Smothers Brothers

"Dangerously Funny" by David Bianculli / Simon & Schuster

Fifty years ago, the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" changed television when it premiered on CBS Feb. 5, 1967.

John Kiesewetter

With candidates making a joke of the presidential campaign this year, too bad comedian Pat Paulsen isn’t around to satirize the craziness.

Paulsen, the deadpan comic who died in 1997, made satirical runs for the White House in 1968 -- at  the height of the Vietnam War – on CBS’ “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” show.  He offered hope and change, boldly pronouncing: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself – and the Boogey Man!”

Looking back on his comical crusade nearly 50 years ago, I’m surprised that his wacky rhetoric remains so relevant.