Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Henry Gibson RIP

One of the pillars of Laugh In (and you'd have to be of a certain age to know how influential the show was in its prime) has died:

Henry Gibson, the veteran character actor who came to fame in the late 1960s as the flower-holding poet on TV’s landmark satirical comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” has died. He was 73.

Gibson died late Monday night after a short battle with cancer at his home in Malibu, said his son Jon.

Gibson, who more recently played a recurring role as cantankerous Judge Clark Brown on “Boston Legal,” was part of the original ensemble cast of “Laugh In,” which ran on NBC from 1968 to 1973 ... He also was the voice of Wilbur the Pig in the animated “Charlotte’s Web.” ...

What's interesting to me is that Gibson was an integral part of a teevee comedy hour that had huge reach and impact for two or three years.

But the parade has moved on ... and now it's mostly forgotten. Teenagers today, their noses pressed against ipods and computer screens, have no idea that once upon a time a hit network television show would command fifty or sixty million pairs of eyeballs.

Now it's big news that Jay Leno gets 18 million viewers on his maiden outing. In ye olden times, this would mean your prime-time show was a disaster and subject to rapid cancellation.

My how things have changed.


Anonymous said...

RIP Mr. Gibson. Your role in Robert Altman's best film, "Nashville," was simply brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I live in Malibu and I would frequently see Henry Gibson at Ralph's while doing my grocery shopping. It was thrill every time. I never said hello or anything like that, but he seemed to have a very friendly rapport with everyone who worked there, and he was always smiling. I think the last time I saw him there was only a month ago.
Rest In Peace indeed.

Site Meter