Tom Smothers, half of iconic comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, dies at 86 after battle with cancer

Iconic comedian Tom Smothers, one half of the renowned comedy duo, the Smothers Brothers, has succumbed to cancer at the age of 86.

The announcement was made by his brother and long-time co-star, Dick Smothers, aged 84. Tom passed away surrounded by family at his home in Sonoma County, California, on Tuesday.

Fond Remembrance by Dick Smothers:

In a heartfelt statement, Dick Smothers shared his grief, describing Tom not only as a loving older brother but also as an unparalleled creative partner.

Their enduring bond, both on and off the stage, spanned over 60 years, characterized by mutual love and respect.

Dick expressed gratitude for the profound connection they shared, akin to a harmonious marriage that deepened with time.

Memorial Donations to National Comedy Center:

Dick and his wife, Marie, have requested that memorial donations in honor of Tom be directed to the National Comedy Center.

Situated in Jamestown, New York, the center serves as the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, showcasing the illustrious career and legacy of the Smothers Brothers.

Tribute from National Comedy Center Executive Director:

Journey Gunderson, the Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, paid tribute to Tom Smothers, acknowledging him not only as an extraordinary comedic talent but also as a champion for freedom of speech.

Gunderson highlighted Tom’s pivotal role in transforming television and culture through “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” a groundbreaking show that addressed politics, combat racism, protested the Vietnam War, and influenced subsequent programs like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show.

Legacy Preservation and Reunion:

Expressing pride in bringing Tom and Dick out of retirement for a stage reunion in 2019, Gunderson emphasized the honor of preserving Tom’s remarkable work and legacy at the National Comedy Center for future generations to appreciate.

Surviving Family Members:

Tom Smothers is survived by his children Bo and Riley Rose Smothers, grandson Phoenix, Marcy Carriker Smothers, sister-in-law Marie Smothers, and several nephews and a niece. He is predeceased by his son Tom and sister Sherry Smothers.


The passing of Tom Smothers marks the end of an era in comedy, leaving behind a legacy that reshaped the landscape of television and humor.

As friends, family, and fans mourn the loss of a comedic pioneer, the National Comedy Center stands as a testament to his enduring impact on the world of laughter and entertainment. Further details about this breaking story are anticipated in the coming days.

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