Rowan & Martin's Coff-In

US pioneeer Dick Martin dies

Dick Martin, the wackier half of the duo behind seminal Sixties comedy show Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In, has died at the age of 86.

The quickfire American show ran from 1968 to 1973, revolutionising comedy-variety programmes with its stream-of-consciousness mix of surreal non-sequiturs, satire and zaniness.

Martin died last night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica, California, surrounded by friends and family.

Family spokesman Barry Greenberg said: ‘He had had some pretty severe respiratory problems for many years, and he had pretty much stopped breathing a week ago.’

Laugh-In made stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and featured big-name guests such as John Wayne, Sammy Davis Jr and the Beatles.

Rowan and Martin was a typical double-act, with straightman Rowan patiently trying to correct Martin’s confusion. The partnership dissolved in the late Seventies, and Martin went on to become a successful TV director.

Rowan died of cance in 1987.

Here are some clips from Laugh-In, including a Rowan and Martin opening monologue:

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Published: 25 May 2008

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