Dick Martin – The Sillier of Rowan and Martin

The male attempts to find the queen bee, and when he does, they mate in mid-air. Then the queen moves on, taking with her the male bee’s genitalia.

rowanandmartin.jpgDick Martin died this weekend. He was the sillier of Rowan and Martin, the nightclub comedians who become huge stars through “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.”

I saw them perform in 1975. It was my first grownup nightclub experience.

I was out-of-work and depressed about life. My ‘gold friend’ Bob flew to Phoenix, then we drove through California from San Diego to San Francisco before turning east to Las Vegas.

We hit the Vegas Strip and pulled into Caesar’s Palace. It was ‘the’ place in Las Vegas back then, without question.

We had no reservations and not much money. They wanted a credit card for ID. Bob had none. I had an Esso (now Exxon) card. The room was put in my name.

We spent the next few days playing two dollar blackjack and eating shrimp cocktails. We wanted to take in a show and ended up seeing Rowan and Martin, with opening act Teresa Brewer.

I don’t remember much of Rowan and Martin’s act, except that it began with Dan explaining the mating habits of bees. The male attempts to find the queen bee, and when he does, they mate in mid-air. Then the queen moves on, taking with her the male bee’s genitalia.

Dick Martin paused and pondered for a second, smiled and said, “Only way to fly.”

You bet your bippy.

Blogger’s note: Of course this routine is on the Internet! What isn’t?

Note 2: My friend Bob says, “I remember it very well. Saw Alan King grab a few chicken wings, and I remember how large the hotel room was. It should have been, it cost us $22.00.”

Alan King

I just heard that Alan King died. It’s a shame. It’s always a shame when someone dies.

Alan King is one of the many entertainers I have stolen from over the years. I don’t steal their jokes as much as I steal their style. Alan King always bit the hand that fed him.

As I remember, and this is a long time ago, King had a routine where he skewered Eastern Airlines (which, of course, he outlived). In the beginning of the routine he would say that he wasn’t going to mention the name of the airline, except it rhymes with “Eastern Airlines.”

My dad remembered the routine:

He asked the agent if she could ship one bag to Hawaii another to San Francisco and a third to Omaha? She said it wasn’t possible and he replied, “You did it last week.”

If the actual words to this routine are hidden somewhere on the Internet and you find them, please let me know.

Recently, he had become more know for a routine where he would read obituaries. They all ended the same way, “survived by his wife.” It was very funny.

When he’d appear on the Sullivan Show, you’d notice how well dressed he was – always in a vested three piece suit. He exuded the aura of success. That was part of his act. Lots of comedian’s were schlemiels. Not Alan King.

I seem to remember him in a Billy Crystal movie, playing Crystal’s father. I can’t think of any others, though they’ll come to me later. His movie career was inconsequential. He will be remembered for his stand-up comedy and his fearlessness in making fun of the powerful.