Coming to DVD from Time Life is another amazing DVD filled with comedy that is still relevant, irreverent and hilariously funny with “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Second Season.”
Comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin hit the American television airwaves in 1967 with a special called “Laugh-In.” A show with in-crowds, be-ins and love-ins it call came from beautiful Burbank, California. Little could they have predicated that the show was so successful that they would come back to television the next year!
Bringing in a combination of hippiness and slapstick comedy, there were fast-paced one-liners and skits that were filled with sex and politics and all led by Rowan and Martin. The series also became home to regulars such as announcer Gary Owens who had one hand over his ear.
Classic pieces that stand out are “Sock It To Me,” “Cocktail Party,” “The Fickle Finger of Fate” and “Gladys and Tyrone,” with salutes from everything to pollution, the telephone company, the post office and Pigmeat Markham wearing his robe announcing “Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!”
Tiny Tim would remind us to “tip toe through the tulips” with him and if you needs something visual there was always Rachel Welch.
Two of my all-time favorite characters on Laugh-In were and are Ernestine the Telephone Operator and the young girl Edith Ann “who is only 5-years-old” sitting in her large rocker telling tales of family life finishing with “and that’s the truth” followed by a raspberry.
That’s what made “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” absolutely amazing to watch. The witty repartee between Rowan and Martin had the audience convinced that the latter may not be the bright bulb of the duo. All of that followed by a door backdrop called the “joke wall” where ’60s music way play and stopped by the opening of a door and the cast laughed at one another’s jokes.
It all ended when Rowan would turn to Martin with “say goodnight, Dick” and the reply “goodnight, Dick” ended the show.
Time Life is taking us there again with the first season which means I get to reminisce all over again. The seven-disc set has twenty-six episodes of fun, mayhem, hilarity and comedy the likes of which will never be seen again.
The DVD features Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Chelsea Brown, Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Henry Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Dave Madden, Pigmeat Markham, Gary Owens, Alan Sues and Jo Anne Worley.
Also included are classic long-running features “Sock It To Me,” “Here Comes the Judge,” “Cocktail Party” and “The Fickle Finger of Fate” as well as “Tiny Tim sings and Explores Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” “Gladys and Tyrone on the Park Bench” plus an ode to Walnettos, and “Rosmenko (Arte Johnson) Duets in Russian with brother Bobby Darin.”
Guest Stars include: Jack Benny, Victor Borge, Mel Brooks, Johnny Carson, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, Kirk Douglas, Peter Falk, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hugh Hefner, Rock Hudson, Davy Jones, Peter Lawford, Jack Lemmon, Liberace, Rich Little, Marcel Marceau, Bob Newhart, Richard Nixon, Vincent Price, Don Rickles, Rod Serling, Nancy Sinatra, The Smothers Brothers, John Wayne, Flip Wilson, Henny Youngman and so many more.
Another bonus feature are interviews with Dick Martin, Gary Owens and Ruth Buzzi!
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 & Martin’s Laugh-In”. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
For “Laugh-In” aficionados, Time Life also offers “Laugh-In: The Complete Series” available exclusively at www.TimeLife.com/Laugh-in.
“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” also brought to the forefront those who would go on to do more amazing comedy such as the absolutely inspired Flip Wilson and Arte Johnson playing a Russian. Yes, that is unexpected and fantastic comedy of this series.
Anyone want to tip-toe through the tulips once again with Tiny Tim and his ukulele or how about Ruth Buzzi’s spinster lady who just couldn’t seem to cut a break on the bench or in love! Judy Carne is introduced as the ‘sock it to me’ gal and Goldie Hawn shares with the world her memorable giggle.
“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” was a television event that happened week after week. I’m not sure my parents were too thrilled in the beginning with my wanting to join in the comedy. Eventually it became their weekly guilty-pleasure until the show ended in 1973.
What this variety show did was open the door for so much talent to come through keeping comedy coming to our television screens. Time Life brings it all to a new generation who now can share in what made us laugh in the ’60s and ’70s because, quite honestly, it hasn’t changed much.
Pushing the boundaries of sex and politics mashed up with comedy is what we need again today and “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Second Season” continues to do just that. This DVD couldn’t be released at a better time than now and I can’t wait for more seasons to follow!
In the end — just say goodnight Dick!