TV comedian Dick Martin dead at 86
( dpa ) - Pioneering television comedian Dick Martin, 86, has died after a long bout with lung disease, spokesman Barry Greenberg announced Sunday.
Best remembered for the 1967-73 hit show Rowan and Martin's Laugh- In, Martin died Saturday in Santa Monica, California.
The show with comedy partner Dan Rowan was less scripted and more improvisational that previous television fare, breaking new ground for later classics such as Saturday Night Live. Laugh-In was also more openly political than other entertainment programmes of the time, tapping into the zeitgeist of the Vietnam War era, and even the show's name was inspired by sit-in protests.
The duo brought to the show the characters they had developed for their night-club comedy routines, with Martin playing a buffoon to Rowan's annoyed straight man.
Laugh-In was also known for a procession of guest stars and cameo appearances from Hollywood's A-list, and even an appearance once by then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon.
Martin later became a television director and producer.
Rowan died of cancer in 1987.