Dick Martin

Performer/ Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Dick Martin (1922-2008) speaks about his lifelong ambition to work in the entertainment industry and talks of his early career steps in Hollywood. He describes his first encounter with Dan Rowan and their subsequent comedy partnership, details their years on the road working in nightclubs around the country and recalls their early forays into television. He discusses working with Lucille Ball as an occasional performer on her CBS series, The Lucy Show, and recounts Rowan and Martin's summer replacement series for The Dean Martin Show, which led to their renowned comedy series Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.  He comments on working with his well-known co-stars, speaks of the hectic production schedule and outlines the extensive, creative editing needed to make the show work. Martin then chronicles his second career as a director for television, on programs including The Bob Newhart Show, Flo, Family Ties, Mama's Family, The Bradys, and Newhart.  He gives a detailed description of directing the historic final episode of Newhart and talks of his relationship with Bob Newhart. He decries the then-current state of television, and fondly remembers comedy partner Dan Rowan. Karen Herman conducted the interview on September 25, 2002 in Malibu, CA.

"I became a bartender because it was the only way I could have my days free to try to get an agent or do anything in show business. I tended bar for a good ten years. That's where I met Dan Rowan. I was a bartender and he was a used car salesman. An unlikely pair to follow the footsteps of Martin and Lewis." 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Dick Martin on becoming comedy partners with Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on the genesis of the title for Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on directing the series finale of Newhart  and its surprise ending
Dick Martin on he and Dan Rowan getting their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Dick Martin on performing as "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on writing for the radio show "Duffy's Tavern"; on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
On meeting Dan Rowan; on his comedy act with Dan Rowan; on early television and stage appearances  

Chapter 2

On his early Supper club dates with Dan Rowan; on Rowan and Martin on The Ed Sullivan Show; on Rowan and Martin appearing on The Bob Hope Chevy Show
On Rowan and Martin appearing on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show; on the Hollywood blacklist; on playing "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show

Chapter 3

On co-starring on The Lucy Show for its first 13 weeks
On starring in The Dean Martin Summer Show aka The Rowan and Martin Show
On the genesis, format, censorship, and writing of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Chapter 4

On the style, editing and production of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; on the cameos on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, including Richard Nixon
On the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; on the catch-phrases and topicality of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; on the end of the show

Chapter 5

On audience reaction to and the legacy of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; on appearing on various game shows; on getting into television directing
On directing The Bob Newhart Show; on directing various other series including Family Ties and Flo

Chapter 6

On directing various series including Family Ties, Mama's Family and The Bradys; on directing Newhart
On directing the finale to Newhart; on working with Bob Newhart; on acting on various series and getting his star on the Walk of Fame

Chapter 7

On why he quit directing; on his proudest career achievement; on the then-current (2002) state of television
On advice to aspiring performers and directors; on meeting Stan Laurel; on his friendship with Dan Rowan and how he'd like to be remembered
On B-Roll photos from his career: with Tiny Tim; with Jack Lemmon; with Bill Cosby, Dean Martin, and Dan Rowan; with Dan Rowan and Phil Silvers; with the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; with Dan Rowan and Richard Nixon; with Dan Rowan and Ed Sullivan
Shows

Archie Bunker's Place

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Dick Martin on directing various television shows

Art Linkletter's House Party

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Dick Martin on appearing on Art Linkletter's House Party

Bob Hope Chevy Show, The

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Dick Martin on Rowan and Martin appearing on The Bob Hope Chevy Show

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Dick Martin on directing The Bob Newhart Show

Bradys, The

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Dick Martin on directing The Bradys

Coach

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Dick Martin on acting on Coach

Dean Martin Summer Show, The

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Dick Martin on starring in The Dean Martin Summer Show aka The Rowan and Martin Show

Diagnosis Murder

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Dick Martin on acting on Diagnosis Murder

Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The

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Dick Martin on Rowan and Martin appearing on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Dick Martin on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Family Ties

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Dick Martin briefly on directing episodes of Family Ties
Dick Martin on directing Family Ties

