Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pop Culture Safari: Smothers Brothers

Pop Culture Safari: "'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,' which ran from 1967-69, should be on DVD on the basis of historical interest alone: It was one of the most controversial and groundbreaking programs ever aired on U.S. television. But there is loads of entertainment value, too."

One of my favorite bits on the show was the Mason Williams "Classical Gas" art video. It's been recreated here:

According to the YouTube poster:

The "Classical Gas Video," as it has come to be known, started out as a student film with Beethoven's 5th Symphony as the original soundtrack. After seeing the film in early 1968, Mason Williams, writer for the Smothers Brothers and composer of Classical Gas, approached the film's creator about replacing the music with his composition, a successful Top 40 record at the time. The revamped music video was shown on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, first during the summer of 1968 and several times more throughout the year. The video has since passed into legend (some call it one of the very first music videos), while Classical Gas, due in part to the impact of the video, became one of the largest selling instrumental recordings of all time.

The actual video has not been seen since 1968 and, for a multitude of reasons, may never again see the light of day. I have re-created it using the original student film as a guide, re-editing it to Classical Gas. Give or take a few frames, it is nearly identical to the actual video that aired on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 40 years ago


At 8:49 AM , Blogger Dr Zibbs said...

Thanks.I can now cancel that trip to the art museum.


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