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The Smothers Brothers

    • Bio

      Tom and Dick Smothers—known as The Smothers Brothers—crafted themselves into a musical comedy team that represented the struggles of the nation in the 1960s. The brothers’ variety show reached nearly every household in the United States. Ninety percent of viewers tuned into one of the three major networks that existed in the country at the time. To this large audience, the brothers offered political satire that recognized society’s uncertainty about the war in Vietnam (1954–75) and shifting opinions about drugs and sex. Despite the high ratings of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967–70), host network CBS became increasingly uncomfortable with the show’s content. The struggle between the Smothers Brothers and CBS helped define the role entertainment, especially television, would play in social change.

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