One-Half Of Famous Comedy Duo Has Passed Away
Comedian Tom Smothers was better known as half of the comedy duo The Smothers Brothers, along with his brother, Dick Smothers. The comedy team co-hosted “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” on CBS from 1967 to 1969.
Now, the National Comedy Center‘s website has announced the sad news that Tom has died. He was 86 years old. According to Dick, Tom was at home with his family at the time of his death, which followed a battle with cancer.
Dick said of his late brother, “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.”
In a statement, Journey Gunderson, the National Comedy Center’s Executive Director, remembered Tom for his talent and how he used his comedy to do more than simply entertain. He explained, “Tom was not only an extraordinary comedic talent, who, together with his brother Dick, became the most enduring comedy duo in history, entertaining the world for over six decades – but was a true champion for freedom of speech, harnessing the power of comedy to push boundaries and our political consciousness.”
Gunderson continued, “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.”
Tom was married three times. His first marriage was to Stephanie R. Shorr in 1963. They had one child together, but their marriage ultimately ended in divorce in 1967. His second marriage was to Rochelle Ruth Robley in 1974. Again, the marriage ended in divorce, this time in 1976.
His third and final marriage lasted until his death. He married Marcy Carriker in 1990, and they had 2 children during their marriage. Tom is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
Watch the video below to relive one of Tom’s comedic impersonations, this one of late night host Johnny Carson. The resemblance is quite impressive.