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Dick Martin, 86, comic of 'Laugh in' duo

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Michael Rielly

Dick Martin, 86, comic of 'Laugh in' duo

New York Times

By NEIL GENZLINGER

May 27, 2008

EXCERPT:

Dick Martin, a veteran nightclub comic who with his partner, Dan Rowan, turned a mid-season replacement at NBC in 1968 into a hit that redefined what could be done on television, died Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 86 and lived in Malibu, Calif.

The cause was respiratory failure, a family spokesman, Barry Greenberg, said. Martin had lost one lung to tuberculosis as a teenager, and in recent years had used an oxygen tank for much of each day.

"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," the hyperactive, joke-packed show that Martin and Rowan rode to fame, made conventional television variety programs seem instantly passe and sitcom humor seem too meek for the times.

...

Thomas Richard Martin was born Jan. 30, 1922, in Battle Creek, Mich. His father, William, was a salesman; his mother, Ethel, a homemaker. In the early 1930s the family moved to Detroit, where Dick's teenage years included the bout with tuberculosis, which would keep him out of the military.

...

Despite the fame and wealth that "Laugh-In" brought, Martin always retained a fondness for the earlier part of his career.

"My life has been divided into three parts in the show-business world: nightclubs, television, and then I was a director for 30 years of television shows," he said in a 2006 interview on "The O'Reilly Factor." "And I think the most fun I ever had was nightclubs. I loved nightclubs."

SOURCE

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Kona

That show was so funny with all of its cornball jokes. What was the guys name that rode the tricycle and was always crashing?

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Carlo Klemm

I was curious too so I loked it up. It was Arte Johnson.

Arte Johnson portrayed a number of recurring characters, including:

Rabbi Shankar, an Indian guru (a pun on Ravi Shankar) dressed in a Nehru jacket dispensing pseudo-mystical Eastern wisdom riddled with terrible puns.

Wolfgang, the Nazi soldier, often remarking on on the previous gag with "Verrry interesting", sometimes with additional remarks such as "...but schtupit!" He would end each show by talking to Lucille Ball and the cast of Gunsmoke — both airing opposite Laugh-In on CBS; as well as whatever was airing on ABC.

Rosmenko, the Eastern-European Man, who stood stiffly and nervously in an ill-fitting suit while commenting on differences between "The Old Country" and America, such as "Here in America, is very good, everyone watch television. In Old Country, television watches you!" This predated a similar schtick by Yakov Smirnoff.

Tyrone F. Horneigh, the dirty old man flirting with Gladys Ormphby while seated on a park bench, who always eventually struck him with her purse. Both the Horneigh and Ormphby characters returned in the "Nitwits" segments of the 1977 animated television show "Baggy Pants and the Nitwits".

A man in a yellow raincoat riding a tricycle, falling over and crashing.

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Elf Without Jingles
Dick Martin, 86, comic of 'Laugh in' duo

New York Times

By NEIL GENZLINGER

May 27, 2008

EXCERPT:

Dick Martin, a veteran nightclub comic who with his partner, Dan Rowan, turned a mid-season replacement at NBC in 1968 into a hit that redefined what could be done on television, died Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 86 and lived in Malibu, Calif.

The cause was respiratory failure, a family spokesman, Barry Greenberg, said. Martin had lost one lung to tuberculosis as a teenager, and in recent years had used an oxygen tank for much of each day.

"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," the hyperactive, joke-packed show that Martin and Rowan rode to fame, made conventional television variety programs seem instantly passe and sitcom humor seem too meek for the times.

...

Thomas Richard Martin was born Jan. 30, 1922, in Battle Creek, Mich. His father, William, was a salesman; his mother, Ethel, a homemaker. In the early 1930s the family moved to Detroit, where Dick's teenage years included the bout with tuberculosis, which would keep him out of the military.

...

Despite the fame and wealth that "Laugh-In" brought, Martin always retained a fondness for the earlier part of his career.

"My life has been divided into three parts in the show-business world: nightclubs, television, and then I was a director for 30 years of television shows," he said in a 2006 interview on "The O'Rielly Factor." "And I think the most fun I ever had was nightclubs. I loved nightclubs."

SOURCE

I'm now studying the Rules for Posting News Items, Santa Rielly. I'm able to get everything together as you wish it; the one problem I'm gonna have is how to post the tiny news icon. As I mentioned before, much of my reports will be largely confined to observing stuff from the web; as well as scoping things out from various other sources, print especially included. Believe me, you've given me a doozy of a responsibility --- and one which I hope I can live up to.

Santa Richard, N.P.N.B.

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Santa Bear

I can remember watching it with my mother. Lily Tomlin as the operator and the little girl. Ditzy Goldie Hawn. I thin my favorite was when Ruth Buzzi whacked the guy with her purse at the park bench.

RIP Dick Martin.

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Kona

Artie Johnson OK now I remember he was also the dirty old man.

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Santa JerryO

Rest in Peace Dick Martin, as Artie would Say "Verrrrry Interesting"

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alison

No way! Oh my gosh. :o

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