George Clooney is a big fan of cinematic nostalgia, particularly when it involves television. We’ve seen it in his career before with the likes of Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind and Good Night, And Good Luck. Now it appears he’s channelling the past again, developing a film based on the lives of ‘60s comedians Tom and Dicky Smothers.
If you’ve never heard of them, we sympathise, and offer this brief info-blast. The Smothers Brothers show ran between 1967 and 1969, shoving boundaries as American culture erupted in change around them. While they began as easy gagmen, they soon evolved into counterculture troublemakers. As well helping to introduce musical acts such as The Who, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors, their writing staff boasted the talents of Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, among others. Such was the change in their material over time that they ended up fired by US network CBS and on Richard Nixon’s list of enemies. High praise, surely!
Clooney and regular producing partner Grant Heslov have bought the rights to David Bianculli’s book Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story Of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, with writers Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman assigned to work on a script. It’s early days for the project, and no word according to Deadline on whether Clooney will actually get involved as either director or actor.