Friday, January 01, 2016
One of my favorite TV shows of the late 1960s is Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. I'm not entirely certain why this is, although my guess is that when it originally aired, my parents would usually not allow me to watch it. As those of you who are parents have probably figured out, the easiest way to get your kids interested in something is to tell them they can't watch it or read it, right?
That's not to say I never saw it when it first aired... on those occasions when they'd have a ventriloquist appear, my parents would let me watch that act... and nothing else (I had an interest in ventriloquism at a very early age). In the house we lived in when the show aired, the living room was set up so that the TV faced the stairway, so if I was v-e-r-y careful, I could sneak down after I was supposed to go to bed and watch the show, so long as I paid attention to what my parents were doing, so if one of them got up from the couch, I could get out of sight (I wasn't always successful with this).
As time went on, of course the show ended, but I always had fond memories of it. A number of years ago, Bravo aired some reruns of it for a time, and I caught those when I could. There've been a few limited DVD releases of the show, but nothing like entire seasons, sadly.
One thing that the show did spawn was this magazine, which featured all the cast members and their characters, but apparently none of the cast had anything to do with creating it! In fact, while the show originated from "beautiful downtown Burbank" (as Gary Owens always reminded us in every episode), the magazine was not quite there... Laufer Publishing produced the book, printing it in Sparta, Illinois (at World Color Press, famous for also being where DC and Marvel Comics had their books printed), and having their editorial offices in Hollywood. It was edited by George Hart and Howard Morganstern, with art by Patt Frankenfield and Bill Green. While the magazine was certainly inspired by the show, it was probably equally inspired by Mad Magazine, as you'll see!
So, here's a selection of features from issue #12 of Laugh-In Magazine... enjoy!
So, Happy New Year to all my faithful readers!
The start of a new year always gives me a feeling of retrospection, and the fact that I tend to write these posts well in advance of publication doesn't really change that. I doubt there's a single person on this planet who hasn't felt at one time or another that their lives could use some improvements, or at least some changes that could make it better for them.
I suspect that my fellow geeks may do this moreso than the average person, if only because we have experience with things changing that we care about that tend to make us react quite a bit more than maybe we should.
Let me explain a bit where I'm coming from here: I'm assuming that most of you reading this are into comic books, as that's one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) focuses of this somewhat unfocused blog. Just in the time period that I've been reading comics, I've seen reboot after reboot of characters, some better than others, and the time period between reboots seems to be getting shorter and shorter.