[[quoteright:324:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laugh-in.jpg]]

->'''Announcer:''' This show has been prerecorded to give the cast a chance to get away.\\
'''German Soldier:''' Veeeeery eenteresting, but they'll never make it across the border.\\
(''laughs maniacally'')

'''''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''''' is an iconic, anarchic hour-long sketch comedy series broadcast on Creator/{{NBC}} from 1968 to 1973. Created by George Schlatter, it broke new ground in television comedy with its rapid-fire jokes, outrageous characters and -- for the time -- utterly insane and over-the-top humor. The show's ostensible hosts were the urbane Dan Rowan and the somewhat dim Dick Martin, but this tuxedo-clad pair were frequently outshone by the platoon of seeming lunatics who made up the rest of the cast.

The show is best known today for the future stars whose careers it launched -- Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, TinyTim, Henry Gibson, Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Pat Paulson, and Joanne Worley among others -- and the incredible comic moments it managed to pull off (such as then-presidential-candidate Richard M. Nixon asking America to "sock it to him"). But until the birth of ''SaturdayNightLive'' several years later, ''Laugh-In'' was the touchstone of modern American humor. (''SNL'' emulated it, in some ways -- unsurprisingly, because many ''Laugh-In'' writers later worked on ''SNL'', including the later show's producer, LorneMichaels.) It was possibly the single largest source of {{Running Gag}}s, {{Catch Phrase}}s and other pop culture contributions during the middle of the 20th century, and developed during its surprisingly brief run an utterly unique and frenetically subversive style that carried them directly into the subconscious of the viewer. Because of its wild and unpredictable yet ''intelligent'' style, it was also often very successful at getting surprisingly risque material (for the era) on the air -- usually by setting up apparently-innocent situations where the viewer's mind would fill in the blanks with suitably dirty punchlines and speculations of their own.

Regular features of the show included Rowan and Martin's opening "monologue", Gladys and Tyrone the DirtyOldMan on the park bench, the "cocktail party", the not-quite adventures of the Farkle family, "Laugh-In News" and the end-of-episode "joke wall". In addition to the videotaped studio sketches, there were also a large number of filmed bits, most of them running gags, including most famously Judy Carne and Goldie Hawn go-go dancing, and the raincoated man on his tricycle. Every episode had a celebrity SpecialGuest who participated -- usually with gleeful good humor -- in the anarchic goings-on. Certain stars -- like Tiny Tim -- were particular favorites and were brought back episode after episode until they were almost members of the main cast themselves. Video clips of previous guest stars would also frequently show up on later shows as punchlines, setups or simple {{Reaction Shot}}s.

Part of the show's charm was due to Schlatter's tendency not to do retakes, leaving bungles, bloopers and cast crack-ups in place for broadcast. (In fact, he often deliberately provoked Goldie Hawn into fits of giggles on-camera just so he could film and broadcast her laughing.) This gave the impression of a show that was often completely out of control and on which almost anything could happen. The often psychedelic set design just added to it, although ''Laugh-In'' never did any kind of overt hard drug humor (although most episodes had a coy marijuana one-liner or two).

George Schlatter attempted to recreate the success of ''Laugh-In'' for ABC by cloning it into a show called ''Turn-On''. However, the first episode of ''Turn-On'' was met with so many complaints about its quality that it was either banned from airing, cancelled fifteen minutes into the episode (TheOtherWiki says the last sketch that aired was one where a woman violently shakes a vending machine that dispenses birth control pills), or aired in full and then never again. Before the 1970s were over, Schlatter would try once again with a proper revival of ''Laugh-In''. It too, failed, but even so, it proved that Schlatter's eye for comedic talent had in no way diminished -- the cast he assembled for the revival included several performers who later went on to stardom or superstardom, including a then-unknown RobinWilliams.

''Laugh-In'''s influence is extremely obvious in ''Series/SesameStreet'', and ''YouCantDoThatOnTelevision''.

Some of the {{Catch Phrase}}s ''Laugh-In'' made famous:
* You bet your sweet bippy.
* Sock it to me.
* Here come da judge! Here come da judge!
* Is that a chicken joke?
* Veeeeerrrrrrry eeenteresting...but stupid!
* Look ''that'' up in your Funk & Wagnall's!
* Blow in my ear and I'll follow you anywhere.
* Beautiful downtown Burbank.
* [[RepeatAfterMe "Say Goodnight, Dick." "Goodnight, Dick."]]

