Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look this up in your Funk & Wagnalls

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In ran from 1967 to 1973. Laugh-In bumped Man From U.N.C.L.E. from it's Monday night slot on NBC. The non-hip looking Dick Rowan and Dan Martin night club performers always seemed odd against the psychedelic hippie party environment. Laugh-in was a made for television mod-vaudeville-burlesque show.

It seemed like everybody that was anybody in those days appeared on Laugh-in. President Richard Nixon said "Sock It To Me", John Wayne dressed as a big chicken. People doing and saying things that you'd never expect them to be doing or saying. You name them, everyone appeared on this show - if not for at least 2 seconds.

Most of the of the shows weren't that funny. Laugh-in was nothing but rapid fire silliness.
I don't remember dad or mom ever showing disapproval of us kids watching it. The show had a little much sexual innuendo to be considered a family show. Kids watched it nevertheless. Maybe mom and dad thought the shenanigans were too silly to monitor.

I remember as a kid collecting bubble gum cards (by Topps) from the 7/11 convenience store that used to be next to my elementary school (R.A. Mitchell). Each deck came with one card made to look like the Joke Wall -with little doors that would open with members of the cast in the windows. Laugh-in is said to have inspired both Monty Python's Flying Circus as well as Sesame Street. I have to believe thought that Laugh-In took a little from The Smother's Brother's Comedy Hour.

The show faded a few years before Saturday Night Live came onto the scene. SNL creator Lorne Michaels was once a writer for Laugh-In. Laugh-In like SNL (and Smother's Brother's Comedy Hour) are also related in the fact that they are both politically charged. Both Laugh-In and SNL introduced a plethora of new talent and memorable characters.

I haven't seen the show in ages. I've watched some clips on YouTube, and I don't think I could tolerate watching an entire show. It had it's appeal though - when I was younger.

Dan: Say goodnight Dick.
Dick: Goodnight Dick
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