Dick Smothers

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In their nearly three-hour Archive interview, Tom Smothers and Dick Smothers each individually chronicle their early years and influences. They are then interviewed together regarding their work as the "Smothers Brothers." They speak about their first network series, the short-lived situation comedy The Smothers Brothers Show. They discuss in detail, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and the controversy surrounding the series topical material that led to its cancellation by CBS in 1969. The two describe the series comedy sketches, guest stars who appeared and the tempestuous era in which it ran. They also talk about their resurgence as performers and the legacy of their comedy act. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Las Vegas, NV on October 14, 2000.

"The American public hasn’t forgotten the Smother Brothers."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Dick Smothers on his brother Tom Smothers and their relationship
Tom and Dick Smothers on the origin of Tom's "mom always liked you best" catchphrase
Tom and Dick Smothers on the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air
Tom and Dick Smothers on the difficulties and their subsequent firing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
The Smothers Brothers on their legacy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

Full solo interview with Dick Smothers
Dick Smothers on his early family life
Dick Smothers on his early music education and teaming up with his brother Tom; and his early career aspirations
Dick Smothers on his brother Tom Smothers and their relationship

Chapter 2

[START OF JOINT INTERVIEW WITH TOM SMOTHERS] On their first professional work and the evolution of their comedy as part of their performance
On their first forays into television
On their sitcom The Smothers Brothers Show
On the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
On the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air

Chapter 3

On the start of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour and the difficulties of producing a variety show
On some of the confrontations they had with CBS and unions regarding the material on The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
On their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Chapter 4

On CBS' cancellation of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour for breach-of-contract
On some of their censored pieces on The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour, including a guest-starring appearance by Harry Belafonte
On working with CBS executives; and their eventual firing and subsequent lawsuit
On their short-lived series The Smothers Brothers Show (1975) and the importance of creative control
On "Yo-Yo Man" sketches, The Tom and Dick Smothers Brothers Special, and some of the shows they were involved in after their television series went off the air

Chapter 5

On the collaborative nature of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
On their opinion on the power of television and their advice to future television professionals
On blacklisting and their hiring of Pete Seeger
On their then-current projects and lifestyles
On the legacy of the Smothers Brothers
Shows

Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the origin of Tom's "mom always liked you best" catchphrase
On the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air
Tom and Dick Smothers the start of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour and the difficulties of producing a variety show
Tom and Dick Smothers on some of the confrontations they had with CBS and unions regarding the material on The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on CBS' cancellation of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour for breach-of-contract
Tom and Dick Smothers on some censored portions of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on their relationship with the Johnson administration
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the collaborative nature of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour

Smothers Brothers Show, The

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their sitcom The Smothers Brothers Show
Tom and Dick Smothers on their short-lived Smothers Brothers Show

Steve Allen Show, The (1956-61)

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their early TV appearances

Tonight Starring Jack Paar aka The Jack Paar Show

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their early TV appearances
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Tom and Dick Smothers on some of the confrontations they had with CBS and unions regarding the material on The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on CBS' cancellation of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour for breach-of-contract
Tom and Dick Smothers on some censored portions of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the free speech of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour

Characters & Catchphrases

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the origin of Tom's "mom always liked you best" catchphrase

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Hollywood Blacklist

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Tom and Dick Smothers on hiring blacklisted singer Pete Seeger

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their relationship with the Johnson administration

Minorities

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Pop Culture

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air

Richard M. Nixon

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Studio and Network Management

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their lawsuit following the firing of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

TV Theme Songs

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the origin of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour theme song

Vietnam War

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air
Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Tom and Dick Smothers on the changing social and political views in the sixties as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came on the air
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on how their comedy show transcended the variety format
People

Steve Allen

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their early TV appearances

Joan Baez

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Harry Belafonte

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Tom and Dick Smothers on some censored portions of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Glen Campbell

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Michael Dann

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Joe Hamilton

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their short-lived Smothers Brothers Show

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their relationship with the Johnson administration

Perry Lafferty

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Steve Martin

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Jack Paar

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their early TV appearances

William S. Paley

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Pat Paulsen

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Tom and Dick Smothers on their dealings with CBS, their firing, and their thoughts about the larger political issues which may have contributed to the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Rob Reiner

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the development of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Roseanne

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Tom and Dick Smothers on Roseanne Barr's transition from stage to television work

Pete Seeger

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Tom and Dick Smothers on hiring blacklisted singer Pete Seeger

Tom Smothers

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Dick Smothers on his brother Tom Smothers and their relationship

Aaron Spelling

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their sitcom The Smothers Brothers Show

David Steinberg

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Tom and Dick Smothers on CBS' cancellation of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour for breach-of-contract

Danny Thomas

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Tom and Dick Smothers on their sitcom The Smothers Brothers Show

Mason Williams

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Tom and Dick Smothers on the start of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour and the difficulties of producing a variety show
Tom and Dick Smothers on their post-TV stage shows and "Yo-Yo Man" character
Tom and Dick Smothers on the collaborative nature of The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour

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