Comedian Dick Martin is no more
Dick Martin, the zany half of the US comedy team whose Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catch-phrases as Sock it to me! has died. He was 86.
Martin, who went on to become one of television’s busiest directors after splitting with Rowan in the late 1970s, died on Saturday night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica.
Laugh-in, which debuted in January 1968, was unlike any comedy-variety show before it. Rather than relying on a series of tightly scripted song-and-dance segments, it offered up a steady, almost stream-of-consciousness run of non-sequitur jokes, political satire and madhouse antics from a cast of talented young actors and comedians that also included Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and announcer Gary Owens.
Presiding over it all were Rowan and Martin, the veteran nightclub comics whose standup banter put their own distinct spin on the show.