September 8, 1968: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuts on BBC2

1968-1973-Rowan_&_Martin's_Laugh-In-Wikipedia
Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-1973)

Rowan & Martin’s 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. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Laugh-In 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, in turn, derived from “sit-ins”, common in protests associated with civil rights and antiwar demonstrations of the time.

Laugh-In had its roots in the humour of vaudeville and burlesque, but its most direct influences were Olsen and Johnson’s comedy (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 characterised 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, at various times, actress Goldie Hawn, comic actor Richard Pryor, actress Lily Tomlin, and English writer & actor Jeremy Lloyd.  Guest stars included Jack Benny, Sammy Davis Jr, Zsa Zsa Gabor and John Wayne.  A full list can be found on Wikipedia.

Rowan_martin_laugh_in_photo-Wikipedia
Dan Rowan & Dick Martin

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*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

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