Smothered Smothers Brothers Collage
The Censorship Struggles of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour


SMOTHERED studies the censorship struggles between this breakthrough CBS show and the network’s strict censors, using archival footage and interviews with the shows two stars – Dick and Tom Smothers – and people involved with the show, including several of its writers. SMOTHERED premiered exclusively on Bravo on Wednesday, December 4, 2002.

SMOTHERED is the first-ever in-depth telling of the David and Goliath-type battles waged between the Smothers Brothers and CBS between 1967 and 1969. With a young and brash stable of writers and performers, including Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour brought an edgy new brand of political comedy to the airwaves. It was the Smothers Brothers versus CBS, on-air and, later, in court.

SMOTHERED features exclusive interviews with those who were responsible for this groundbreaking variety show, including Tom Smothers, Dick Smothers, writers Rob Reiner, Mason Williams, Carl Gottlieb and Allan Blye, once blacklisted and controversial musician Pete Seeger plus former CBS executives. Also included is footage from the US Comedy Arts Festival Tribute to the Smothers Brothers and a wealth of clips from the show itself.

CBS moguls and censors flinched at the show’s relentless salvos against the Vietnam War; just one of the many issues that wove itself into the fabric of the show. The Brothers firmly stood their ground against the William S. Paley Establishment and the wrath of President Nixon. After they were finally fired in 1969, Tom and Dick Smothers won a landmark lawsuit against CBS, adding to the show’s status as a turning point in television history.

SMOTHERED is produced, directed and written by Maureen Muldaur. The show won a 2002 Cine Golden Eagle Award.

SMOTHERED is being distributed for a second license period beginning in December of 2011 by American Public Television to PBS stations across the country, including a pledge version with pledge break commentary by Tom and Dick Smothers. Two of the largest stations are WNET in NYC and WETA in Washington, D.C. Visit this link for more details: American Public Television Smothered

The DVD of Smothered is available by visiting the link below:
Amazon Smothered

To see press articles from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and TV Guide,
click here: Smothered — press articles

For more about the Smothers Brothers, visit their official web site: www.smothersbrothers.com.


  • Bill Maher
  • Perry Lafferty
    Former V.P. Programming, CBS Hollywood
  • David Bianculli
    Television Critic/Historian
  • Ken Kragen
    Former Manager, The Smothers Brothers
  • Rob Reiner
    Writer, 3rd Season, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • Mason Williams
    Writer, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • Mike Dann
    Former V.P. Programming, CBS/New York
  • Tom Smothers
  • Dick Smothers
  • Carl Gottlieb
    Writer, 3rd Season, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • Allan Blye
    Writer/Producer, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • David Halberstam
  • David Steinberg
    Performer, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • Ken Paulson
    Executive Director, The First Amendment Center
  • Leigh French
    Performer, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • George Sunga
    Producer, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
  • Pete Seeger
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Nicholas Johnson
    FCC Commissioner, 1966-1973
  • Joan Baez
  • Nancy Nolan
    Juror, Smothers Brothers vs. CBS
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