(Travalanche)

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A tribute today to comedian Arthur “Arte” Johnson (b. 1929). Johnson broke into television in the mid-50s, often playing nebbishy types (vertically challenged and bespectacled as Johnson is). His career breakthrough came as part of the founding cast of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In in 1967, which remains his best known affiliation. The groundbreaking comedy variety show made stars out of most of its cast members. Johnson became so popular he was able to leverage top billing (after Rowan and Martin). His most popular characters were the Nazi soldier who would periodically emerge from behind a potted plant and say “Veddy interesting…” and “Tyrone”, a dirty old man in a series of blackout sketches with Ruth Buzzi .

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 I’ve always loved the sheer ritual of these bits he did with Buzzi. It always goes in threes. Johnson’s character (“Tyrone”)  would join Buzzi’s “Gladys” on a park bench and venture to say…

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