Tommy Smothers, who has been performing on TV and onstage with his brother Dick in a partnership that has lasted nearly 40 years, has purchased the film and publishing rights to a sprawling epic poem by the late comic Allan Sherman.
Sherman rose to fame in the early 1960s with “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”
Smothers purchased the rights to “The Trip to the Perfectly Fair,” Sherman’s last writing project, unpublished but nearly finished at the time of his death in 1973.
Myth, fantasy, humor
The book is an eclectic combination of myth, fantasy, humor, literature and even evolution — plus Einstein’s theory of relativity — all written in iambic pentameter verse, according to Smothers, who hopes to either publish the manuscript or develop it into a film.
“Perfectly Fair” tells a story about a special day that arrives only once every 6,000 years, when everything in the universe happens without a hint of unfairness for anyone.
“It’s a magical piece — incredibly profound and intellectual,” said Smothers, a friend of Sherman’s who first read portions of the work in the early 1970s.
Smothers, who recently taped a guest spot on NBC sitcom “Suddenly Susan,” still makes 75-100 live performances a year with his brother and partner, Dick. He also is developing a project based on the life of yo-yo pioneer Donald Duncan.
The Smothers brothers became stars with their situation comedy “The Smothers Bros. Show” (1965-1966), and the hip “The Smothers Bros. Comedy Hour” variety show, which aired three seasons on CBS, which canceled it in 1969.
The duo have made periodic returns to television every few years, including a series of 1992 reruns of 70 of the “Comedy Hour” programs on the E! cable network.
Sherman, a longtime television writer and producer, released the song parody albums “My Son, the Folk Singer,” “My Son, the Celebrity” and “My Son, the Nut.” He also was a co-creator of the gameshow “I’ve Got a Secret.”