How many seasons of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour are there ?

Smothers Brothers Comedy

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a groundbreaking and controversial television variety show that aired in the late 1960s. Created and hosted by the comedic duo of Tom and Dick Smothers, the show ran for a total of three seasons, from 1967 to 1969. Over the course of its run, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour left a lasting impact on television, blending humor, music, and political satire in a way that challenged the norms of the time.

Table of Contents

Season 1: 1967-1968

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour debuted on February 5, 1967, on the CBS network. The show was an immediate success, thanks to the chemistry between the Smothers Brothers and their unique comedic style. The first season consisted of 30 episodes, with each episode featuring a mix of stand-up comedy, musical performances, and sketches. The Smothers Brothers, known for their musical talents and witty banter, brought a fresh and irreverent approach to the variety show format.

One of the highlights of the first season was the introduction of recurring characters and sketches, such as “Pat Paulsen for President.” Comedian Pat Paulsen, a frequent guest on the show, humorously announced his fictional candidacy for president, providing satirical commentary on the political landscape of the time.

The musical guests on the show ranged from established acts to up-and-coming artists, reflecting the diverse musical landscape of the 1960s. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour became known for its willingness to showcase counterculture and socially relevant content, earning a reputation as a platform for dissent and a voice for the younger generation.

Season 2: 1968-1969

The second season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour continued to push boundaries and challenge societal norms. Premiering on September 15, 1968, the season comprised 26 episodes. As the show gained popularity, the Smothers Brothers used their platform to address contemporary issues, including the Vietnam War, civil rights, and censorship.

One of the most memorable moments of the second season was the airing of the controversial “Sons of Will Geer” episode. The network, concerned about the content of the episode, censored and ultimately pulled it from the broadcast schedule. The incident highlighted the tension between the creative vision of the Smothers Brothers and the conservative standards of network television.

Despite the challenges, the second season featured groundbreaking performances, including appearances by iconic musicians such as The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors. These musical acts, along with the irreverent comedy of the Smothers Brothers, contributed to the show’s reputation as a countercultural force in television.

The season concluded with the Smothers Brothers receiving the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety for their contributions to the show’s unique and politically charged content.

Season 3: 1969-1970

The third and final season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour faced increased scrutiny and conflicts with the network. Premiering on September 21, 1969, the season consisted of 20 episodes. The tensions between the Smothers Brothers and CBS reached a boiling point as the network continued to censor and edit the show’s content.

One of the most infamous incidents occurred with the episode titled “The Brothers Take a Walk.” In this episode, the Smothers Brothers presented a montage of clips from previous shows that had been censored or edited by the network. The episode was a direct challenge to CBS, and it further strained the relationship between the comedians and the network executives.

On April 4, 1970, CBS officially canceled The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, citing “creative differences.” The cancellation marked the end of a tumultuous but influential run for the show. The Smothers Brothers, however, left a lasting legacy by demonstrating the potential of television as a platform for social and political commentary.


The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is remembered not only for its humor but also for its impact on the landscape of television. The show paved the way for future programs that would address social and political issues in a comedic context. The Smothers Brothers’ willingness to challenge authority and question the status quo set a precedent for satire in television.

In the years following the cancellation of their show, the Smothers Brothers continued to perform as a comedy duo and individually pursued various projects in entertainment. They remained active in the industry, leaving an indelible mark on comedy and television.

The controversy surrounding The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour also contributed to a broader conversation about the role of television in reflecting and shaping cultural attitudes. The show’s battles with censorship highlighted the tension between creative expression and corporate interests, a theme that continues to resonate in the world of entertainment.

In retrospect, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is often regarded as a pioneering force in television that dared to challenge the norms of its time. The show’s impact on the medium can be seen in subsequent generations of comedians and variety shows that have embraced satire, political commentary, and unconventional approaches to entertainment.

In conclusion, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour had a total of three seasons, with each season contributing to the show’s legacy as a groundbreaking and controversial force in television. The Smothers Brothers’ ability to blend humor with social and political commentary left an enduring mark on the entertainment industry, influencing the direction of television for years to come. Despite its premature cancellation, the show remains a symbol of the power of comedy to challenge established norms and spark meaningful conversations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *