Back to Top

c. 1968-1973, 1977

Sock it to me! A scrapbook of highlights from “Laugh-In”

Interesting. Veeeery interesting to see the show that remade TV comedy

No, really, that's John Wayne in a rabbit suit.

Laugh-In—or Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In to give its proper title— may only have run from 1968-1973, but the show made a huge impression on a generation of American TV viewers, and on the television shows that followed its lead in the 1970s and on to today.

Hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, the quick-fire sketch show took its title from the late ’60s vogue for events such as “love-in’s” and “sit-in’s.” Laugh-In provided a platform for big stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and John Wayne, for stars-in-the-making such as Goldie Hawn, Tiny Tim, and, when revived in 1977, a pre-fame Robin Williams.

In 1968, Laugh-In also improbably featured a guest appearance by Richard Nixon, then running for presidential office. During the episode, Nixon repeated the show’s recurring catchphrase “Sock it to me!” though he was not doused with water, which is what usually happened when a cast member said it.

Nixon later claimed that it was this appearance that won him the 1968 presidential election. His opponent, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, agreed it was a factor.

A “Laugh-In” lunchbox, just one of the many show tie-ins produced.
Getty Images
Dan Rowan, left, and Dick Martin pose for a portrait circa 1972 in Los Angeles, California.
Martin Mills / Getty Images
Goldie Hawn sits patiently while her body paint is applied before the show, which made her a sensation.
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
Dan and Dick sport placards
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
The cast with protest banners
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
The Laugh-In crew ensemble, none of whom had to audition. If “Laugh-In” creator George Schlatter found them funny, they were in.
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
Robin Williams with castmate Kim Braden in the ill-fated 1977 revival of “Laugh-In.”
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
That’s Dan and Dick with John Wayne in a giant rabbit costume.
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
Robin Williams on the 1977 show.
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
A football sketch with Alan Sues as the player and Dave Madden as the coach. That’s Arte Johnson in the background. (“Interesting. Veeeeeery Interesting.”)
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
Dan and Dick, who were an act in Vegas before becoming the hosts of “Laugh-In.”
NBC / Universal / Getty Images
That’s Sammy Davis Jr. and cast regular Judy Carne emerging from the joke wall.
NBC / Universal / Getty Images

Watch this

The best places to go leaf peeping

see more from
More
>