Dick Martin and “The Cheap Show”


Today is the birthday of Dick Martin (1922-2008). We already wrote about his most famous show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In a few days ago. But do you know about his syndicated game-show parody The Cheap Show, which ran from 1978 to 1979? I recall enjoying it a lot, although in my memory it has tended to get conflated with the similar $1.98 Beauty Show.

On this one, contestants competed to win what was essentially garbage. And if they lost, they would be tortured in humiliating ways. In other words, the game was just like life! As I recall my favorite part was an announcer who said “That’s Right, Dick!” with unnatural frequency.

And I can tell you’re on tender hooks to watch it. The quality of this video is shaky to say the least, but it’s all that’s available I’m afraid.

For more on show biz historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc



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