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Raji left a comment at 3:04 pm 12/12

Sock it to me!

Thirty eight years ago today, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In makes its debut.

It's Laugh-In!

laughin14.jpg

This classic TV comedy-variety show was an instant smash that ran for five years on NBC.

The show had aired as a one-time special in September 1967, but its huge popularity led to a series debut the following January. A stable of about 40 wacky (and previously unknown) cast members, including Goldie Hawn,
laughin9.jpg
Lily Tomlin,
laughin ernestine2.jpg
and Flip Wilson (as Geraldine),
laughin geraldine.jpg
played regular roles during the show's five-year run and went on to enjoy successful careers in Hollywood.
The cast:
laughin2.jpg

The show, a fast-paced blend of unstructured comedy sketches, jokes, one-liners, and sight gags, was the most-watched show in America from 1968 to 1971.
Laugh-In grafitti wall:
laughin funnies.jpg

It poked fun at politics, social issues, and people in general. Each week, Gary Owens introduced cast members and special guests before Dan Rowan and Dick Martin came out to do their brief comic monologue.
laughin dick and dan.jpg

Then it was off to "The Cocktail Party," where cast members danced and told jokes. Other skits followed the party. Regular sketches included "Letters to Laugh-In," "Laugh-In Looks at the News," and the "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award."
laughin1.jpg

My favorite Lily Tomlin character was Ernestine, the phone operator. Especially since she is my alter-ego in BOOL1!
laughinernestine.jpg

At the end of each show, cast members proceeded to the "Joke Wall" and took turns poking their heads out of windows to tell a quick joke or to toss a bucket of water at someone while the credits rolled.
laugh15.jpg

Laugh-In always closed with the sound of a single person applauding slowly. (see clip #35 below)

Many jokes were politically or sexually oriented, but they managed to get past the censors. Classic catchphrases included "You bet your bippy," "Sock it to me," "Verrrry interesting," "Here come da judge," and "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls." A variety of celebrities and politicians, including Richard Nixon, appeared as surprise guests on Laugh-In. The show ended in 1973, as many of the most popular cast members had left to pursue careers launched by Laugh-In. The program was revived with a cast of lesser-known comics in the 1977-78 season, but the show fell flat. However, one of the then-unknown comics to star in Laugh-In's reincarnation went on to fame and fortune - Robin Williams!
Henry Gibson:
laughin11.jpg

You can listen to some great sound clips here. My favorites are #4 - Sock it to me with Richard Nixon as the last voice on the tape!
Judy Carne, the "sock-it-to-me" girl was married to then unknown Burt Reynolds.
laughin sockit to me.jpg
#6 - Joanne Worley, she's something else.
laughin8.jpg
#8 - Tiny Tim made his debut on Laugh-In.
laughin tiny tim.jpg
#14 is Ruth Buzzi as the old maid.
laughin6.jpg
#18 Arte Johnson "verrrrry interesting".
#20 A funny news item on DDT
#26 and #30 are wonderful John Wayne clips.
#28 is The Farkel Family
laughin the farkles.jpg
#35 is how they ended the show.
(sorry I couldn't put these in as separate links but I'm not anywhere as linkage adept as zorkie & ev)
More than you will ever need to know about Laugh-In.

Posted by floranista on Jan 21, 2006 11:36 pm

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