Friday, January 01, 2016

Fandom Library: Laugh-In Magazine!

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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!

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Aside from the cover and the ad, this was the first page in this issue with any of the cast on it!
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