Fifty years ago, the Smothers Brothers were the gutsiest show on television. By today’s standards, they were very mild but they were critical enough of President Lyndon Johnson that Johnson called William Paley, the head of CBS, to complain, leading to this story I heard on NPR.
“On their final show, Dick read a letter he and Tom had gotten from former President Johnson. These days, President Donald Trump responds to Saturday Night Live skits with angry tweets. Back then, former President Johnson, reflecting on his treatment by the Smothers Brothers, responded by writing: ‘It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives.’”