Highlights

  • Tom Smothers has passed away at the age of 86
  • Smothers died on December 26 following a battle with cancer
  • His brother announced his passing in a statement

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Tom Smothers, half of American comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, dies at 86

In a statement, Smothers’ younger brother and co-star of ‘Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ Dick Smothers said, ‘I am forever grateful to have spent a lifetime together with him, on and off stage, for over 60 years.'

Tom Smothers, half of American comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, dies at 86

Tom Smothers, the American comedian who was one half of the musical-comedy duo known as the Smothers Brothers, passed away at the age of 86 in his California home on December 26. His family announced that he had been battling cancer. The statement was released by the National Comedy Center.

Smothers’ younger brother and co-star of ‘Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ Dick Smothers said, ‘Tom was not only the loving older brother that everyone would want in their life, he was a one-of-a-kind creative partner’.

He added, ‘I am forever grateful to have spent a lifetime together with him, on and off stage, for over 60 years. Our relationship was like a good marriage – the longer we were together, the more we loved and respected one another. We were truly blessed.’

The Smothers Brothers, renowned for their folk singing, were early adopters of biting satirical comedy. Their CBS variety show, ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,’ aired from 1967 to 1969 and was a pioneering force in this genre.

The show gained notoriety when CBS abruptly removed it from the air due to the brothers' outspoken political commentary, support for civil rights, and opposition to the Vietnam War. This decision by the network sparked controversy and solidified the Smothers Brothers' reputation for pushing boundaries.

In a 2019 interview shared by ‘All Arts TV,’ Tom Smothers expressed long-lasting frustration, stating, ‘Looking back on our dismissal fifty years later, I'm still irritated,’ prompting laughter from the audience.

After attending San Jose State University in California, Tom Smothers and his brother began their career in entertainment. In a CBS News interview last year, Tom Smothers mentioned that they didn't originally see themselves as stand-up comedians but rather as folk singers.

Their entry into television with their musical performances led to the success of ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.’

Reflecting on this achievement, Dick Smothers expressed his excitement, saying, ‘It was just the most incredible thrill, it was unbelievable!’

A private memorial service for family and friends is set to take place in 2024.

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