January 22, 2018

50 years ago today: Season 1, episode 1 of "Laugh-In."

Here is the cocktail party scene, which was to be a regular segment on the show. Nearly everything in this sequence is about sex and race, and it's so awful by today's standards. The show presented itself as being on the cutting edge of American culture, but there was always something retrograde about it — an early 60s mentality trying to be relevant in the late 60s.

39 comments:

rhhardin said...

Soon to be retro, Imus in the Morning ends March 29, 2018.

So I can stop saving it to the HD then, too.

On weekends, at the moment, the computer chooses a random Imus show from 2007 onwards and plays it at the regular Imus time. I can just enable that for weekdays too.

Robert Cook said...

It was vaudeville in bell bottoms and psychedelic colors.

Paco Wové said...

I dimly remember that show – I was very young at the time.

I wonder how Barbara Feldon would have reacted if you had told her "Thirteen years from today Reagan will be President." I am guessing similarly to how all those people reacted to Trump.

Paco Wové said...

P.S.: Man, those jokes are lame.

Phil 3:14 said...

It did not age well.

David Begley said...

Spelling question. Is it 60’s or 60s?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Yes, Rowan and Martin both born in 1922, almost 25 years older than the oldest boomers. Trying to keep up. The generation of professors who found that instead of bringing brownies and blushing, a young woman would actually put out. Dick Martin played the male who had to break down some resistance from females (Arte Johnson's "dirty old man" was a more extreme/hopeless version; in the clip he is weirdly some kind of South Asian holy man/dirty old man); in the clip I think it is Ruth Buzzi who wants sex more than her husband does--the classic "shrew." Old-fashioned stuff in that there is a gap between our aspirations and our reality; with the boomers there was always a sense that they could get whatever they wanted, so where was the humour? Somebody else is a failure, not "us": old people, Republicans. Now women are supposed to get exactly what they want, minute by minute, in every situation; no jokes.

Darrell said...

60s.

Darrell said...

Unless you are talking about something that belongs to the 1960s. like 60's hairstyles.

Ann Althouse said...

"Spelling question. Is it 60’s or 60s?"

The important thing is to pick a convention and stick to it. I chose the no-apostrophe approach long ago, in part because I've worked on journals that used that convention, but also because it's consistent with the rule against using an apostrophe to form a plural with words formed out of letters. The "grocer's apostrophe" is considered a real embarrassment (like the grocer's signs that say "apple's"). Some people think numbers are different, and that's enough to make it not embarrassing to use the apostrophe, but if you're deciding what to do going forward, I recommend omitting the apostrophe.

rehajm said...

Veeeerie Intearesting...

Ann Althouse said...

"Unless you are talking about something that belongs to the 1960s. like 60's hairstyles."

The 60s don't have hair. You're talking about 60s as a noun in the adjective position, as you would say London hairstyles. You wouldn't say I love those London's hairstyles. So you should write: I love those 60s hairstyles.

Also, if you were right, you'd have to say 60s's hairstyles.

Jim Grey said...

I'm 50 and I have clear memories of watching Laugh-In. How is that even possible? Oh: it somehow hung on through 1973.

What an interesting perspective, that the show was early-60s mores dressed up in late-60s psychedelic trappings. Now that you mention it, I totally see it.

mezzrow said...

Leo G. Carroll!!

WK said...

I was 8 or 9. Remember thinking the Farkel family were hilarious.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

If you don't get Laugh In, the problem is you.

That is all.

wild chicken said...

TV had a helluva time catching up with the 60s. Any if it. In fact I'm not sure they ever did get it. Their hippies were if the Larry Stortch variety and the music was atrocious.

No matter because in those days no one watched who was having any fun.

Darkisland said...

I was in the Navy, at Great Lakes, in transit for several weeks. (One step below Limbo) when the first show aired. I watched it in a lounge with 30-40 close friends. I remember laughing so hard I could not stop. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life.

Probably stayed the funniest thing until the Belushi/Ackroyd Cheeseburger, chips, pepsi routine on SNL.

Now looking at it, I sort of cringe. That was funny? As someone else said, it did not age well.

John Henry

tcrosse said...

Put it in your Funk and Wagnalls.

Big Mike said...

Considering how the rest of 1968 turned out — the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the riot at the Chicago Democrat Convention, cities burning, a war in Southeast Asia that no one wanted to fight and no one in the Johnson administration had a strategy to win — it was good to have something to laugh at.

Ken B said...

And yet Bob Newhart from the 50s is still funny.

Unknown said...

It doesn't age well but honestly I thought it a fine show. Lots and lots of fine characters doing different stuff. Silly but so was hee haw, smokey and the bandit and others.

Ken B said...

"Also, if you were right, you'd have to say 60s's hairstyles."

Not if 60s is a plural. Then you'd say those 60s' hairstyles. Pigs' bladders for the bladders of multiple pigs.

I see no reason for using an apostrophe at all in any case.

madAsHell said...

I would always hurry home from Boy Scout meetings to catch the end of the show.

Today, I just can't imagine why?

pacwest said...

Goldie Hawn was hot! I've always been impressed by her and Kurt Russell's relationship of decades in the maelstrom they live in. It speaks volumes about both of them.

Luke Lea said...

I think the jokes are pretty good. Of course those of us who were in their twenties in the sixties didn't have time or the desire to watch tv entertainment. Only our parents (and younger siblings like Ann?) did that, who were trying to keep up with the times.

DavidD said...

"Spelling question. Is it 60’s or 60s?"

It's ’60s, with the apostrophe at the beginning--it's a contraction for 1960s.

tcrosse said...

I suspect that the Farkle Family inspired the Brady Bunch.

Robert Cook said...

That show launched the careers of Lily Tomlin and Goldie Hawn.

Dan said...

Sixties.....

Lexington Green said...

Man, that was awful.

Gahrie said...

Ronald Regun?

Ann Althouse said...

We mispronounced “reagan” for a long time.

rhhardin said...

Barbara Feldon became the sweetheart of every American male as agent 99 in Get Smart, not because she was hot (she wasn't), but for always showing Max she was satisfied with him.

rhhardin said...

"Spelling question. Is it 60’s or 60s?"

The grocers' apostrophe is permitted in acronyms and abbreviations when it makes the thing easier to read by separataing out the s.

E.g. operating systems: OS's is necessary.

rhhardin said...

If you're separating it out in a bash shell script, use a double grocers' apostrophe

$ cp $1''s temp

The Godfather said...

Remember when the mini-skirted Ruth Bader Ginsberg said "Sock it to me!)? Comedy gold.

Sydney said...

I didn’t know Flip Wilson was on Laugh In.

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

Heh, that pen Leo G Carroll pulls out to contact Illya looks like those pot vamping pens we see these days.