R.I.P. Dick Martin

Laugh-In and Batman were the first and last shows to get me excited about color television. But when I was excited, I was very excited.

The writing on Batman holds up better than the writing on Laugh-In. Even at the time, I knew it was sort of stupid. Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Alan Seuss and Jo Anne Worley were a freak show. And I found Lily Tomlin to be so huge and unfunny, I’ve had a hard time recognizing her as the genius she’s acknowledged to be ever since.

What made the show work, aside from the obvious charms of Judy Carne and Goldie Hawn, was that it was a party you wanted to be at. And the person who made you want to be there was Dick Martin. He was a great guy with a great laugh who found himself at the center of things for a couple of years. He reminded me a little of my Uncle Alan. I’m guessing he liked to drink.

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