That Was the Week That Was (1964–1985)

TV Series   |    |  Comedy

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That Was the Week That Was (1964) Poster

An Americanized version of the famous hit British TV show, retaining David Frost from the British cast.


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5 March 2013 | t_k_matthews
| Disappointing
This weekly half-hour was the spiritual predecessor of Weekend Update. The English version had the reputation of being daringly topical and incisive. The American version was, in the well chosen word from the review by cmndrnineveh, smug. Maybe it was simply impossible, in the year after JFK's death, to make fun of the dominant ideology of the time, carried forward by JFK's then-overwhelmingly popular successor and associated with the martyred president. Of course, the sting of satire is most needed when smug assumptions rule political and social discourse. This program, however, often seemed intent on comforting the comfortable. Could a prime time network program slip daggers into the New Frontier and the Great Society in 1964? Not bloody likely.

One saving grace: The great Tom Lehrer wrote some songs for the show which were as keen and merciless as an Hattori Hanzo sword. They were collected in an album called "That Was the Year That Was," which is, I think, still available. Although topically tied to 1964/1965, the songs still cut. If you enjoy satire and you don't know Mr. Lehrer, do yourself a favor.

Oh, I also had a thing for Nancy Ames.

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