The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

By | October 17, 2017

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From 1967 to 1969, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour provided subversive entertainment disguised as a standard variety show. Tommy and Dick Smothers, the mild-mannered hosts, were the daring duo who took on censorship during their popular show. Although they were up for a 4th season, the thriving show was taken off the air and the brothers were fired. They turned around and sued CBS and won, becoming the faces for the fight of free speech in entertainment. 

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They began their career in 1959 as folk satirists. Tommy played guitar and was the fibbing, emotional one onstage. Dick played the bass and was the straight-laced counterpart of the comedy team which usually led to arguments between the brothers. Tommy's signature line was, "Mom always liked you best!" Their first TV series was a situation comedy called “The Smothers Brothers Show” (1965–1966). Tom played an angel who came back to earth to watch over his brother Dick, who played a swinging bachelor. It didn’t do well in the ratings and didn’t have the music that viewers had identified with the brothers. Tom said later in an interview that "Four Star (the production company) gave me ulcers."