Plenty of Hollywood stars and comedians have been offering their tributes to Tom Smothers, one-half of the Smothers Brothers team. Tom Smothers died on December 26 at 86 years old after battling cancer.
His style of comedy, working right next to his brother Dick, made people laugh for six-plus decades. Smothers also was an outspoken activist in his lifetime. But it is the laughs and good times that are being remembered.
“You made me laugh before we met, and even more so when we became friends,” comedy writer and author Alan Zweibel wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. Actor-comedian-director Rob Reiner wrote, “In 1968, Tommy Smothers plucked me out of the improv group, The Committee, and gave me my first writing job for his show. Tommy was funny, smart, and a fighter. He created a groundbreaking show that celebrated all that was good about American Democracy. We loved you best, Tommy.”
In his comments, actor-comedian Matt Besser wrote, “Tommy Smothers was the best. The brothers had the most unique style of comedy that still holds up.” Television writer Mike Scully agreed, saying that “nobody could make me laugh with a look the way Tommy Smothers could.”
Tom Smothers Remembered By Michael McKean
Actor Michael McKean also sent his condolences to the Smothers family. “So long, Tommy Smothers, A character within a character, and a nice guy beneath it all.” Comedian Dave Foley said, “So sad to hear Tommy Smothers has died. I’ve been a fan of the Smothers Brothers my whole life. I was thrilled to meet him years ago. Such an important and influential force in the history of comedy.”
Craig Bierko added his thoughts about Smothers’ death on X. He said, “Great artists leave a mark, Tommy Smothers left a smoking crater.” In a statement from their X account, the band America said, “Very sad to hear of the passing of Tommy Smothers. Had the pleasure of appearing on the Smothers Brothers show and hanging with Tommy back in the 70s. He was funny, an artist, and an activist who was very plugged into the scene. Rest in Peace Tommy.”
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour took TV by storm on CBS. In a bit of activism in itself, Tommy Smothers spoke out against the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. He also was a close friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Smothers was one of the performers present in the Lennons’ hotel room when they recorded Give Peace A Chance.
Smothers Brothers Stayed Relevant Over Years
Tommy and Dick Smothers toured around the country, making stops at theaters all over the place. They would do their usual routines, still getting laughs from the fans all those years later. Tommy even found a new outlet for comedy. He invented himself into the “Yo-yo Man,” taking out a yo-you and performing tricks at the spot of a dime.
Through their TV show, the Smothers Brothers also introduced musical acts that other shows might not do. They had Harry Belafonte come on there. The same goes for Pete Seeger, the legendary folk singer. When it came to rock bands, they made space for the ones who were hot at the moment. The Who famously went on there and smashed up their instruments. The Doors appeared there at the height of their popularity.
Comedienne Ruth Buzzi offered up some cogent comments about Smothers. “Tommy Smothers had an enormous heart for others,” she wrote. “Sending love to his brother Dick and the Smothers family as they gratefully remember an irreplaceable, brilliantly shining light. Rest in Peace, dear Tommy.”
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