Thursday, May 18, 2017



In the closing scene, John Steed is watching ‘Laugh-In’.  We can’t see it but we can hear the distinctive sound of the one man clapping (whom I think was George Schlatter).  As he turns off the TV, Steed ruefully mutters “Sock it to me.”

Behind the scenes, it was a rueful moment because ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’ was killing ‘The Avengers’ in the ratings back in America.  The competition ended up killing the spy spoof’s run.

Meanwhile, within the "reality" of Toobworld, 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' was an actual show which was basically the same as the one we used to watch here in the Real World.  (As for 'The Avengers', there was a televersion of that which was produced to fool the public into discrediting the actual spies if they were seen in action.  Many of their adventures would be different from what we saw on TV (their reality).

The show, as seen in Toobworld, had the same cast - Major Tony Nelson and his genie, Jeannie, go to meet the cast when they visited Hollywood.  The Arnold Family used to watch the show all the time, as did Clarissa Darling's mom when she was growing up.  So did a lot of other TV characters who grew up with it.  In fact, Jamie Buchanan even had dreams about it, inhabited by those cast members!

I Dream of Jeannie:
The Biggest Star in Hollywood

The Wonder Years:
The Powers That Be

Clarissa Explains It All:
No T.V. 

The Nanny:
Oy Vey, You're Gay

Mad About You:
Dream Weaver

'Til Death:
Performance Anxiety

30 Rock:
Rosemary's Baby

American Horror Story:
Home Invasion

The Muppet Show:
Ruth Buzzi

"Sock it to me" wasn't the only catch-phrase spawned by the show, but the only one quoted by the President of the United States.  Other catch-phrases were:
  • "Here comes da judge; here comes da judge."
  • "You bet your sweet bippy."
  • "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall's,"
  • "Say goodnight, Dick."
Lines like that become catch-phrases because people quote them.  A lot.  And it was no different in Toobworld.  TV characters used those lines in the following shows:

Modern Family:
Won't You Be Our Neighbor

White Collar:
Au Revoir

Here's Lucy:
Lucy, the Conclusion Jumper 

Get Smart:
Schwartz's Island

Mod Squad:
Captain Greer, Call Surgery

Nearest and Dearest:
Wish You Were Here

Log 45: Bright Boy

McMillan & Wife:
Love, Honor and Swindle

The Love Boat:
Message for Maureen/Gotcha/Acapulco Connection

Starsky and Hutch:

Parker Lewis Can't Lose:
Boy Meets Girl II

3rd Rock from the Sun:
The Dicks They Are A-Changin' 

Gilmore Girls:
Friday Night's Alright for Fighting

Wizards of Waverly Place:
Alex Does Good 


So Steed wasn't alone in watching that show; it's just that his life was the one most affected by it... at least as it was reflected in the Real World.


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