|Dan Rowan (left) and Dick Martin (right), 1968.|
Before looking at "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" debut on NBC TV let's see if you know any of the performers: How about Goldie Hawn? Perhaps Lillie Tomlin? Maybe Ruth Buzzi? or Rita Hayworth? Arte Johnson? Henry Gibson? Um-m-m-m-m? Jo Anne Worley? Alan Sues? Richard Dawson?
|John Wayne and Tiny Tim help|
celebrate the 100th episode in 1971.
What about Judy Carne or Flip Wilson? Ever heard the catchphrase "Sock it to me?" "What you see is what you get" or "The devil made me do it"? Judy Carne is best remembered for the first catchphrase with the other two being attributed to none other than Flip Wilson.
Of course, there are many, many more of which here are but a few:
Some of the catchphrases caught on so well they can still be heard in conversations today passed down from one generation to the next."Ohhh, I'll drink to that."
"Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!
"Go to your room."
"You bet your sweet bippy!"
"Here come de judge!"
"Blow in my ear and I'll follow you anywhere."
"That's the most beautiful thing I ever heard."
"Ring my chimes!
"Now, that's a no-no!"
Laugh-In had its roots in the humor of vaudeville and burlesque, but its most direct influences were from the comedy of Olsen and Johnson (specifically, their free-form Broadway revue Hellzapoppin'), the innovative television works of Ernie Kovacs, and the topical satire of That Was The Week That Was. The show was characterized by a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which conveyed sexual innuendo or were politically charged. The co-hosts continued the exasperated straight man (Rowan) and "dumb" guy (Martin) act which they had established as nightclub comics. This was a continuation of cartoonist Chic Young's "Dumb Dora", and acts from vaudeville, best popularized by Burns and Allen.
So many great comedians, actors and actresses came out of this era with their opening acts being performed on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." The show was a hit from the very start airing 140 episodes from January 22, 1968 to March 12, 1973 on the NBC television network. It is interesting to note a one-time special on September 9, 1967 was such a huge success it sparked the production of its continuance as a series.
Long live comedy for where would we be without laughter? Perhaps that is what is wrong with the world today...just not enough smiles amid belly laughs!