Tommy Smothers is half of one of greatest comedy duo's of all time–The Smothers Brothers. They would perform folk songs and do comedy bits, arguing who “Mom liked best.” In 1961, they recorded The Smothers Brothers at the Purple Onion, one of the most successful comedy recordings of the day.
This spring-boarded into a television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, a hipper version of the standard musical-variety hour show. That show started the careers of Albert Brooks, Steve Martin and Don Novello. It was also a show that attacked three sacred cows of the older generation: racism, politics and the Vietnam War.
Taking on these topics led to the cancelation.
The two officially retired the act in 2010 but will live on as long as brothers fight.
Tommy is known for saying:
“The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.”
“Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat… that's bad for you!”
“When you don't know what you're talking about, it's hard to know when you're finished.”
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