This Week in History, 1968: Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in comes to Vancouver
In the spring of 1968, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in came out of nowhere to become the most popular show on television.
Laugh-in catchphrases like “here come de judge” and “sock it to me” became ingrained in 60s culture. The federal Conservatives even ran an anti-Liberal ad in the May 4, 1968, Vancouver Sun calling for voters to “Sock it to them!” in the next election.
Incredibly, at their height of their fame, Dan Rowan, Dick Martin and cast members Joanne Worley, Ruth Buzzi, Henry Gibson and Larry Hovis were booked into the relatively small local nightclub The Cave for five nights, from April 24 to 28, 1968.
According to Vancouver Sun columnist Denny Boyd, the troupe received $14,500 for their appearance, a far cry from the $35,000 a week they would receive for their next booking, in Lake Tahoe.
This probably means the Cave shows were being used to prep for bigger markets, which often happened in the 50s and 60s — for years Mitzi Gaynor worked out her act at The Cave.
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