Friday, April 6, 2012

Flying Fickle Finger of Fate


Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a huge hit from 1968-1973. It was the mod, hippy, psychedelic satiric sketch comedy show that led the way to Saturday Night Live. One of the featured skits had hosts Dan Rowan (on the left) and Dick Martin presenting the Flying Fickle of Fate Award to dubious celebrities and politicians. According to Urban Dictionary, "This perhaps is the first version of 'flipping the bird' on prime time TV.

Some of the actors and politicians who are deserving of the Flying Fickle of Fate Award today may include:

Arnold Schwarzenegger - "I think gay  marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

Kim Kardashian - "I hate it when women wear the wrong foundation colour. It might be the worst thing on the planet when they wear their make-up too light."

Donald Trump - "The beauty of me is that I'm very rich."

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In created unique catch phrases that even had Vice President  Richard M. Nixon deadpanning, "Sock it to me." Other popular sayings included "Verrry interesting...but stupid, Here come da judge, and You bet your sweet bippy."

Cast regular Arte Johnson, and contributing writer Coslough Johnson are my dad's first cousins. Coslough changed his name when he became a successful comedy writer, as his real name Howard Johnson was already taken. Because they had both moved to California before I was born, I never had the pleasure of meeting them.

Then my dad suggested that my brother and I write a letter of introduction to my famous cousin.  He sent us back an autographed picture of  his hysterical WWII German Soldier character with the inscription, "So Julie and Kenny, you are my cousins? Verrry interesting...."  I was quite the hit at show 'n tell that week.

Arte Johnson  on Laugh-In


  1. I bet the kids loved the picture! I've only seen clips of the show but I also see if referenced a lot as well.

    Fellow A-Zer!

  2. Enjoyed reading your post I well remember Rowan and Atinson.

    Have a good day.


  3. Showing my age but oh yes, I remember Rowan and Martin.

  4. Hi, Julie!

    You are so creative! It's just your nature!

  5. Guess I never watched them - or at least I don't remember them very well.

  6. Laugh in was classic! I was but a young kid but we'd watch it every Saturday night with the baby sitter when our parents would go out. Thanks for the memories!

  7. I've only watched a handful of reruns of it. Loved it.

  8. I LOVED that show, and rarely missed an episode. It was right up there with TW3 (That Was The Week That Was) for me. You did a great job picking modern-day winners for the fickle finger, too. Fun post!

  9. Cool post. I know I've seen episodes of Laugh In. Must have been re-runs.

  10. Libby - I was star for a day and then it was someone else's turn!

    Thanks Yvonne!

    Delores - We all are!

    Thanks so much Betty!

    Mary - It was a big hit at the time, but I don't know if it would still hold up today.

    Stephen - It was fun and like nothing else on TV back then. Thanks Stephen!

    Tonja - I really liked it too!

    Susan - I just love saying Flying Fickle Finger of Fate! Thanks Susan!

    Susanne - Either reruns or commercials to buy DVD's. Thanks Susanne!

    Wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend! Julie

  11. "You bet your sweet bippy" I loved that phrase. I got to see Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in and I srill think SNL wouldn't exist if Rowan and Martin hadn't done it first :)

    I'm going to use "You bet your sweet bippy" as many times as I can next week and enjoy the odd looks at work ;)

    *~ MAJK ~*
    Twitter: @Safireblade
    A to Z Blog Challenge

  12. Thanks for the smile, well it was a laugh and it was out loud. I loved Laugh In.

  13. You brought back lots of memories for me. Thanks for the laugh. This is when comedy didn't need to be filthy to be funny.

  14. I remember those days - comedy was so much more enjoyable back then.

  15. How cool is that? I can imagine you were a big hit at show & tell. :D
    I was a little kid and never saw Laugh-In, but I love this finger of fate idea. Your choices for current nominees cracked me up LOL.

  16. Thanks for the memories. I loved Laugh-In. That's where Goldie Hawn got her start, too. Ooh, it's all coming back to me now. I think it's time for variety shows to come back now. They were so enjoyable.

  17. hahaha...I had forgotten all about this award and many other laugh In memories....thanks for making me smile :)
    Hope you're enjoying the challenge,
    Monica, Older Mommy Still Yummy

  18. Majk - So true about leading the way for SNL! I hope they don't "sock it to you" when you say it!

    Yvonne S. - I did too! Thanks for following me, and I hope to see more of you!

    Debra - But it did have women in full body paint dancing in cages! Thanks Debra!

    My Kid's Mom - There are still entertaining family shows out there like The Middle, 30 Rock, and Modern Family

    Thanks Julie!

    Janyce - I'm a big Goldie Hawn fan, and Laugh-In is where she got her start! Thanks for stopping by Janyce!

    Thanks Monica and nice to meet you!

    Happy Holidays!

  19. Now you're name dropping! I loved the Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. They don't make programmes like that anymore.

  20. LOL - I did F is for Fickle and mentioned the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate. Love Arte Johnson. Are we dating ourselves?

  21. awesome I put-off buying this for months,