Sunday, May 25, 2008


I have to figure I won't be alone in using that heading....
Comedian and director Dick Martin has passed away at the age of 86. He had been in ill health for some time, due to his inability to breathe properly. (He lost the use of one lung at the age of 17, which didn't bother him until his later years, when he would need up to 18 hours of oxygen a day. It was said that for the last week of his life, he couldn't even breathe on his own at all.)

There will be plenty of obituaries and heartfelt tributes from fans and friends online that will go into detail about Dick Martin's career as a comic in partnership with Dan Rowan and their rise to stardom as the hosts of 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' during the late sixties. (Check out Mark Evanier's "News From ME" in my links to the left for a personal remembrance.)

I'd like to tip the Toobworld hat to those characters he created in other shows, TV movies, and specials who populated Earth Prime-Time and some of its alternate dimensions.......
"The Trial Of Old Drum" - Mayor Meyer

"Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" - Grandpa Charlie
Two Guys, a Girl and a Thanksgiving (25 November 1998)
Liver and Learn (1 December 1999)

"The Nanny" - Preston Collier
The Dinner Party (11 March 1998)

"George & Leo" - George's Doctor
The Smokers (8 December 1997)
The Poker Game (26 January 1998)

"Baywatch" - Ed
Memorial Day (13 October 1997) - Ed
[An odd little coincidence he should then die during Memorial Day weekend.....]

"3rd Rock from the Sun" - Ben Littmeyer
Dick Jokes (8 December 1996)

"The John Larroquette Show" - Eggers' Father
A Cult to the System (6 December 1994)

"Dave's World" - Delivery Man
How Long Has This Been Going On? (28 November 1994)

"Diagnosis Murder" - two roles
Murder at the Telethon (12 November 1993) - Hank Mallory
The Roast (23 September 1999) - Lou Summers

"Blossom" - Frosty The Clown
38 Special (25 October 1993)
[Frosty could have been any other Dick Martin character who had an acting background.]

"Coach" (2 episodes) - Peter Plunkett
The Marion Kind: Part 1 (5 February 1991)
The Marion Kind: Part 2 (12 February 1991)

"Ferris Bueller" - Mr. McFarland
Baby You Can't Drive My Car (3 December 1990)

"Sledge Hammer!" - Cowboy Cody
The Death of a Few Salesmen (15 October 1987)

"Fantasy Island" - Dr. R.M Bunk
Baby/Marathon: Battle of the Sexes (5 October 1979)

"The Love Boat" - 5 episodes, perhaps 3 roles
Marooned: Parts 1 & 2 (16 September 1978) - Deputy Captain Cunningham
Stimulation of Stephanie, The/Next Step, The/Life Begins at 40 (1 December 1979) - Prof. Norman Bridges
Lady from Sunshine Gardens/Eye of the Beholder/Bugged (21 February 1981) - George Crichton
Return of the Captain's Lady/Love Ain't Illegal/The Irresistible Man (6 February 1982) - George
[The last two, both named George, could be the same character. Deputy Captain Cunningham might be related to the Cunninghams of Milwaukee from 'Happy Days', and perhaps he gave young Chuck Cunningham the chance to go off to sea.]

Swing Out, Sweet Land (1970) (TV) .... Wilbur Wright
[I think this John Wayne special has to fall into the world of Skitlandia.]

Murder at N.B.C. (19 October 1966) - Skitlandia televersion of himself

"The Lucy Show" - Harry Conners
Lucy Digs Up a Date (8 October 1962)
Lucy Is a Referee (15 October 1962)
Lucy Misplaces $2,000 (22 October 1962)
Lucy Becomes an Astronaut (5 November 1962)
Lucy Builds a Rumpus Room (10 December 1962)
Chris's New Year' Eve Party (31 December 1962)
Lucy's Sister Pays a Visit (7 January 1963)

In 1995, Robin McCulloch portrayed Dick Martin in the TV movie "Sugartime", which was about the affair between Mafia boss Sam Giancana and singer Phyllis McGuire. This tele-flick could be placed into that TV dimension which deals with the depictions of backstage life at real TV shows - like those that looked at 'Mork & Mindy', 'Diff'rent Strokes', 'Charlie's Angels', 'Gilligan's Island', and 'Steptoe & Son'.

And in "We're Off To See The Wizard", Martin voiced the Pieman in the Tooniverse Oz....

I refrained from using any pictures from his game show appearances like on 'Match Game', but I couldn't resist this picture of Dick Martin with Carroll O'Connor and Sammy Davis Jr.......
At first, I thought Sammy was hugging the bowling ball; after all, he'd hug just about anything!

As Red Skelton would say, "May God Bless...."

Toby OB


Jimn said...

I saw "Sugartime". The segment with Rowand & Martin is so small, do you really want to toss it off to that alternate dimension? Seems like a waste of Sam Giancana in TV Land.

the Cur family said...

Celebrity Bowling?!


Still, even this child of the 80's has some appreciation for his work. I remember, quite young, watching with my parents some sort of Special about laugh in. Maybe some Anniversary Special. Anyway, I thought it was great stuff. I didn't get a lot of it, but hey! there's an old lady hitting a buy with her handbag! Woohoo!

Formative experiences....