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Thread: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

  1. #1

    Default Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a US sketch comedy show that ran from 1968 to 1973 on NBC, with a pilot in 1967. The BBC showed some of the series in the early 70s, and that is where I first saw it. Comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin were the hosts. It was on Laugh-In that Goldie Hawn shot to stardom after joining the regular cast early on. The things that I remember about the show include...


    The joke wall at the end of the show. Members of the cast would open a window in the wall and tell a one-liner.


    Female cast members like Goldie Hawn and Judy Carne go-go dancing in bikinis, and the camera would zoom into a part of their body where a joke would have been written.


    Gary Owens as a 40s style radio announcer with one hand cupped over his ear.


    A guy, maybe dressed as a stereotypical German soldier, who would pop up from time to time and say "Very interesting...but stupid."


    Sock it to me time, where Judy Carne would get water thrown over her, or playfully hit in some way.


    It was on Laugh-In that Tiny Tim sang Tiptoe through the Tulips for the first time.


    There were guest stars like John Wayne, Terry-Thomas, Douglas Fairbanks and even Richard Nixon pre-election in 1968.


    Laugh-In was a forerunner of Saturday Night Live, though the satire was subtler. Being from the late 60s to early 70s there were lots of references to hippies and lots of psychedelic effects.


    The show was very popular in the US, though I am not really sure how popular it was over here. I suspect many references to US culture and personalities would have been lost on UK viewers, though there was a frenetic energy about the whole thing that made it very enjoyable.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    The German soldier character was played by Arte Johnson. Here he is with Peter Sellers.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x36rw5p

  3. #3

    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    Quote Originally Posted by victorbrunswick View Post
    The German soldier character was played by Arte Johnson. Here he is with Peter Sellers.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x36rw5p
    Thanks very much. Another thing I remember is that there would be a party sketch with music. The music would suddenly stop and one of the partygoers would tell a joke.

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    Quote Originally Posted by staffslad View Post
    Thanks very much. Another thing I remember is that there would be a party sketch with music. The music would suddenly stop and one of the partygoers would tell a joke.
    I remember Benny Hill used to do a similar sketch.

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    I am not familiar with the series as it was before my time, but I am certain that I saw an old episode around Christmas 1992 or 1993 on BBC 2 - it could have been around BBC 2's 30th anniversary.

    Also, there was a parody of one of the sketches that was made for Sesame Street - I saw one episode and recognised the similarity of it.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    The Simpsons spoofed some elements of the Laugh In during the Spin-off Showcase which had the regular cast perform in a variety show, was also homaged the Brady Bunch doing a similar show.
    The Trickster On The Roof

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    Yes, we definitely watched it chez nous but the only thing I remember is that German soldier's line. I doubt he'd remember now but my brother and I used to say it to each other!
    Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas - go figure!

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    Two other catchphrases I remember were "You bet your sweet bippy." and "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls".
    I recall the latter mainly because my parents had a massive, two-volume edition of that standard US-English dictionary.

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    Default Re: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

    I thought that Funk and Wagnalls was Australian as I have heard it connected to that country.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

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