#1LinerWeds from Arte Johnson

Mary and I have been watching reruns of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the evenings after The Best of The Ed Sullivan Show. I had forgotten just how much variety there was on that show: the members of the cast were real entertainers. They did the comedy blackouts, for sure, but they also sang and danced and played multiple characters during the show. I spent some time a few days ago looking up the cast from the show, and found some interesting quotes from them, including the one above from Arte Johnson, whose recurring characters included Tyrone F. Hornai (the often-spurned lover of Ruth Buzzi’s Gladys Ormphby) and the German soldier Wolfgang (“Verrrrrry interesting…”). He turned 89 last January and is semi-retired, with his last credit coming back in 2005.


One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Chef Boy-Ar-Dee Complete Spaghetti Dinner. You do the shopping, we do the cooking.

34 thoughts on “#1LinerWeds from Arte Johnson

      1. Good memories. My first was just born. His dad would watch Laugh In and guffaw and the baby snuggled in and slept..

        Yes. Similar things going on now. Yet I don’t think people could handle it with a sense of humor we managed back then.

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  1. I saw Strauss’ Die Fliedermaus at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House in the 1990s. Arte Johnson played the non-singing part of the drunken jailer in act 2. As usual, he was spot on excellent.

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    1. He’s a talented guy. A lot of parts he played were voicing cartoons, so you didn’t see him a lot. I guess he’s retired now. I looked the other day, and he’s close to 90.

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  2. My parents wouldn’t let my brother and I watch Laugh-In at first. Too racy! I caught up with it later (loved Arte’s characters) and now I laugh because today it would be considered pretty mild TV.

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    1. I watched it when I was 11, and I don’t recall anything being that risque, even for the times. There was drug humor and a little sex (most of the latter being Judy Carne, Goldie Hawn, and Teresa Graves dancing in bikinis), but that was the Sixties. Mom never saw anything wrong with letting us watch that.

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  3. Classic line “Verrrrrry interesting…”. We were not allowed to watch Laugh-In or Love American Style. I watched re-runs later and still don’t get why our parents said no to those shows. They were my original censors 🙂

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    1. A lot of people saw the commercials and read about it in the paper and magazines, decided it was filth, didn’t watch it and didn’t let their kids watch, either. Ditto with “Love, American Style.” Even by the standards of 50 years ago it was really pretty mild.

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  4. Rate Johnson was on my soap..General Hospital. I always liked him and Laugh In Was dumb and yet spot on in some ways and funny. I think Joanne Whooley was on this too with her over the top ways and clothing.

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    1. I hear some of their “News of the Future” segments and I think they had a lens into the future and could see where things were headed.

      Joanne Worley was great. Big (compared to the rest of the cast, anyway) and loud, almost obnoxious. I loved her.

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    1. It was strictly entertainment. You could always find something you liked. The Beatles might be on Ed Sullivan and play at the beginning and the end of the show, and I wouldn’t want to move. In between the two appearances were all these other great acts: comedians, ballet dancers, Broadway actors, singers from earlier generations, circus acts, foreign performers, you name it, it was on Ed Sullivan, and I’d just sit and absorb all of that. With Laugh-In, things happened so quickly that you didn’t have time to get bored. If you didn’t think one thing was funny, it’d be over in ten seconds and they’d be on to something else. Great stuff.

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  5. I seem to remember my dad watching Laugh In with me which surprises me now. Maybe it was in my later teens. It was sort of a precursor to Saturday Night Live. Dad didn’t like SNL much and usually went to bed before it came on.

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    1. You and I are roughly the same age, so it started when we were eleven (1967), and ended when we were 17 (1973). So you probably remember it from sometime in that span.

      SNL was more sketch comedy, where Laugh-in was one gag right after the other. I agree, SNL dragged a lot, and some of the sketches didn’t get funny no matter what they tried. I can’t even watch it now…

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