Smothers Brothers

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The Smothers Brothers are an American double act, consisting of the brothers Thomas ("Tom") and Richard ("Dick"). The brothers' trademark act was performing folk songs (Tommy on acoustic guitar, Dick on string bass), which usually led to arguments between the siblings. Tommy's signature line was, "Mom always liked you best!" Tommy (the elder of the two) acted "slow", and Dick, the straight man, acted "superior".

In the 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and issued several popular record albums of their stage performances. Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era. Despite popular success, the brothers' penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture led to their firing by the CBS network in 1969. One show was left unaired.[1]

The brothers continued to work, both independently and as a team, on stage and television, and in films during subsequent decades.

Contents

Early years

The brothers were both born on Governors Island in New York Harbor, where their father, Thomas B. Smothers, Jr., a West Point graduate and U.S. Army officer, was stationed.[2] Tom was born on February 2, 1937,[2] and Dick was born on November 20, 1939.[3] Major Smothers served in the 45th Infantry Regiment (United States) and died during World War II, while being transported from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Fukuoka, Japan, to a POW camp in Mukden, Manchukuo.[2] They were raised by their mother in the Los Angeles area.

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