Dangerously Funny

  • by David Bianculli
  • Narrated by Johnny Heller
  • 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. In this explosive, revealing history of the show, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli tells the fascinating story of its three-year network run---and the cultural impact that's still being felt today.
Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of such comedy legends as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s.
Drawing on extensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players---as well as more than a decade's worth of original research---Dangerously Funny brings listeners behind the scenes for all the battles over censorship, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches that defined the show and its era. David Bianculli delves deep into this riveting story to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this day.


What the Critics Say

“A fast-paced, informative reminder of the importance of speaking out.” (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great topic, well written, poorly narrated

I've been a big fan of Bianculli's, enjoying his reviews, blogs and your appearances on Fresh Air. I just heard a repeat of his interview with Terri about Dangerously Funny. This made me race off to Audible.com to see if there was a recorded version (the only kind of book I read for various reasons). At Audible I discovered the book was long and cost more than the usual $14.00 or so I spend for a book. This was $18+ but oh, well. I clicked "buy" without listening to a sample, which I almost always do. Oh, how disappointed I am. A book is only as good as its narrator. I'm sorry but I expected Bianculli's quality...maybe not his voice which I love, but at least as good a speaker. But no, this voice is monotone, unexciting, and just plain irritating (sorry, Heller). I've been considering asking for my money back, but the topic interests me so much that I think I'll stick with it. But if he writes another book, and I hope he does, please don't use Johnny Heller to narrate it. I know it's a lot of work, but he would do such a better job of reading his own material.
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- Sandra

Almost unlistenable

The narration is so off-putting as to make it difficult to pick up the book for the next listening. The up and down of his intonation makes it necessary to dial the volume up to hear the quiet parts, assaulting the eardrums a second later. And his bare attempts at imitating Pat Paulson's voice and timing, or Richard Nixon, or Lyndon Johnson, or Bobby Kennedy, grate on the nerves like dragging fingernails on a blackboard. Only the interesting subject matter elevates this rating to a 2.
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- Kevin W. Daniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-24-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio