Steve Allen was always a thinking man's comedian. Credited with inventing the talk show concept, Allen took it one step further with a PBS entry, Meeting of Minds, which launched in 1977.
The history books tell us that Meeting's genesis actually was some 20-odd years earlier, while Allen was doing a sketch comedy show, and he wanted to incorporate Meeting as a segment on the show. A sponsor objected, and the segment was never produced. In the interim, a similarly themed Canadian series, Witness to Yesterday, bowed in 1974, and Allen appeared on the show as George Gershwin in 1976.
Bolstered by the fact that the idea for Meeting, had, in fact, come to fruition after all, Allen re-mounted plans for Meeting, and while you think PBS was perhaps not the first choice, consider that in later years, Allen would become a bit of a moral zealot, associating himself with the likes of the Parents Television Council. Clearly, the broadcast networks wanted no part of Meeting, so PBS was, in truth, the only option.
Meeting of Minds lasted for four years, but today, languishes in the vaults somewhere, awaiting a DVD release, depending on who holds the rights. It might be Allen's estate, or PBS, or someone else. Until then, let us consider this sample episode: