Henry Gibson and Friends

Since there appears to be a lack of general cultural knowledge of Henry Gibson and Laugh In, some foggy memories (not least being my own) and deep time historical knowledge of comedians Arte Johnson, the early form of Goldie Hawn, Rowan and Martin themselves, Ruth Buzzi, Jo Anne Worley, and Lily Tomlin 1.0, here’s some material for you.

See how many celebrities you can spot (Henry Gibson is in the very long blooper scene at the end of the first video, at about 8 minutes into the second video with Greer Garson , and elsewhere). Even more interesting, see how may prenumberations you can spot! I see Al Franken. I see The coneheads; I see Lisa Lupner. I see Evening Update. (Lorne Michaels was a staff writer for Laugh-In.)


  1. #1 Dan J
    September 17, 2009

    Don’t forget Flip Wilson and Alan Sues!

    I was only a young child (I was 3 when Laugh-In started, 8 when it ended), but I do have fond memories of watching it. My parents thought something like Laugh-In was perfectly okay for children to watch, and I’m glad they did.

  2. #2 JefFlyingV
    September 17, 2009

    Funny the things you remember from the show and what you forget. Fickle finger of Fate, Nixon saying sock it to me, Goldie Hawn in a bikini. There was a terrible spin off movie with the Maltese Bippi.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    That must have been based on the Golden Bippie Award. Which is funnier if it is said with the right tone and cadence.

  4. #4 Anon
    September 17, 2009

    “… but right now, in Birmingham, they’re running a test pattern.”

    I didn’t get the social commentary when I watched it back in the day.

  5. #5 MIke Haubrich, FCD
    September 17, 2009

    My grandmother didn’t care for this show, but my parents let me watch it. I was up until three last night watching these of youtube last night, reliving memories.

    There was so much of late sixties culture lampooned in this that was fun to watch. I only got half the jokes when I was a kid. What I liked was that there were guests conservative and liberal. They also lampooned the “Silent Majority.”

    You bet your sweet bippie, they did.

  6. #6 Gray Gaffer
    September 17, 2009

    In ’66 I discovered two things: Laugh-In and Goldie, and the first “Love of my Life” Carrie, who was the real world incarnation of the Goldie character in all ways except being a brunette instead of a blond (plus being as intelligent as could be). I was all of 19 and over-flowing with the obligatory teen hormonal soup. Plus it was 1966, man! Ah, thanks for the memories!

    We are slowly losing our cultural founders. I see little replacing them, but could that just be creeping fogey-ism? I can’t shake the idea that the decade 1966 – 1976 produced the century’s great ones in both comedy and music.

  7. #7 Spiv
    September 18, 2009

    I may be a young’n, but I’m still a huge fan of a youthful Goldie Hawn

  8. #8 wheatdogg
    September 18, 2009

    Gibson’s obit in the NYT included a photo of the cast. It brought back a flood of memories. I never thought after 30 years I would still remember their names.

    I was old enough (12-13) to catch most of the innuendo and political humor in the show. My old man, a pretty straightlaced Republican, would watch it with me. He never said a word against it. Maybe it was Goldie’s dancing … Damn, she was cute.

    Anyway, Laugh-In was one of the most entertaining shows back then, and it continually pushed the boundaries of network censorship. Though, I suspect if it were on today, the networks would run it late at night so youngsters like me wouldn’t be corrupted.

    You bet your bippie!

  9. #9 doug l
    September 18, 2009

    For me seeing the tributes to Henry Gibson brings back a wealth of memories of his work which incidentally goes far beyond “laugh in”. He was one of the first commedians to usher in the age of irony, and his performance and some of his poetry helped to make Robert Altman’s “Nashville” the remarkable movie that it is. His wiki reveals a man with an interesting background.