Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laugh-In

This Day in History: January 22, 1968

Dan Rowan (left) and Dick Martin (right), 1968.
Unless your were brought up during the 60s & 70s you may not be familiar with "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." I guess that is what makes history so intriguing. If you did not live it, at least you can learn about it, what an impact it had on society at the time and how it influenced the future.

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 some of the regular guest performers: Jack Benny? Johnny Carson? Sammy Davis Jr? Zsa Zsa Gabor? Peter Lawford? Henny Youngman? Tiny Tim? John Wayne perhaps? Struck a nerve yet?

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:
"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!"
Some of the catchphrases caught on so well they can still be heard in conversations today passed down from one generation to the next. 

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.
Source: en.wikipedia.org
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!
Enjoy!