Tom Smothers, renowned for his role in the 1960s variety program "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" with his younger brother Dick, and known for his frequent clashes with CBS censors, has passed away at the age of 86.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Smothers died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, surrounded by his family, following a recent battle with cancer.
"The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," which ran from February 1967 until April 1969, was a trailblazer in television comedy, blending slapstick humor with political satire.
It played a significant role in launching the careers of several prominent comedians and writers, including Steve Martin, Rob Reiner, and Bob Einstein. The show was known for its bold approach to addressing political and social issues, often leading to conflicts with CBS censors.
Tom Smothers' impact on comedy and television was profound. He and his brother were pioneers in using humor to address serious issues, paving the way for future satirists.
Despite the show's cancellation by CBS, which led to a lawsuit and settlement, the Smothers Brothers' legacy in comedy and their influence on television satire remain undeniable.
Tom Smothers is survived by his children, Bo and Riley Rose Smothers, his grandson Phoenix, and his former wife Marcy Carriker Smothers. His contributions to comedy and his role in shaping television satire will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come. A private memorial service for family and friends is planned for 2024.
Watch and iconic sketch with Tom Smothers below