Thursday, July 25, 2019
Comic Actor Arte Johnson on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (often simply referred to as Laugh-In) is an American sketch comedy television program that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968 to March 12, 1973 on the NBC television network, hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. It originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967 and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Mondays at 8 pm (ET).
The title of the show was a play on the "love-ins" or "be-ins" of the 1960s hippie culture, terms that were derived from "sit-ins" that were common in protests associated with civil rights and antiwar demonstrations of the time. In 2002, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was ranked number 42 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
Laugh-In had its roots in the humor of vaudeville and burlesque, but its most direct influences were Olsen and Johnson's comedies (such as the free-form Broadway revue Hellzapoppin'), the innovative television works of Ernie Kovacs, and the topical satire of That Was The Week That Was. The show was characterized by a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which conveyed sexual innuendo or were politically charged. The co-hosts continued the exasperated straight man (Rowan) and "dumb guy" (Martin) act which they had established as nightclub comics.
It featured Gary Owens, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, Henry Gibson, Alan Sues, Lily Tomlin, Teresa Graves, Larry Hovis, Chelsea Brown, Sarah Kennedy, Jeremy Lloyd, Dave Madden, Pigmeat Markham, Jud Strunk, Richard Dawson, Moosie Drier, Barbara Sharma, and Johnny Brown.
In 2017, George Schlatter Productions brought Laugh-In back for its 50th anniversary. The original show airs on Decades TV. The entire series has been released in a box set by Time Life.