Half of The Smothers Brothers musical comedy duo, Tom Smothers has passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday (12.26,) in Santa Rosa, California, following a battle with cancer.
In a formal statement, Dick Smothers, who performed with older brother Tom, wrote:
“Tom was not only the loving older brother that everyone would want in their life, he was a one-of-a-kind creative partner,” “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.”
With Tom on the acoustic guitar and Dick on the double bass, the brothers started their entertainment careers as folk musicians In the early 1960s, before becoming comedians,
Before launching the variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, in 1967, the siblings fronted the sitcom, The Smothers Brothers Show, between 1965 and 1966 Their variety show was cancelled in 1969 and then briefly revived between 1988 and 1989.
In 2008, Tom was presented with a special Emmy Award by onetime Smothers Brothers writer Steve Martin, while both he and Dick were inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2010.
Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director, said in a statement, “Tom was a true pioneer who changed the face of television and transformed our culture with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which satirized politics, combated racism, protested the Vietnam War, and led the way for Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, today’s network late night shows, and so much more.”
In addition to his brother, Tom is survived by his wife Marcy Carriker Smothers and his children Bo and Riley Rose Smothers.