Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

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NBC (ended 1973)

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fireballil

User Score: 5721

7.8
out of 10
User Rating
143 votes
9

SHOW REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Show Summary

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In turned out to be one of the most successful mid-season replacements, ranking right up there with All in the Family and it was just as controversial. This memorable variety show that gave us such memorable sayings like "very interesting", "ring my chimes", "look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls", "sock it to me", "You bet your Sweet Bippy", "Here Comes The Judge!", "Its Time to Say Goodnight Dick", as well as many others, proved to be unlike any variety show that ever graced television.

Hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, this unique variety show was a fast moving barage of jokes, one-liners, running skits, musical numbers as well as making fun of social and political issues of the late 1960's. It was the group of regulars, particularly those from 1968-1970, that made it memorable. Gary Owens, Judy Carne, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Alan Sues, Goldie Hawn, Chelsea Brown, Henry Gibson and Jo Anne Worley seemed to make the most lasting impressions with viewers. Lily Tomlin joined the cast in 1970 at a point when most of these original regulars were leaving.

Gary Owens was the announcer, Judy Carne was the "Sock it to Me" girl, Arte Johnson frequently portrayed the German soldier who spouted "very interesting" or the dirty old man that would annoy the frumpy Gladys played by Ruth Buzzi. Goldie Hawn was the blonde dingbat and Chelsea Brown was the only black female who was later replaced by Teresa Graves. Henry Gibson usually recited poetry and Jo Anne Worley usually was seen singing with her loud voice.

In 1970, most of the originals left the series and the ratings began to slowly drop. Lily Tomlin was hired and instantly her characters began to energize an already sagging show. Ernestine, the wacky telephone operator was probably the most popular. The final season, had almost a totally new set of regulars with the exception of Ruth Buzzi and Gary Owens. Lily Tomlin was seen occasionally on account of the fact that she was planning on leaving the show. The series ended in 1973.

In 1993, NBC aired a 25th Anniversary Special that garnered fantastic ratings and prompted two more specials to air, one in December 1993 and one in February of 1994.

NBC Broadcast History

January 1968-May 1973-----Mondays----8:00 p.m.

For the first time since it originally aired, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was seen in its original hour-long episodes on the cable network Trio. Previously, the series had been shown on Nick at Nite but only as edited half-hour episodes. Also, on the Comedy Network in Canada, There is a Valentines Day Special and periodically the 25th anniversary special is repeated on that channel.moreless

Dan Rowan

Dan Rowan

Co-Host/Regular Performer

Dick Martin

Dick Martin

Co-Host/Regular Performer

Dennis Allen

Dennis Allen

Regular Performer

J. J. Barry

J. J. Barry

Regular Performer

Tod Bass

Tod Bass

Regular Performer

Brian Bessler

Brian Bessler

Regular Performer

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Outlandish For It's Day

    9.0
    I was little but I do remember the show very very well and how naughty it was for its day. Super uber modern! It was almost vaudeville in format and pushed the limits of the censors with catch phrases that were pretty close to the real dirty saying like "You bet your sweet bippy." I wasn't allowed to watch it except for when my parents weren't home and I had a babysitter. I was forbidden to watch because I might see Goldie Hawn dancing in her bikini and that was scandalous! For a kid it was colorful and fun to watch but completely over our heads. It's was adult humor but silly and fun so kids would enjoy it as well.



    Trying to watch it now it is very cornball since we have been exposed to so much more than what was allowed in the 60's. The humor is extremely dated and if you aren't familiar with 1960's political situations or lingo, you just won't get a lot of the jokes. It was definitely a sign of the times and focused on the now and what was going on in the world at that time in history. It paved the way for shows with grit and teeth and got us away from the "Leave It To Beaver" presentation to what people really were saying and thinking.



    We all knew June and Ward Cleaver had to have had sex to have Wally and Beaver but you didn't dare say so. Laugh-In not only told you - it showed you!



    It also created many characters that are still mimicked to this day. There are still phrases that became instant Americana and are still said to this day. It was very culturally and socially influencing and had its finger on the pulse of the moment. The joke wall was always fun especially when they didn't over edit it and you saw the bloopers.moreless
  • A sketch comedy show that was in the linage of The Benny Hill show and which went on to inspire Hee Haw.

    10
    Quite simply one of the classic TV sketch comedy shows ever and one that redefined television comedy forever. Shows that have come since that use bold, outrageous and controversial matierals such as Mad TV and SNL are living heirs to what Rowen and Martin did with Laugh In.



    The show was fast paced like a music video which was way ahead of its time. Few sketches lasted more than a minute or two. They had a huge cast and an even larger army of walk ons of everyone from Bob Hope to the President of the United States. Small wonder it was "must see TV" long before NBC came up with the phrase. My only criticism is that it isn't in syndication so we can enjoy it all over again today and you can't just buy whole seasons of it. These "best of" tapes are moronic. Everythign on Laugh In was a best of and I don't want some editor telling me what was best. Release the entire series to DVD and get some revenue from this classic show. I guarantee you will get a good sales return on this decision.moreless
  • The definite best and rebellious variety show.

    10
    This show broke a lot of barriers for variety shows. Before that time, guest stars and regulars were separated when it came to performances, but this show put regulars and guest stars together in almost everything. This show could make fun of almost everything that was happening at the time, including the pill, hippies, drugs, the way music changes, etc. Tyrone F. Horneigh and Gladys Ormphby were absolutely hilarious when it came to their relationship with each other; Ernestine and General Bull Right was comedically obnoxious; Mr. Rosmenko was absolutely hilarious by just talking in that weird accent; almost everything was terrific! This show is a must-see for anyone who loves good comedy. Please let there be more DVD releases for this show!moreless
  • Before my time but still funny

    8.5
    This show ended about 10 years before I was born. So how did I see it? On Trio of course! Yes Laughin still made me laugh. It makes me laugh because of the future reports for the 80s and also the skits. True some of the jokes are lost on me but one thing that is by far a classic is the Joke wall and the dance parties. Usually can get a laugh out of me even though I am a child of the late 80s and early 90s.



    I can see how Laugh In most likely inspired SNL and all the other sketch shows like it to follow.



    I would love to see a revamped or a tribute show to it. It was innovative and very good for a laugh.moreless
  • Great Show

    9.2
    This show was awesome and launched many a comedians career..Used to love watching Gilda Radner in that oversized rocking chair and the political humor was very timely....Even as a little kid I recognized how timely the humor was and as I see it in reruns I recognize it even more.....
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