The Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In TV show was a comedy series that brought together a large cast of comedians and guests in a series of sketches from a few seconds long to a few minutes maximum. Getting the quick laugh and moving on to the next gag was the secret to the show's success (#1 show the first two seasons!)
Regular Performers (Partial List)
Jo Anne Worley
Gary Owens (Announcer)
Many television and movie celebrities and even politicians made cameo appearances on the Rowan & Martin's TV show. Even Richard Nixon appeared, voicing the well-known Laugh-In phrase, "Sock It To Me". Hubert Humphrey who was running against Nixon in the 1968 elections was also invited to appear but he refused.
Lillie Tomlin became so identified with her "ditsy" telephone-operater cast character that AT&T tried to hire her to do commercials for them. She refused at that time, but in later years she would reprise her role on commercials.
Dan Rowan was clean shaven during the first season. When the second season began, he had a mustache. A couple of seasons later, he added a beard and then later shaved it off again (but kept the mustache).
Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in was the top-rated show on the air for its first two seasons. Ironically, the show's huge success made stars out of the most popular Laugh-In Cast and they left the show to pursue other opportunities. That led to the show's eventual demise. In fact, only 4 Laugh-In Cast remained on the show for its entire run ... Dick Martin, Dan Rowan, Ruth Buzzi and Gary Owens.
Many phrases on the TV show became commonly used in American culture. A foreigh delegate to the United Nations who thought they spoke English pretty well once asked, "I've heard this phrase, 'You bet your sweet bippy'. What's a bippy"? Other popular one-liners were "One ringy dingy, two ringy dingies ...", "Sock it to me", "Here comes da judge", "Verrrrry interesting", "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls" and "Beautiful Downtown Burbank".
Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In replaced "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." on NBC Monday nights from 8:00 to 9:00 PM.
Recurring Sketches On The TV Show:
Laugh-In Looks At The News - Made fun of people and events past, present and future.
Drunk Couple Sitting At The Bar - And making idiots of themselves!
Dancing Girl In A Bikini - Where most of us met Goldie Hawn for the first time.
The Coctail Party - Everyone (including the Guest Star) standing around drinking and saying funny stuff.
The Resident Poet - With poems by Henry Gibson. Stupid poems.
The Flying Fickle Finger Of Fate Award - Given to people in the news and politicians for doing something that (on the surface at least) sounded pretty stupid (such as the space program's $900 hammer).
Dirty Old Man On The Park Bench - He would sit down next to a woman, say something (often sexual in nature) to her and she would beat him to the ground!
The Farkles - A Hillbilly family with missing teeth (Including the kids). Most of the sketch involved Dad Farkle introducing his family to someone with a last name that sounds close to theirs. "Judy Farkle - Bill Fickle. Joey Farkle - Bill Fickle." And on and on and on.
The Man In A Raincoat Falling Down On His Tricycle - Signalled the end of a comedy bit when Arte Johnson and his tryke fell over.
Lily Tomlin As The Telephone Operator - Emphasized that the telephone company was a (then) monopoly and you'd better do as they say or you'll lose your phone. Her best-known phrazes were, "Is this the party to whom I am speaking?" and "One ringy-dingy, two ringy dingies ...."
Judy Carne The "Sock-It-To-Me" Girl - She'd say "Sock-It-To-Me" and a wall of water would splash on her. Sometimes she'd get other people to say it first and nothing would happen, then she'd say it and get soaked.
Letters To Laugh In - A viewer would write a letter asking a question (supposedly). Then Rowan and Martin would use it as an excuse to make jokes.
The Joke Wall - At the end of each show, the regular Laugh-In Cast would be behind a wall full of little flip-open doors in it and the hosts would play straight-men to the regulars who would flip open their door and deliver the punch-line. Any time someone would say the word, "chicken" or refer to chickens in any way, Joanne Worley would pop out of the wall and ask, "Is that another chicken joke?".
Episodes List With Original Air Dates And Guests
"Laugh-In" originally was originally planned to be a one-time only special on September 9,1967. It was so popular that it was rushed into production as a regular one-hour TV show!
Laugh-In's 25th Anniversary (2/7/1993)
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Past Christmas Present (12/2/1993)
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: A Valentine's Day Special (2/14/1994)
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