Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Show is UP: Tom Smothers

Before you decide to skip this week's show because the Smothers Brothers seem like some long-since-relevant figure from the distant past, don't. Tom Smothers is a now-underappreciated pioneer of the highest order, as I didn't know until I read David Bianculli's "Dangerously Funny" about him. And right-wingers out there will probably enjoy his dissing of Jane Fonda and Howard Stern, so there's something for everyone! Enjoy! -sf

May 10: A Smothers Brothers Hour

The following is an abbreviated list of the people whose career lineage can be traced back to Tom Smothers: Bill Maher. Jon Stewart. David Letterman. Stephen Colbert. Weird Al Yankovich. Norman Lear. Steve Martin. George Carlin. Lorne Michaels. Penn & Teller. The Dixie Chicks. The Who. Simon & Garfunkel. Yeah, that’s all. All were either launched or deeply inspired by Smothers and his pioneering work as creator and co-star of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour from 1966 to 1969. That landmark show, which was yanked from the air in its third season after constant battles with CBS censors, blazed the trail and set the standard for a mind-boggling list of innovative comedians and social commentators. Smothers and brother Dick Smothers are the subject of the brilliant new biography, “Dangerously Funny,” by author and frequent guest host of NPR’s Fresh Air, David Bianculli. The Smothers Brothers perform at the Orleans on May 15 and 16, so we chatted with Tom Smothers about all the famous people he helped launch – and those, like Bob Dylan and Steve Martin, who he didn’t quite “get.” Plus, of course, Smothers has a few thoughts on Vegas then and now.


Buy tickets for the Smothers Brothers at the Orleans
Buy David Bianculli's book "Dangerously Funny"


Jeff in OKC said...

So, back in the day, it was always reported that the Smothers Brothers weren't actually brothers. Rather, they were cousins. My question to you, Steve; are they brothers, or cousins?


Yes, they are brothers. I strongly suggest you get the book. It's really good.

atdnext said...

I'll have to listen this weekend when I have some free time. And btw, will there be a live episode today? I know you're going through a lot right now with your family, so I'd understand if you can't do something live this week.

Oh, and did you anything at Vegas Uncork'd last week?

Anonymous said...

Did you see about Dick filing bankruptcy? Either they really are retiring, or retiring temporarily to get Dick through bankruptcy quicker (then they can have a "come back," though maybe Tom really does want to retire).

Bankruptcy/retirement article here: