Welcome to Talk of the Town






















Talk of the Town
VIEW UPDATE

View News Update

BREAKING 4:45pm 5-25-08 Dan Rowan's Partner: "Laugh-In" Comic Dick Martin Dies at 86
Monday, May 26, 2008 1:40am

LOS ANGELES, CA  From CNN  (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING ENTERTAINMENT:  4:30pm  5-25-08   Funny man Dick Martin of "Laugh-In" fame, died today surrounded by his family and friends. Martin, the zany half of the "Rowan and Martin" Team who helped coin the phrases America loved in the 60's, like "Sock it to me!" was 86.

Martin, who went on to become one of television's busiest directors after splitting with Dan Rowan in the late 1970s, died Saturday night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica, family spokesman Barry Greenberg said.

"He had had some pretty severe respiratory problems for many years, and he had pretty much stopped breathing a week ago," Greenberg said.

The year was 1968, and NBC TV had launched "Laugh-in," which was unlike any comedy-variety show before it. Rather than relying on a series of tightly scripted song-and-dance segments, it offered up a steady, almost stream-of-consciousness run of non-sequitur jokes, political satire and madhouse antics from a cast of talented young actors and comedians that also included Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and announcer Gary Owens.

Presiding over it all were Rowan and Martin, the veteran nightclub comics whose standup banter put their own distinct spin on the show.

Like all straight men, Rowan provided the voice of reason, striving to correct his partner's absurdities. Martin, meanwhile, was full of bogus, often risque theories about life, which he appeared to hold with unwavering certainty.

Against this backdrop, audiences were taken from scene to scene by quick, sometimes psychedelic-looking visual cuts, where they might see Hawn, Worley and other women dancing in bathing suits with political slogans, or sometimes just nonsense, painted on their bodies. Other times, Gibson, clutching a flower, would recite nonsensical poetry or Johnson would impersonate a comical Nazi spy.

"Laugh-In" astounded audiences and critics alike. For two years, the show topped the Nielsen ratings, and its catchphrases-- "Sock it to me," "You bet your sweet bippy" and "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall's" -- were recited across the country.

Stars such as John Wayne and Kirk Douglas were delighted to make brief appearances, and even Richard Nixon, running for president in 1968, dropped in to shout a befuddled sounding, "Sock it to me!" His opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, was offered equal time but declined because his handlers thought it would appear undignified.

 


Digg | Delicious | Reddit | Facebook | StumbleUpon

Powered by Majicko 1.1.0! (C) 2007 Majicko.com
Web Hosting donated by Bandwise, LLC