Sunday, July 24, 2016
SOCK IT TO ME, MONSTERS! (PART 1)
With all the death and destruction going on in the world these past few weeks, I thought it might be good to even take a break from monsters per se, and share a laugh or two to lighten things up a little.
While pouring through the vast trove of pop culture paraphernalia stashed deep in the vault here at the Mysterious Mansion, I came across this little gem of a 'zine.
A riff on the 60s term "Love In", "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" was an NBC weekly TV show that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968 to March 12, 1973. After it debuted, it became so popular that it replaced the Monday evening spot held by another, wildly popular spy series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.". Moderated by announcer Gary Owens, it's ensemble cast was stacked with such notable comedians as Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Goldie Hawn (!), Henry Gibson, Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin themselves. The show was fast, zany, and in many cases as I recall, very funny. But most of all, it was hip and was directly influenced by the mod and hippie culture so widespread in the 60s.
The first issue of LAUGH-IN hit the stands in October 1968. Trying and mostly succeeding in transferring the quirky format of the TV show onto the pages of a national magazine it embodied the free spirit and weirdness of the source material.
Also interesting in this first issue was its generous use of movie monsters to get across its gags. While not a true monster magazine of the kind usually seen here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, I think it's worthwhile to include it in the canon of monster-related 'zines. Plus, I think you'll have a few chuckles along he way. The centerfold of Ruth Buzzi as a Playboy Bunny is worth the proverbial "price of admission alone".
And now, ladies and gentlemen, direct from beautiful downtown Burbank, I give you LAUGH-IN!