In 1969, Brown & Bigelow made a deck of ''Laugh-In'' [[http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks03/d01900/d01900.htm playing cards]], and NBC had a short-lived daytime game show, ''Letters to Laugh-In''.
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!!''RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' provides examples of:

* AlliterativeFamily: Frank Farkel & his wife Fanny, and their kids (some alliterated, some rhymed, and some were just puns) - Sparkle (& her sometimes twin Charcoal) Farkel, twins [[SimonAndGarfunkel Simon & Gar Farkel]], Mark Farkel, Fritz, Flicker, and Fred Farkel.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Alan Sues' characters often fit into this slot, so to speak.
* AnimatedAdaptation: ''BaggyPantsAndTheNitwits'' featured among its cast animated versions of Gladys and Tyrone -- with ''super powers''.
* BrainlessBeauty: Goldie.
* CallBack
* CloudCuckooLander: Oh boy, Tiny Tim. Goldie also vacillated between this trope and TheDitz.
* CatchPhrase: Listed above.
* {{Corpsing}}: Everyone, constantly, all the time. And often left in. Although special mention should be made of Goldie, who practically made it her trademark.
* CrossOver: One episode of ''IDreamOfJeannie'' featured many ''LaughIn'' cast guest appearences as Jeannie is discovered and set to guest star in an episode.
* CutawayGag
* DirtyOldMan: One of Artie Johnson's signature characters, always getting rebuffed by Ruth Buzzi's repressed spinster with a handbag blow to the head.
* DistinguishedGentlemansPipe: Dan Rowan.
* TheDitz: Played absolutely straight by Goldie.
* GagSeries
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Just about everything out of Dick's mouth.
* LargeHam: Many castmembers (Along with several guest stars) have their moments, but no one chews the scenary more than Jo Anne Worley.
* LaughTrack
** ThrowItIn: Charley Douglass - the man who invented the LaughTrack for television - once recorded himself clapping in the control room as he was laughing up an episode, and inserted it during the closing credits, mainly as a joke. He later apologized for doing this, but the producers loved how unintentionally funny the sarcastic-sounding one-man applause was, and used it regularly during the show's end titles after that.
* LovableSexManiac: Dick Martin's comic persona in a nutshell.
** Arte Johnson's "Tyrone F. Horneigh" character.
* MoralGuardians: Lily Tomlin's "Tasteful Lady" character was a parody of this trope.
* {{Narrator}}: Sort of -- Gary Owens as the announcer.
* NewsParody: Several variations, including Dick doing a standard satiric look at today's headlines, Alan Sues' sportscaster, Ruth Buzzi's gossip columnist, and Dan providing the "News of the Future" -- a couple of which proved to be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MfoUMZAbuQg#t=67s startlingly accurate]], including [[HilariousInHindsight the fall of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Reagan becoming President.]]
* NoFourthWall
* NostalgiaFilter: Much of the show's humor hasn't aged particularly well, and will likely be lost on non-Baby Boomer viewers, although it is not without its fans among young audiences today.
* OnlySaneMan: Dan Rowan often played this role, reacting to the other regulars' zaniness.
* TheOperatorsMustBeCrazy: "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the telephone company."
** This also qualifies as BeamMeUpScotty since the line wasn't from Laugh-In, but a later Lily Tomlin appearance on ''SaturdayNightLive''.
* TheOtherDarrin: Dick Martin missed a taping, so the producers ran over to ''TheTonightShow'' and drafted Johnny Carson to play Dick's part. Carson was essentially playing Martin on-screen character - during Dan & Johnny's monologue segment Dan continually called Johnny "Dick."
* PantyShot: A very quick blackout had the wind of an unseen fan blow Judy Carne's dress up.
* RapidFireComedy: an early example, which made the censors uncomfortable. Lampshaded in the ReunionShow.
* ReunionShow: ''Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In 25th Anniversary Celebration''.
* {{Revival}}
* RevolvingDoorBand: A non-musical example. Other than the hosts, announcer Gary Owens and Ruth Buzzi were the only constant members.
* RichardNixon: "Sock it to meeeeeeeee?".
** The 1977 revival had a Nixon impersonator:
-->'''"Nixon":''' In 1969, I appeared on ''Laugh-In'' and said "Sock it to me. Sock it to me." Well, you can stop now!
* RunningGag
* SelfDeprecation: Done regularly, by both the regular cast members and the SpecialGuest stars. One of many examples:
-->'''Tony Curtis:''' Wherever I go, people always ask me about Laugh-In. And they always ask the same thing; why?
* SigningOffCatchPhrase
-->Dan Rowan: Say goodnight, Dick.\\
Dick Martin: Goodnight, Dick.
* SpecialGuest: Just about every star of the day, often popping up unannounced in the midst of sketches. Sammy Davis Jr was probably the most frequent, but Nixon was by far the best-known example.
* SubvertedKidsShow: "Uncle Al".
* [[ThoseWackyNazis That Wacky Nazi]]: Arte Johnson's Wolfgang.
* TotallyRadical: Humor about and for sixties youth culture, presented by middle-aged comedy veterans. Sometimes it worked better than others.
* TrapDoor
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece
* UnusualEuphemism: "Bippy" for the rear end.
* VanityPlate: The sound of George Schlatter laughing and clapping as an animated logo displays.

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