Smothers Brothers Retire From the Comedy Grind
By PopEater Staff Posted May 18th 2010 07:52PM
Tommy and Dick Smothers surprised a packed house at Las Vegas' Orleans Showroom on Sunday with the news, telling fans "we're not doing anything new" anymore.
Dick, 70, told the Las Vegas Sun he and his older brother have canceled all future gigs. "I was wondering if it would be emotional," he said, "But that to me was just another day in the office."
Tommy, 73, seconded that non-emotion, telling the Press Democrat (in Santa Rosa, Calif., where he lives) that "I expected to feel more about it than I do."
A day after performing live for the last time, Tommy called himself "a former entertainer," adding, "It's been a good run."
He remarked in a later interview that the low-key sendoff was calculated, and meant to go under the radar.
"We just quietly let it fade away, no special statements about it," Tommy told AOL News. "No sendoff when we started, no big sendoff when we leave. He's 71, I'm 73. We just don't have the time or the energy or the passion -- really it's the passion -- to learn new material and put out new stuff. We didn't want to continue repeating ourselves. We're just tired, tired of it."
But relevant they remained at their final gig, where the notorious rabble-rousers took a few swipes at Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, along with touching on the immigration issue.
'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' ran briefly, from 1967-1969, but during that time it caused quite a stir with its satire targeting the White House, racism and other social hot button issues. But it was their opposition to the Vietnam War that got them in trouble with CBS, which ultimately canceled the show after a series of conflicts between the brothers and network brass.
During their last live performance over the weekend, the Brothers addressed their struggle with censorship in the song, 'We're Still Here.' Later, a montage video of some of their most legendary musical guests was played. Among them, the literally explosive performance by The Who that led to Pete Townshend's hearing loss. Watch:
Read the AOL News interview with Tommy here.
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