Those Were The Years That Were?

Love ’em or hate ’em, the 1960s were a seminal – “seminal”? doesn’t that sort of talk belong in the abortion thread? – decade in what we laughingly refer to as the American experience. And speaking of laughter, a fond but nearly forgotten 1960s memory long before Saturday Night Live was a short lived television show called That Was The Week That Was. Both satire and political humor were virtually unknown on American television prior to TW3. Well, truth be told, television was still in its early days in the 1960s and the FCC governed broadcasting standards with a far heavier hand than today. Still, the show made quite an impression on me in my callow youth.

Unfortunately, there do not appear to be clips of the U.S. version available; but for those who do not, um, blanch at political incorrectness, a clip from the original British version (far more scathing than would have been permitted on American television) can be seen here.

Regardless, the reason I bring TW3 up now is because I only just now learned that a performance of its most memorable contributor, Tom Lehrer, was released in a combination CD/DVD package back in April. If you’re ever in the market for a gift for the Baby Boomer in your family who still looks longingly on the British Invasion, the Summer of Love, and blah, blah, blah, you could do far worse that a DVD including the likes of this:

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5 Responses to Those Were The Years That Were?

  1. James K says:

    Tom Lehrer is just one of many reasons that people who repeat the old saw that “Americans can’t do satire” are full of it.

  2. AMW says:

    In a just world, Tom would be the one given an hour a night on PBS and Jim would be remembered through clips on YouTube.

  3. James K says:

    Jim?

  4. James K says:

    Ah, I see. Now I’m wondering what a political debate moderated by Tom Lehrer would be like. Better than the regular sort I should think.

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