R.I.P. to the wonderful Tommy Smothers

A pioneer, a lovably odd duck, a rebel, and a very funny man.

Dick is still alive, presumably because mom always liked him best.

Every early baby boomer remembers the brothers’ controversial variety show, but how many remember their sitcom? It was lame and had no edge at all, but I watched it every week because, like Tom himself, it was oddly endearing.

Here is the famous “lost” episode of the Comedy Hour that CBS refused to air:

9 thoughts on “R.I.P. to the wonderful Tommy Smothers

  1. I was born in 1968, so I never got to watch The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (though I have seen excerpts). But I had heard of it as a very funny, very controversial show even as a child. Ironically, just last week, I went searching online for their variety show. As far as I could find, it’s not available to stream anywhere. The show was released on DVD (or at least Best of each season DVDs), but most are unavailable on Amazon. The only one I could find available to purchase was the Best of Season 2 for the low, low price of $289.99. I didn’t buy it.

    I had never heard of their sitcom, but after listening to the theme song describe the plot, I wanted to check it out. Not surprisingly, it was never released on DVD (as far as I could find). There’s no listing on JustWatch, either. But there is one streaming service where it is often possible to find TV shows that were never officially released. I was able to find a playlist of 9 episodes available on YouTube. I haven’t watched any of it yet, but in case anyone else is interested, here is a link.

    If that link doesn’t work for some reason, you can search for “My Brother The Angel.” Searching for The Smothers Brothers Show will only pull up clips of the Comedy Hour.

    Here is a link to an episode of What’s My Line from January, 1967 featuring the Smothers Brothers as the mystery guest. From their discussion after Bennet Cerf guessed them, their variety show hadn’t started yet. But at one point, Tom says, “We were on one other time,” which gets a laugh. I had originally thought they must have had a controversial special (or something like that), but he may have been referring to their sitcom.

    1. I think they were just laughing at Tom’s off-kilter delivery, combined with the fact that their show was such a notorious bomb that it had become a punch line, ala “My Mother the Car.”

      1. I first heard of My Mother the Car when I was at summer camp in the 1970s. Each bunk was competing in something where we had to sing a song about a car. Our counselor told us there was a show called My Mother the Car, and we could sing the theme song. We didn’t actually know what the theme was, so we just sang the opening line we made up, “My mother the car…” Years later I got to see the show on TV Land. That wasn’t the theme, but who could prove that in the 1970s?

    2. I watched the 1st ten minutes of the 1st episode. Greg was right; it was awful. I quit when Dick didn’t want to cancel his date with his boss’s daughter on the night his dead brother returned as an angel. Ugh…

  2. Wow, I had totally forgotten that lame sitcom until you mentioned it. It was also called “My Brother the Angel.” Now I can vaguely recall it, Tommy played an angel trying to get his wings. Shades of It’s a Wonderful Life!

    Some interesting behind the scenes talent on that show. Johnny Carson’s long time producer, Freddy De Cordova, produced it and Aaron Spelling co-created it.

    And it predated their more popular variety show.

    R.I.P. Tommy Smothers, he was a rare talent.

  3. RIP.

    The picture in that article is killing me because he looks like a more recent celeb that I can’t put my finger on.

  4. I was zero years old when their controversial show went off the air. I did get the chance to see them live in the 80s, and they were very funny.

    He will be missed.

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