One of the many variety shows available in the 1970s (along with Sonny and Cher, Captain and Tennille, Donny and Marie, etc). Hosted by black comic Flip Wilson, this show featured skits, ... See full summary »
An anthology comedy series featuring a line up of different celebrity guest stars appearing in anywhere from one, two, three, and four short stories or vignettes within an hour about versions of love and romance.
This show popularized a rapid style of vignette comedy show where comedy sketches, punch-lines and gags are edited together in a rapid and almost random format. Regular trademark elements included the joke wall, the dancing women painted with one-liners and the fickle finger of fate award. This series would inspire such shows as Monty Python's Flying Circus and Sesame Street. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The turnover rate was high, so much so that only four regulars remained on the show throughout its entire run: the two titular hosts, Gary Owens, and Ruth Buzzi. See more »
[first lines of the show]
What you're about to see is true.
[the word false appears on the screen, a man moves arrows on the clock in the back so it reads 8:00]
Only names and faces have been left unchanged... to protect the innocent.
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In the early episodes, Gary Owens opens the show while the cast come out from the joke wall. See more »
In the evolution of television humor Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was probably the forerunner of Saturday Night Live. It's relevant social commentary combined with incredibly adroit acerbic wit allowed this show to cover social, personal, political, and moral territory no show had ever dared attempt on prime time television.
For those who watched regularly the catch phrases were priceless and introduced them into our mainstream lexicon. Sayings such as "sock it to me" were not only uttered by business execs, secretary's, hosuewives, and everyday working people wishing to emulate the awakening of social moree's but also spoken freely by media and political types wishing to be thought of as in touch with the younger hip generation.
Laugh-In spared no one in it's sarcasm and very often stepped dangerously close to the edge with network execs. Once the show caught fire with TV viewers it became sheik for actors, actresses, and politicians to lobby for a position on next week's show.
Unlike SNL Laugh-In could not sustain and reinvent itself and by 1973 the nations TV watchers were ready to move on. Most of the regulars on the show fell into guest shots on other shows and eventually drifted out of site of the public. A couple of the alumni went on to great success in movies and tv. Goldie Hawn was a "graduate" of the show and went on to win an Academy Award for Cactus Flower in 1969 and has become a certifiable star in Hollywood. Lily Tomlin, and who can forget her priceless portrayal of Ernestine the telephone operator at the switchboard, went on to become one of America's most beloved and cherished comedic performers who also showed her acting agility in dramatic roles as well.
All in all Laugh-In is a part of television history and deserves its place as a cherished memory and deserving of re-run time on TV Land.
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