Smothers Brothers

Wed Feb 12 15:13:33 PST 2003

Steve Simmons wrote:
> A pretty good summary.  Some of the things that got the network
> censors so upset including such now-tame items as an interracial
> kiss - only the second one ever on television to that point.  The
> original Star Trek was first, and the network censors didn't like
> it -- but passed it because it was 'forced' on participants against
> their will by mind-controlling aliens.  The one on the Smothers
> Brothers was considerably more enthusiastic.  The Smothers' got
> theirs past the censors by simply not telling them.

There's actually a bit of intrigue behind that first interracial kiss on 
Star Trek. To put it bluntly: they didn't kiss.

In his book, "Star Trek Memories", William Shatner mentions that the 
network censors mandated that they shoot several takes of that scene. In 
some of the takes, Shatner and Nichelle Nichols actually kissed, and in 
others, their lips never touched and they simple faked it. The take that 
ended up on the air was one of the faked ones, and it's pretty obvious 
if you go back and watch it. Of course, that didn't stop NBC from taking 
advantage of the hype it generated (even to this day).

Thus, while Star Trek is usually given credit for television's first 
interracial kiss (and they certainly tried), the Smothers Brothers 
actually deserve that credit. ;)

Ryan Grove
ryan at wonko.com