George Clooney’s doctoral thesis on the way entertainers have always been at the forefront of shaping history continues, with Clooney once more plotting to explore the intersection of pop culture and politics—a subject that brought him some acclaim with Good Night And Good Luck, and an opportunity to start pontificating about this stuff whenever microphones are around—by delving into another controversial chapter in CBS history with a biopic of The Smothers Brothers. Deadline reports that Sony will partner with Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, producers of only the finest dry-cured sociopolitical meats, on an adaptation of the David Bianculli book Dangerously Funny, which examines how the folk-comedy duo’s The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour challenged network censors by playing to its hippie audience, satirizing the Vietnam War, lightly mocking organized religion, and giving people like Joan Baez a place to play, all while Richard Nixon sat there shaking his jowls and going, “Brrrruh-uh-uh-uh-uh!” Seeing as the show’s writing staff included Steve Martin, Rob Reiner, and (Albert Brooks' brother) Bob Einstein in their younger days—and that it featured iconic music performances like that time The Who nearly blew up Pete Townshend—the film could be a fascinating time capsule even for those who are a bit worn out on self-congratulatory ’60s counterculture celebrations. And of course, it will give Clooney another chance to talk about how Hollywood is the true leader when it comes to effecting social change, for which he will continue receive course credit.
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