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HONORING AN ICON....12/28/23

Every Sunday night during the fall and winter of ’67 and ’68 I went down to the basement of Hansen Hall, the college dormitory where I lived on the campus of South Dakota State University to watch my favorite program on TV, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

As one of the writers on the show, Tom Smothers constantly battled censors because of his cutting edge political content, eventually leading to the show’s cancellation in 1970.

The most notable confrontation occurred when Pete Seeger, who had been blacklisted for years during the McCarthy era, finally emerged in public again to play his song, “Waist Deep In the Big Muddy”, but the network wouldn’t air the segment because of the song’s reference to Lyndon Johnson’s disastrous Vietnam policies.

Because of growing opposition to the war and Seeger’s incredible popularity, the public demanded that he be allowed back to perform his song.

CBS caved and Seeger returned later that season to play the song on the air.

Sadly Tommy Smothers died last night at his home in Santa Rosa.

He was 86.

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