By Burnet Garelick
Siuslaw News, Florence, OR


While the political mantra these days is change, genuine or appropriated, truth remains the same. As Hurricane Ike prepared like D-Day for landfall in Cuba, Fifty years of truth swept the stage at Three Rivers Casino where the Smothers Brothers provoked gales of outright prolonged laughter.

Tom and Dick, elegant gentlemen in their seventh decade, did the same shtick more then forty years ago, and it is still enormously funny.

Mom always loved you best precipitated outrageous sibling rivalry and double talk including tribal references, coastal ecology, lots of sand, flying over Florence in a tiny Cessna. But you’re not a pilot! Complementary compliments flew back and forth. There were a few folk songs too—Tom plays guitar and Dick plays acoustic bass—but the songs were always interrupted for a gag. Such as Quando Caliente Del Sol, a beloved love song, Dick said, singing in soulful Spanish until Tom broke into guttural German. To which Dick admonished, You destroyed the song! After a volley of fractured Spanish phrases ending in No comprendo, Tom admitted: Dick Cheney made me do it.

Although the current election was off the table, those affable comics still have a penchant for political satire, which got them fired by CBS TV in 1968 . During the casino concert Tom did throw out a litany about truth in history with regard for George Washington’s cherry tree, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George Bush.

The deliriously wacky show included a video of their lives proving, Dick said, that they really are brothers. The video reprised delicious moments from the volatile Sixties.

In a pantomime shtick emceed by Dick a silent silly Tom took the crowd to a state of YO with the appearance of the YoYo Man, in plaid shirt, suspenders, and a pocket full of yoyo tricks rocking the cradle and walking the dog.

The concert concluded with a song, Don Coyote or The Impossible Dream. As so many politicians have recently said, the dream goes on. The resilient Smothers Brothers reiterate the sentiment to a thunderous standing ovation, and with this entertainment, Three Rivers Casino hit the jackpot.

Being Smothered with laughter is not a bad way to go.

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