Tom Smothers & Dick Smothers.

Tom Smothers, Half of Famed Smothers Brothers Comedy Duo, Passed Away at 86

Tom Smothers & Dick Smothers.
Pictured: Tom Smothers & Dick Smothers. Courtesy of The National Comedy Center.

Comedian Tom Smothers, best known as one half of the legendary Smothers Brothers comedy duo, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at the age of 86, following a recent battle with cancer.


Dick Smothers, Tom’s brother and co-star of the celebrated and groundbreaking Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, announced that Tom was at home with his family at the time of his death.


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.

Dick Smothers on his one-of-a-kind creative partner, Tom Smothers.

Dick Smothers stated, “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.”


Dick and his wife Marie have requested that memorial donations honoring Tom be made to the National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, which has preserved and showcases the Smothers Brothers career and legacy (

The National Comedy Center on the legacy of Tom Smothers.

“Tom Smothers 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. 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. We were proud to bring Tom and Dick out of retirement and reunite them on stage in 2019 to celebrate their legendary careers, and we are honored to preserve Tom’s remarkable work and legacy here at the National Comedy Center for generations to come.” – Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director

More about the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (made up of Tom & Dick Smothers) first aired in 1967 and ran until 1969. The show was groundbreaking in its approach to comedy, pushing the boundaries with political satire and social commentary. The show also featured up-and-coming musical acts, including The Doors and The Who, and introduced the world to comedians like Steve Martin and George Carlin.


Other famous guests on the show include Gallagher, Bob Newhart, Jonathan Winters and more. Watch more classic clips from the beloved brothers & their hit series below!

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