Dick Martin passed away today. Martin was a stand-up comedian and television director, but he’s best known as half of the hosting duo of Rowan and Martin, hosts of the incredible, unforgettable Laugh-In.
Laugh-In changed comedy and television, and introduced to us many marvels, from the ineffable Tiny Tim to the delightfully goofy Goldie Hawn. If you’ve never seen the show, check out both of those links for a tiny glimmer of its joys.
Oh, and be sure to watch the clip embedded above — it includes the fabled "Sock it to me?" by Richard Nixon.
Here’s Dick Martin’s New York Times obituary. RIP. Say goodnight, Dick.
Oh no! I remember watching Laugh-In reruns on Nick at Night when I was little — I didn’t really understand half of it, but I laughed so hard. I loved the lady with the handbag, and the telephone operator, too.
Now I’ve got a strong desire to sit down and watch the show again, and catch all the bits that flew over my head the first time around.
Watching now, many of the jokes seem so obvious, but I know nearly all of them went over my head when I was little. But what I still love, and what I’m sure was a big draw for me then, is the frenetic pace of the show, the strange juxtapositions and quick-cuts to talking heads. Very Monty Python, actually.
The cultural references are quite amazing too. It’s like a cultural time capsule.
The clips on YouTube are better than nothing, but they’re of varying quality. The series was made available on DVD, and it seems that a dedicated fan could get a used set. Or maybe just rent from Netflix. I think I’ll add them to my queue.
Gawd, that Ruth Buzzi was hot.
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