In the 1960's and early 70's, TV Variety Shows were as prevalent as Prime Time Soaps Operas were to become in the 80's, and "Reality" Shows are in the first decade of the 21st Century. It was also common in the 60's to bring in a summer host for a Variety Show, instead of showing reruns all summer as was the tradition with dramas and comedies.
One of the most popular Variety Shows in 1966 (#14 in it's first year) was Dean Martin's, first airing in the Fall of 1965. By the summer of 1966 Dan Rowan and Dick Martin (no relation to Dean) were chosen to host the Dean Martin Summer Show.
The comedy team of "Rowan and Martin", with Rowan as the set-up straight man and Martin as the daft one, did well enough that summer for NBC to develop their own show for them 2 years later: " Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In".
My favorite joke from the Dean Martin Summer Show (I was 10 years old at the time):
Dan Rowan: "Did you read the papers saying that somewhere in the world, there's a baby born every second?"
Dick Martin: "Every Second? Wow! We've got to find that woman and stop her!"
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