Laugh-In and Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In

Laugh-In (1979)
Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In (1968-1973)
Type: Series Revival

   Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In was definitive 1960's TV. Wacky, kooky, it was sort of the Saturday Night Live of its time... sort of. It launched well known comic skits, characters and catch phrases. You bet your sweet bippy it did. Not only did it make "Sock it to me" a national catch phrase, the show even got Richard Nixon to come on and deliver it. They created tons of characters that people remember to this day - from Lilly Tomlin as Ernestine the telephone operator to Ruth Buzzy as a rather gnarly looking old woman constantly hit on by a really old guy who she would then smack unmercifully.

   Like I said, the Saturday Night Live for the 60's. Unfortunately that also means the humor is pretty dated. What was hot and happening then looks sort of corny and silly today. Well that's my take on it. The repeats I've seen have never really got me laughing.

   In 1979 somebody apparently got it in their head to try and catch lightening in a bottle a second time. A new Laugh-In was launched and exploded on the launch pad. It was more of a 70's style comedy show with a new cast. It took no bits from the original series. It was sort of funny but nothing spectacular. I'm sure the thought was that the name would attract people with the name recognition. Bad move. First of all, like I said, Laugh-In for people like me equaled dated 60's comedy making the name recognition a minus and not a plus. And for people who did still love the original show it was also a minus. If you liked the original show, seeing a pale new copy with new people and no connection to the classic abusing the Laugh-In name for ratings would piss you off. Think about it. What if somebody decided to make a new version of Monty Python's Flying Circus just called The Flying Circus with none of the original Pythons on it and an all new hip and funky young cast of jerks. The very people they were after - the old Python fans - would want their heads on pikes! So the whole Laugh-In revival was a big failure. The only high point was that one of its cast members, Robin Williams, became HUGE after it went off the air inspiring NBC to bring the show back in an attempt to milk his popularity for rating points. Then it went into a corner and died like a good dog of a show.

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