The Smothers Brothers are an iconic comedy group that had great success in the 60s with their show ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.’ In an interview, the brothers revealed this particular comedy hour episode was scheduled to be broadcast in 1969.
It turned out to be the episode that got them fired. Dick said it was his most memorable show, even though he only played in the opening sketch due to a commitment to auto racing.
One of the sketches involved Tom playing a student who visits his professor, played by comedian David Steinberg. The professor had a horn that he would blast whenever Tom gave a wrong answer, and he put it on his head and told him to relax. With every wrong answer he gave, Tom got a horn blast.
Next, Tom performs a beautiful jazz ballad with the fantastic jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson as confetti falls from overhead. Nancy sings beautifully, and Tom harmonizes with her, but he still goes for a few laughs throughout the song.
The following sketch is the one that caused the issue. Tom tells the audience that they had comedian David Steinberg, who did a sermonette a while back. Tom told the audience there were a lot of problems from that telecast, and it was all intended for fun. Tom advises the audience, “We don’t want to offend anyone out there, but if you get offended, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
David does the sermonette using Biblical references and cracking jokes. His previous performance generated many angry letters to CBS, but the brothers went for another one anyway.
In the interview, the brothers revealed that the show was canceled and they were fired due to the sermonette, but also due to many political comments and jokes about the situation in Vietnam. The Smothers Brothers are comedy legends, and this ‘Never-before-seen’ episode is as funny as all the others.