Monday, January 22, 2007

Sock It To Me

Today marks the anniversary of the premier of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in 1968. My parents called it "mod," and we watched it every week. We gathered in front of the TV for an hour of innuendo, skinny chicks in bikinis, off-color jokes, and silly gags--remember the wall full of doors that opened seemingly at random to reveal regular cast members and their dopey one liners? Or Goldie Hawn acting stupid? Or Joanne Worley with that obnoxious cackling?

I never understood why that show was permitted in our house. We were strict Baptists--tee totalling people with knee-length skirts who weren't allowed to dance and weren't allowed to listen to rock-n-roll and weren't allowed to say even words like dern or gosh or darn it. We went to church every week and competed in Bible drills and Sunday school attendance contests with red and blue teams. Yet, on Monday evenings, we watched the entire hour of Laugh-In. I remember hearing a joke I was sure I shouldn't be hearing and looking at my parents, wondering why they weren't changing the channel. They never did. To this day, I don't get it.

I remember an episode of MASH when Hawkeye was particularly disturbed about an increase in fatalities and the futility of war. In a rant, he called someone a son of a bitch. My mother got up and turned the channel, saying "I don't like that at all. I will not have that in my house." I sat on the couch thinking, "you'll turn off a show that curses at death and destruction, but you'll let me watch half-naked women and dirty jokes and drug references." It just didn't make sense.

Well, for whatever reason, I grew up watching Laugh-In. I never cared for Goldie Hawn or Arte Johnson, but that Lily Tomlin--now that woman could tell a joke.

11 comments:

dive said...

WOAH!
Laugh in!
We had that family all together watching Rowan and Martin experience too, Robyn (only in black and white).

Veeeeeery interesting …

But stupid.

Dear Prudence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dear Prudence said...

"You bet your sweet bippy"
We also watched faithfully each week and spent the rest of the time going to church services. I think that may have been the beginning of "Binge and Purge".

Gina said...

At some point I had this really weird crush on Rowan when I discovered it on late night reruns. Kind of scary.

Robyn said...

Gina, Rowan was the mustached one, right? He was dashing.

Dear Prudence, welcome to my humble bloghome. I suppose it was some kind of binge and purge thing. It the show had aired on Saturday night, though, we may have thought it was too close to Sunday. Instead, Mary Tyler Moore was the Saturday night show to watch. I loved her.

Dive, that weird little German soldier in the palms! what a weird show that was--the old guy on the tricycle, Ruth Buzzie with the sagging suppose hose, Richard Nixon saying "sock it to me."

sister # one said...

Do you think Mama just didn't get those jokes, or the drug stuff? I always felt like we were getting away with something when we watched Laugh in - with her right there in the room.

lynn said...

I just know of the names, never seen it, though i do recognise that lady with the funny face.

Robyn said...

Sister, I was wondering that very thing, if she even know what they were saying. Oh well, I guess we did get away with something. Yahoo.

Lynn, I have no idea where a lot of those entertainers are these days, except for Lilly Tomlin (the lady with the funny face). She was most recently on West Wing.

Sassy Sundry said...

Edith Ann killed me as a child.

Ame said...

I loved Laugh-In...it was an institution in my house! ;)

RICH said...

I used to watch this with my Dad, one of the few Tv shows he would watch other than "Love American Style". My Dad was not a TV watcher but he would laugh out loud at those shows.