Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: A Pop-Culture Phenomenon
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Comedy duo Dan Rowan and Dick Martin hosted this edgy, sketch series that created memorable, recurring characters including Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine the wacky telephone Operator and her Edith Ann, the child in the oversized rocking chair. There was also Arte Johnson as Wolfgang the German soldier who found everything “verrrrrry interesting”, Ruth Buzzi’s feisty, little old lady and Goldie Hawn’s giggling “dumb blonde” bombshell dancing around in a bikini.
It’s regular celebrity guests included Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Barbara Feldon, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Peter Lawford (who became Dan Rowan’s son-in-law in 1971), Tiny Tim, John Wayne, Flip Wilson and Henry Youngmen, to name a few.
Laugh-In roots came from the humor of vaudeville and burlesque. It was like a free-form Broadway revue, characterized by an onslaught of jokes and gags many of which were SO controversial for it’s time. Much of the humor were sexual inuendos or
In addition, some of the most unforgettable catch phrases came out of this show, including “verrry interesting”, “look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls”, “sock it to me”, “You bet your Sweet Bippy”, “Here Comes The Judge!”, “And that’s the truth”, while always ending with Rowan turning to his co-host and saying, “Say good night, Dick”, to which Martin replied, “Good night, Dick!”.
Sources: MeTV, PBS and Wikipedia
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