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The Smothers Brothers Call It Quits, High-Class but Low-Key
May 19, 2010  | By David Bianculli
 
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Sunday night at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Smothers Brothers performed what they say was their final performance as a duo -- 50 impressive years after their FIRST performance as a duo. I flew in just to see it and be there, and was glad I did...

The performance itself was the same act Tom and Dick performed at the same venue last November (the photo above was taken after that performance, when I presented them with Dangerously Funny, my book about them), and the audience was unaware they were watching anything other than a typical Smothers Brothers concert date. But this time, the ending was different.

They announced, rather vaguely, that this would be one of their last appearances "for a while," and Tom noted that his wife and children were in attendance. And to conclude, the brothers allowed themselves to improvise for a while.

Tom went off on a Tea Party rant, saying how those loud protesters were angry at the wrong target. The blamed the government for everything, he said, when the government wasn't in charge. Big business was in charge, controlling the politicians and the government, and it has been that way for a long time.

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It was, in essence, the very same speech Ned Beatty, playing a media mogul, delivered at the end of Paddy Chayefsky's Network... delivered just as passionately.

Funny? No. But it wasn't meant to be. The Smothers Brothers, after half a century of fighting the good fight and entertaining millions, went out not only singing, but swinging. I was proud to be there, proud to have written the book about them, and very happy that a quintet of cameras recorded the final concert for posterity.

Here's hoping it sees the light of day soon -- either as a home-video release or a golden-anniversary cable special. Fifty years on, Tom and Dick Smothers deserve that much... and more.

 

2 Comments

 

jesus zimmerman said:

rock on tom and dick. you're the best. much love.

Comment posted on May 19, 2010 1:49 PM


Jim said:

It's good to know that the finale was captured on video and I hope we'll get a chance to see it soon.

Comment posted on May 19, 2010 6:20 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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