAL: The subjects that were both -- we don't talk about these things. We're starting to come up in TV and because it was well executed, it changed them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour product 124 air, take one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening and welcome to the Smothers Brothers Show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Rowan and Martin in the Smothers Brothers are the new stars of TV Comedy, it is the comedy itself rather than the comedians which is more often in the spotlight.

These two programs have consciously tried to influence people by comedy techniques to breakthrough the traditional song and skit routines. And by subject matter, that is often on the cutting edge of what is new.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our government is asking us as citizens to refrain from traveling to foreign lands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, are you guys in Vietnam? Come on home.

D. SMOTHERS: The times are changing so quickly and the Sixties ...

T. SMOTHERS: And we didn't change them ...

D. SMOTHERS: We just reflected them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't hear you. What are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm getting ready to go to college.

BIANCULLI: CBS gave the Smothers Brothers that show because they were clean-cut folk satirists. You know, they wore blazers, they could sing well, they were funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom liked you best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You lower your voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom liked you best.

D. SMOTHERS: They told us what they thought we could do and what we should do and it was totally wrong and Tommy came in and sing, I would like to show where we could be relevant.

SEPINWALL: If people and they counter culture and started making these shows and they don't want to play by the roles that other people did before then but who would expect this Smothers Brothers of all people to be the ones raising this much of a fuss.


CAVETT: I held my breath every time they did the show because I knew it that the network people were be following their trousers with fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing funny in this. Yeah, boys I'm through censoring your show.

D. SMOTHER: They said the social subjects we touched on were not appropriate for the nine o'clock family viewing hour.

They came up with any excuse to make it difficult.

T. SMOTHER: And I came up with any excuse to push it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If CBS would like to give us notice and some of you don't like the things we've said, but we're still here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yeah, we're still here.

ROSENTHAL: They were going to speak truth to power and they were not compromising.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have something important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something very important to say on American television.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, a lot of times we can't -- we don't have opportunities saying anything important because it's American television. Every time you say something and if you try to say something important, they ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, whether you can say it or not, keep trying to say it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what's important, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you getting that? Yeah?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no one in the world if anything is meaningful and truthful that you're not going to offend someone. You've got to be able to say what it is, say how it is and take the consequence.

WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS: CBS announced today that the Smothers Brothers Comedy hour will not return in the CBS Television Network next season. Network President Robert Wood said it became evident that the brothers, "Were unwilling to accept the criteria of taste." CBS News efforts to reach the brothers for -- had been unsuccessful. D. SMOTHERS: I was angry but we never regretted it. We never did regret it.

DAVID SUSSKIND, TALK SHOW HOST: What do you think on television honestly? Do you think it's good?

MARY TYLER MOORE, ACTOR: Yes, I do. I think, particularly for what it is for the amount of hours that it gives you for enjoying an either an education or for pure entertainment. It's remarkably good.

DAVID BRINKLEY, NBC NEWS: What television did in the Sixties was to show the American people to the American people. Until then, we did not truly know much about each other. We know only what we had seen which is very little and what we had read which was even less.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Few years ago, I thought it was the end of the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's just the beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people looked at television for answers maybe that the world is just confusing. It's going to be hell over the place. Maybe something on here will help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no denying in the shift and attitudes towards sex, towards race relations, towards politics. It was all televised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you will faithfully execute the office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I will faithfully execute the office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I will faithfully execute the office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it works, television conveys impressions and revokes memories. When it works well, television makes us feel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. It's T minus one hour, 29 minutes and 53 seconds and counting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Television created a sense of national unity around culture events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good, now we can see you coming down in the ladder now.

HANKS: You could turn on a machine and be somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking good in there.

HANKS: Television changed absolutely everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful view.