1967: The Who's Keith Moon Blows Up The Smothers Brothers Show

By Jacob Shelton
The Who's John Entwistle keeps playing his bass as Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are exposed to the blast coming from the drum kit of Keith Moon, who seems to think it's very funny. Source: YouTube

If any band was going to blow up on TV in 1967 -- literally explode -- it would be The Who, and particularly their loose cannon drummer Keith Moon. And that's what happened, much to the chagrin of Pete Townshend and the Smothers Brothers.

In 1967 the Smothers Brothers were anything but the buttoned down squares that they appeared to be onscreen. During its short tenure on CBS, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was the home to culturally and politically subversive acts who thumbed their nose at the older generations, whether they were dressed like members of the counter culture or not.

One band that made a lasting impression on the audience in the studio and at home was The Who, then a riotous upstart band from England trying to crack America. On September 17, 1967, the band performed "My Generation" before destroying their instruments on camera, while Keith Moon's kick drum exploded.

Literally, the kick drum was full of explosives and it blew up on air as the band finished with "My Generation." Was it a prank? Did the Smothers Brothers ask the band to end the show with a bang? And is this why Pete Townshend went deaf in one ear? That depends on who you ask.