The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

CBS (ended 1970)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 1


    Aired 12/4/02

  • S 4 : Ep 11


    Aired 9/15/70

  • S 4 : Ep 10


    Aired 9/1/70

  • S 4 : Ep 9


    Aired 8/25/70

  • S 4 : Ep 8


    Aired 8/18/70

  • Cast & Crew
  • Tom Smothers


  • Dick Smothers


  • Pat Paulsen

  • Jimmy Joyce Singers

  • Louis DaPron Dancers

  • show Description
  • Considered by many as a "poster show" for the First Amendment, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour didn't quite begin that way.Less than a year after the cancellation of a sitcom also on CBS, the network gave Tom and Dick Smothers another chance with a variety series. This time, the formula worked. The sibling rivalry continued with aplomb, and the show was a better showcase for their musical and comedic talents. Not to mention the high-caliber talent who guested on the show: Mickey Rooney, George Segal, Kenny Rogers, and Liberace, to name just a few. The show was also a showcase for new talent and a venue for hot music. Mason Williams, Steve Martin, Bob Einstein, and Rob Reiner cut their teeth in the entertainment business with this show. Among the highlights in the music department: The Doors, The Who (whose "smashing" appearance ranks among VH1's Greatest Moments In Rock And Roll History), George Harrison, and Paul Revere And The Raiders. The show was also a hotbed of controversy, more or less. Through 72 episodes over 2½ seasons, and depending on the source of the story, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was either working their butts off to make the CBS network happy over bits and pieces of their programs being censored, or were just being outright rebellious to see how much they could put on the air. In April 1969, the flashpoint happened: the show was cancelled, despite protests. The battle over the show would actually end in 1973, when a court ruled the Smothers firing to be illegal (they had been officially renewed weeks before their cancellation), and that their First Amendment rights had been violated. The win was financially small compared to the multi-millions won in lawsuits today, but the moral win was a lot bigger: the door opened for more venues or creativity. There remains some question, however, if Free Speech in the form of political satire is still really free. Tom Smothers expressed this in his appearance on the American Public Television series Speaking Freely.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • sounddude

    User Score: 493


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (14)

    • Tommy: (whenever losing an argument with his brother) Mom always liked you best!

    • Tom: What's your name? Roger Daltrey: I'm Roger. Tom: Where ya from, Roger? Roger: Oz.

    • Tom: You know last week Dickie and I were watching the Carol Burnett show and we felt that one of the highlights of the many highlights of that show was the spot Carol does with her cute announcer.
      Dick: No, Tommy, he's not cute...handsome.
      Tom: You kinda like him too, huh?

    • Dick: (after expecting a male announcer to walk out on stage) Tommy this is a girl!
      Tom: (condescending) Very good, Dick. We start you on finger paints tomorrow and block building.

    • Dick: (pointing to new female announcer's head) Look at her, Tommy, her eye's are all sleepy!
      Tom: (looking up and down her quite shapely body) Yeah, but the rest of her is wide awake!

    • Tom: (complementing Kate Smith on her singing style) When she sings Climb Every Mountain, thousands of people across the United States put on their hiking boots.

    • Ronnie: I really can't tell you what a pleasure it is and, uh, an unusual privilege for me personally, uh, to be working...

    • Kate Smith: (preaching to a drunk on a park bench) Do you know the evils of alcohol..what they can do? You know you can take a little worm and you can put him in a glass of water, and he will live. But you take that same little worm, and you put him into whiskey..and what happens? He dies..immediately. Now what does that tell you, brother?
      Pat Paulsen: (with slurred speech) If I keep drinking I'll never get worms?

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (9)

    • Kate Smith almost walked off the show after reading an early sketch idea which had her portraying Oliver Hardy to Tom Smothers' Stan Laurel. In a script meeting, she demanded to know who wrote the piece and junior writer Bob Einstein (aka Super Dave) raised his hand. She stormed from the room and had to be persuaded to return to the show, being promised that the script idea would be abandoned. That same idea would be resurrected years later only with Dom DeLuise in the roll of Oliver Hardy.

    • When the Smothers Brothers re-aired these episodes on the E! Network, they mislabeled this episode as having aired on April 28, 1968. It may have re-run on that date, but IMDB, the SmoBroEpGuide, the guide, and the Smothers' own official website show the original air date as December 10, 1967.

    • A.K.A. Pat Paulsen for President Special.

    • CBS kept Paulsen quiet 'til after the 1968 election.

    • This episode finally aired in 1992 on E! , but the beatles video clips were blocked by Apple records in every re-broadcast.

    • It was for this show that David Steinberg wanted to deliver an especially controversial monologue on Sodom and Gomorrah. Though it was taped, CBS would not air the monologue until Memorial Day 1985, when it was included in the one-shot exposé America Uncensored.

    • After this episode aired on easter weekend 1969 CBS pulled the plug on this show after three seasons and 71 episodes(one didn't air the weekend before.)CBS almost renewed the comedy hour for the '69-'70 season.

    • After CBS network CEO and President William S. Paley abruptly cancelled the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in April of 1969 for failure to submit a tape of a show to the censors for approval, the Smothers Brothers moved to the ABC network a year later, trying to pick up where they left off. The show only lasted the summer due to mediocre ratings.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (2)

    • Episode #10 4actually aired on 9/17/67, guest-starring Bette Davis, Mickey Rooney, and The Who. During the band's usual destruction following their song "My Generation", Pete Townsend also grabbed Tommy Smothers' guitar and smashed it, while Keith Moon detonated the gunpowder in his drum kit. This was the famous incident where an overabundance of explosives sent shrapnel into Moon's arm and behind Townsend's ear, also burning the guitarist's hair and leading to his long-term loss of hearing.

    • Unusual for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour's musical guests, Simon and Garfunkel perform their two songs, Homeward Bound and Overs, with just one acoustic guitar and no other orchestral backup.

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • A show that pushed the envelope of free speech on TV while entertaining us at the same time.

    By ercolby, Dec 27, 2006

  • Controversy Shmontroversy

    By SJP3k, Nov 30, 2005

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