Comedian Tom Smothers Has Passed Away at Age 86

Comedian Tom Smothers Has Passed Away at Age 86

December 27, 2023 — Comedian Tom Smothers, one half of the legendary Smothers Brothers comedy team, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at the age of 86, following a recent battle with cancer.

Dick Smothers, Tom’s brother and co-star of the celebrated and groundbreaking Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, announced that Tom was at home with his family at the time of his death.

Smothers is survived by his children Bo and Riley Rose Smothers, grandson Phoenix, Marcy Carriker Smothers, sister-in-law Marie Smothers, and several nephews and a niece. He is predeceased by his son Tom and sister Sherry Smothers.

Dick Smothers stated, “Tom was not only the loving older brother that everyone would want in their life, he was a one-of-a-kind creative partner. I am forever grateful to have spent a lifetime together with him, on and off stage, for over 60 years. Our relationship was like a good marriage – the longer we were together, the more we loved and respected one another. We were truly blessed.” 

Dick and his wife Marie have requested that memorial donations honoring Tom be made to the National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, which has preserved and showcases the Smothers Brothers career and legacy. Click here to make a donation.

A private memorial service for family and friends will take place in 2024.

The National Comedy Center issued a statement on the passing of Tom Smothers:

“Tom Smothers was not only an extraordinary comedic talent, who, together with his brother Dick, became the most enduring comedy duo in history, entertaining the world for over six decades – but was a true champion for freedom of speech, harnessing the power of comedy to push boundaries and our political consciousness. Tom was a true pioneer who changed the face of television and transformed our culture with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which satirized politics, combated racism, protested the Vietnam War, and led the way for Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, today’s network late night shows, and so much more. We were proud to bring Tom and Dick out of retirement and reunite them on stage in 2019 to celebrate their legendary careers, and we are honored to preserve Tom’s remarkable work and legacy here at the National Comedy Center for generations to come.” – Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director


Below are video highlights from the Smothers Brothers’ visit to the National Comedy Center in 2019, as we brought them out of retirement and back on stage for the first time in nearly ten years.