"Rowan and Martin are really unique. Individually they're nobody, but together they're nothing'" - Dean Martin
Every once in a while the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast would honor a comedy duo; Jack Klugman and Tony Randall got the treatment in 1973 as the Odd Couple. This show aired in March of the following year after the hit series "Laugh-In" went off the air after six seasons. Those who recall the show remember it as a rapid fire comedy sketch program with dozens of celebrities who showed up along with a handful of regulars. Some of those weekly participants were on hand for this Roast, among them Arte Johnson, Richard Dawson (two seasons), and Ruth Buzzi appearing as her Laugh-In character Gladys Ormphby. I don't want to rate Buzzi as a disappointment here, but every other show she appeared on she wound up being the funniest member of the dais. This time out, she only wielded her pocketbook once, and that was at Dino. For some odd reason her presentation here was almost subdued compared to what I've seen otherwise, so I don't know what to make of that.
If I had to pick the funniest bit, it would have to be Foster Brooks hands down, introduced by Dean as the head writer of the Laugh-In show. Brooks always regaled with his drunken bit, and he was firing on all cylinders for this evening. Nipsey Russell was pretty good too. Rounding out the rest of the presenters for this program were Joey Bishop, Audrey Meadows, Bob Newhart and Steve Lawrence, introduced as Rowan and Martin's psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Stephens. Dean would have a character like this appear on almost every Roast, and for the most part it worked pretty well as it did here.
As for the guests of honor, they did a pretty good job with their turn at bat, dishing it out just as well as they took it on the receiving end. I don't remember them getting their big break by appearing on Dean's weekly Comedy Hour, but they said so in their closing remarks, so I guess that's good enough for me.
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