Make Me Laugh

(ended 1980)


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Make Me Laugh

Show Summary

Although short lived due to the premature death of its host, veteran Broadway song and dance trouper Bobby Van, this series was very popular and very funny. The renowned Johnny Gilbert was Bobby's sidekick and show announcer. Each week 3 comedians would each have 60 seconds to make a series of contestants laugh, if the contestant could survive 3 minutes of in your face humour without so much as even smiling or smirking-they would win. This game show was revised in 1997 on Comedy Central.
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  • A weekday syndicated improv-like game show featuring new comics of the day (late 1970's) attempting to make contestants laugh, while the contestants tried not to laugh at them so that they could win money. Bobby Van was the show's host.moreless

    Although it only lasted one year, "Make Me Laugh" was an innovative game show. Many new comedians got good exposure on the show, including Bill Kirchenbauer, Johnny Dark, and Bruce Baum. The one comic who really took off from his appearances on the show was Gallagher. He usually had the most success making the contestants laugh. He often appeared wearing a big brimmed hat with a toy train that ran around the brim, which often broke up the contestants right off the bat. I thought Gallagher became the best comic of the 1980's, and it was his time on "Make Me Laugh" which started it for him.

    Besides the comics, it was just as hysterical watching the contestants trying not to laugh; often their eyes would water or they would sit there biting their lip. If they laughed (or even cracked a significant smile in a lot of instances), their time was up and they couldn't win any more money.

    Some of the comics which appeared on the show were good, while others weren't as funny. In general, "Make Me Laugh" made me laugh more than it didn't. If I had been a contestant on the show, I probably wouldn't have won much money.moreless