Flo

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Dick Martin on directing Flo

In the Heat of the Night

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Dick Martin on directing In the Heat of the Night

Lucy Show, The

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Dick Martin on performing as "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show
Dick Martin on being in the cast for the first 13 weeks on The Lucy Show

Mama's Family

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Dick Martin on directing Mama's Family

Match Game

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Dick Martin on being a panelist on Match Game

Newhart

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Dick Martin on directing Newhart
Dick Martin on directing the series finale of Newhart and its surprise ending
Dick Martin on the "red herring" script ending for Newhart the series finale
Director Dick Martin on knowing and working with Bob Newhart

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

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Dick Martin on directing the series finale of Newhart and its surprise ending
Dick Martin on the "red herring" script ending for the Newhart series finale

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

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Dick Martin on the genesis of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on dealing with the NBC censors on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the writing, title, and era of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the style of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the editing and home video release of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the taping and production schedule of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on hosting Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In with Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on the cameos on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the catchphrases of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the end of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the topicality of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on George Schlatter's contributions to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the audience reaction to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the legacy of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Sledge Hammer!

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Dick Martin on directing various television shows
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Dick Martin on dealing with the censors on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Characters & Catchphrases

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Dick Martin on the catchphrases of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Hollywood Blacklist

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Dick Martin on the Hollywood blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Dick Martin on the Hollywood blacklist

Memorable Moments on Television

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Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on directing the series finale of Newhart  and its surprise ending

Pop Culture

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Dick Martin on the catchphrases of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Richard M. Nixon

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Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Television Industry

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Dick Martin on dealing with the censors on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the then-current (2002) state of television 

Television and the Presidency

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Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

We Laughed

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Dick Martin on directing the series finale of Newhart  and its surprise ending
Professions

Actor

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Dick Martin on his advice to aspiring performers and directors

Directors

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Dick Martin on his directing style
Dick Martin on his advice to aspiring performers and directors

Performers

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Dick Martin on his advice to aspiring performers and directors
Genres

Comedy Series

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Dick Martin on performing as "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show
Dick Martin on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on directing Newhart

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Dick Martin on the writing, title, and era of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
People

Desi Arnaz

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Dick Martin on performing as "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show
Dick Martin on being in the cast for the first 13 weeks on The Lucy Show

Lucille Ball

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Dick Martin on performing as "Harry Connors" on The Lucy Show
Dick Martin on being in the cast for the first 13 weeks on The Lucy Show

Eileen Brennan

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Abe Burrows

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Dick Martin on his first writing job for the radio show "Duffy's Tavern"

Ruth Buzzi

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Nat King Cole

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Dick Martin on Nat King Cole

Richard Dawson

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Julia Duffy

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Dick Martin on directing Newhart

Mary Frann

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Dick Martin on directing Newhart

Gary David Goldberg

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Dick Martin briefly on directing episodes of Family Ties

Goldie Hawn

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Dick Martin on dealing with the censors on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Bob Hope

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Dick Martin on Rowan and Martin appearing on The Bob Hope Chevy Show

Paul Keyes

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Dick Martin on the writing, title, and era of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Stan Laurel

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Dick Martin on meeting Stan Laurel

Jerry Lewis

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Dick Martin on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Dean Martin

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Dick Martin on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Gary Morton

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Dick Martin on being in the cast for the first 13 weeks on The Lucy Show

Bob Newhart

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Dick Martin on knowing and working with Bob Newhart

Richard M. Nixon

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Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Don Rickles

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Dick Martin on directing Newhart

Dan Rowan

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Dick Martin on becoming comedy partners with Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on his early act with Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on hosting Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In  with Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on the retirement of Dan Rowan
Dick Martin on his friendship with Dan Rowan

George Schlatter

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Dick Martin on George Schlatter's contribution to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Peter Scolari

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Dick Martin on directing Newhart

Lily Tomlin

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Vivian Vance

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Dick Martin on being in the cast for the first 13 weeks on The Lucy Show

Flip Wilson

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

JoAnne Worley

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Dick Martin on the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

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