It’s that time again as Time Life continues to keep the laughs coming with another amazing DVD set of “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Third Season.”
Comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin would come to be the iconic dynamic-humor duo beginning in 1967 as “Laugh-In” hit the airwaves with what was supposed to be a one-time special. What actually happened was that a comedy series like no other would make its way onto television sets and become one of TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time!
Gary Owens would introduce the program with his infamous hand over the ear and slap stick voice letting us know it was basically time to prepare our funny bones for what was to come. Rowan and Martin would give both the ‘live’ studio audience and those of us at home a well-choreographed humor dance that was perfection.
A cast of regulars and weekly special guests always brought their own unique brand of funny. As the first season included cast members Ruth Buzzi, Arte ‘very interesting…but stupid’ Johnson, Goldie Hawn, Pamela Rodgers, Teresa Graves, the laughable Jo Anne Worley and lovely Judy Carne – the third season brought a woman who would shape my comedy mind so thank you Lily Tomlin.
Arte Johnson brought his Rabbi Shankar and Tyrone F. Horneigh to the screen with the latter chasing Ruth Buzzi’s Gladys Ormphby as far as his old legs would carry him. Gladys was a elderly drab woman in a hairnet looking for love but not in the army of Horneigh! Although in this season we come very close to what I thought they would have been the cutest wedding ever on television. The opposite of Gladys would be Doris Swizzle sitting on a barstool next to hubby Leonard!
Tomlin brought to the show a plethora of characters that still have my heart today with Ernestine ‘one ringy dingy’ the telephone operator who had no problem keeping it real, grocery clerk Dotty who rang up laughs along with her ability to cut to the quick and finally, my beloved Edith Ann ‘and I’m only five years old’ who rocked her way into hearts with her outlook on life and a nice big raspberry like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence.
Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
In this 26 episode-7 DVD Complete Third Season there are so many famous guest stars as well as the cast regulars. Appearances on the show included Johnny Carson, Debbie Reynolds, Peter Sellers, Flip Wilson, Michael Caine, Bob Hope, Diana Ross, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees (hold me back!), Carol Channing, Buddy Hackett, Sid Ceasar, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jack Benny, Engelbert Humperdinck, Peter Lawford, Phyllis Diller, Roger Moore, Romy Schneider, Greer Garson, Lorne Greene of BONANZA fame, Ed McMahon, Frank Sinatra Jr. and his sister Nancy Sinatra, James Garner, Bing Crosby, Jim Backus, Andy Williams, Carl Reiner, Ringo Starr, Andy Griffith and the ever handsome Tony Curtis.
An amazing Bonus Feature is an interview with Lily Tomlin and featurette of Still Laugh-In – A Tribute to George Schlatter who was the shows creator and executive producer.
This is a series that is so much fun to explain to someone who may not have seen it before. They are surprised to learn that many of the saying they had come to know had their origins in this very series. I also love that my generation still gets excited having the opportunity to re-watch a series that most thought was gone forever.
Reliving Sock It To Me, the Cocktail Party, Sammy David Jr. teaching us how to strut to ‘here comes the judge!’, and The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award given to someone who truly deserved to be called out. This would be the season that we were introduced to the Farkle Family with Dad Frank Farkle, his wife Fanny Farkle and two children Simon and Gar Farkle. The family had a very interesting way of speaking and along with neighbor Ferd Berfel (which by the way was my first hamsters’ name), it was a group that I could have easily spent time with.
That is what “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” did for my generation actually. It gave us a brand of humor that would light up our minds as it took the comedy road to point out the government, what women were going through at the time as well as that of
Native Americans. There was nothing and no one off limits to the sketches and final poke as the show closed with a wall of doors as the cast had a chance to make jokes and take one last jab of fun.
Each show ended with Rowan telling his counterpart ‘Say goodnight Dick’ and the reply was ever faithful with ‘Goodnight Dick!’. So if you can recall how much fun “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” was, I am willing to bet that the opportunity to experience it all once again on DVD, all 1425 minutes, will bring a huge grin and we have Time Life to thank for that!
In the end — political correctness? Forget about it!