Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? Those 40 years old and under may have to look it up in their Funk & Wagnalls. But it looked like the fickle finger of fate has been generous to alumni of the ground-breaking comedy-variety show when some former stars gathered in West Hollywood to honor animal activist Lily Tomlin and raise funds of the non-profit welfare group Animals Foundation. (Those 40 and older will enjoy strolling through this nostalgic photo gallery.) Jo Anne Worley, pictured above in 1967 and below at the event, sounded the same as she did four decades ago when it was her turn at the microphone, turning simple standards into boisterous operas. Announcer Gary Owens, who along with Ruth Buzzi was the only cast member to appear in every Laugh-In episode, joined Tomlin, Worley and executive producer George Schlatter in reminiscing about the show, which ran for six years and along the way drove NBC censors batty, launched Goldie Hawn, Artie Johnson, and Richard Dawson, and introduced catchy phrases like “Sock it to me,” “Verry ennteresting,” “You bet your sweet bippy,” and “Here comes the judge.”
Remembering their 200-page scripts, Schlatter said, “It was dangerous TV – it was TV without a net.” For as much controversy as the show caused in its day, he said, “It was never dirty. It was bawdy. It was sexy.” Will there ever be a remake? There’s been talk, but Schlatter said it’s unlikely. And that’s probably for the best. Do you remember Laugh-In? What were your favorite lines? Who were your favorite stars and guest stars?