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Beatles Interviews Database: Harrison Interview: Smothers Brothers, 11/17/1968
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In November 1968, George Harrison stopped by during a taping of the CBS-TV program 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,' for an impromptu cameo appearance. In this brief chat which would air on November 17th, George joked with Tommy and Dick about the on-going network censorship of their show.

In previous weeks, the Smothers Brothers had exclusive Amercian-TV rights for airing the promotional films for 'Hey Jude' and 'Revolution,' the Beatles latest no. 1 single.

Tommy Smothers would later remember: "Beatle George Harrison was on this show. He makes a surprise appearance and surprised everybody." Dick Smothers added: "Back then in that year, The Beatles were the biggest thing in the entire universe. And to have George Harrison just stop on by to wish us luck and say 'Go on, keep doing it,' it was a real coup."

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a cutting edge program featuring top-name musical guests and politcal satire. The program was often censored for politcal reasons which baffled Tom Smothers, who contractually had creative control over the scripts. The show would be cancelled in 1969 because of tensions with the network - tensions stemming from the fact that the show's political views did not agree with those of the CBS network president at the time. The Smothers Brothers would sue CBS on the grounds that the network did not have proper grounds to terminate their mutual contract. In the end, the Smothers Brothers did prevail in that court case.

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour ran from February 1967 until it was cancelled in April 1969. Staff writers on the show included Rob Reiner and a young up-and-coming Steve Martin.

                                          - Jay Spangler,

DICK SMOTHERS: "Tommy has a special guest and he'd like to introduce him right now."

TOMMY SMOTHERS: "That's right. I have a Beatle!"

(sudden surprised screams from the girls in the audience)

DICK: "Yea, but it's not the kind of 'beetle' you would expect it to be."

(audience moans with disappointment)

TOMMY: "It's the kind of Beatle that I think you hoped it would be! Ladies and gentlemen, Mister George Harrison!"

(girls scream as George runs out, audience roars, excited ovation continues until George quiets them)

TOMMY: "Several weeks ago we had on... Your people did Hey Jude."

GEORGE: (sings) "Heey Juuude!"

TOMMY: "And Revolution."

(audience applauds and cheers)

DICK: "Beautiful. We thought... Tommy and I both thought that Hey Jude was the best presentation we've ever seen of The Beatles. And we're glad it was on our show."

GEORGE: "Yea. So are we!"


GEORGE: (jokingly to Tom) "Have you met my brother Dick?"

TOMMY: (giggles)

GEORGE: (introducing them to each other) "Let me introduce you... this is Tommy, and this is my brother Dick."

(laughter as they shake hands)

TOMMY: (to Dick) "I've enjoyed your work."

DICK: (to Tom) "You look different in person."

GEORGE: "It's all the makeup. Too much makeup."

TOMMY: (to George) "You have something important?"

GEORGE: "Something very important to say on American television."

TOMMY: "You know, a lot of times we don't have opportunity to say anything important... BECAUSE it's American television."


TOMMY: "Everytime you try to say something important they uhh..." (makes gesture of pushing a censor button)

DICK: (makes gesture of cutting across throat)


GEORGE: "Well, whether you can say it or not, keep TRYING to say it!"

TOMMY: "That's what's important?"

GEORGE: "You got that? Yea. It's very important."

(someone off-screen hurries them to finish)

GEORGE: (to the person off-screen) "Cue, cue, cue... Aye, just a minute! Just a minute!"

TOMMY: (to the stage crew) "Wait a second..."

GEORGE: "OK... Cue the clap NOW!!"

(audience applauds on cue)

GEORGE: (bangs hands together fast) "Yay!!"

TOMMY: "Ladies and gentlemen, Mister George Harrison."

Source: Transcribed by from video copy of the television program

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