Tom Smothers holding an award


Why The Smothers Brothers Were Fired (Not Canceled)
When CBS' "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" came to a sudden end in 1969, brothers Tom and Dick Smothers made it known that it wasn't canceled — they were fired.
In fact, they were pretty clear about this in a 1982 interview on "Late Night with David Letterman" when Letterman brought up the subject.
"We were fired. We left under duress," Tom told the host in no uncertain terms. He used the same term onstage when he received an honorary award at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The determined distinction between being canceled and getting fired is understandable considering CBS didn’t officially cancel the show.
Instead, CBS alleged that its censors hadn't received an episode of the show on time and used this to unexpectedly pull the plug on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."
The Smothers Brothers weren't happy, and the law eventually sided with them, as they won $775,000 in the ensuing court case.