"People didn't come here to hear us argue," Dick Smothers scolded brother Tommy at Blues Alley Tuesday night. "Some of them did," shot back Tommy, with the quick assurance of someone who's seen the benefits of sibling rivalry pay the rent for the past 28 years.
Dick ("Mother Smothers' favorite son," as he's billed) and Tommy ("the other one") have never shared the same logic, or occupied the same world, really. So when the two launch into a romantic Spanish folk song, you half expect to hear Tommy break out into a German-cum-Dutch aria, which he does. And yet you can't help but laugh, what with his ever-earnest brother trying to make some sense of it all.
Like Burns and Allen, or Gleason and Carney, the Brothers long ago reached that point in their career where they don't have to say anything to touch off the laughter. Dick's glowering superiority and Tommy's utter bewilderment is more than enough to do the trick. Nevertheless, the show is riddled with funny and often timely one-liners and their voices still make for handsome harmonies when they settle on a song, no matter how briefly. Accompanying the duo is a fine trio led by pianist Michael Priddy.
The engagement runs through Sunday.