Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Henry Gibson passes on

by Rob - September 18th, 2009.
Filed under: Deaths.

Henry Gibson died this week as well; people today probably knew him best for his recurring role as a virginal judge on Boston Legal, but to people my age or older, he was best known for his poetry on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which I watched often with my parents in the 1960s.

Anyway, it astonishes me to learn from the obituaries that “Henry Gibson” wasn’t the comedian’s real name, and instead that it was a pun on the name of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (as said with a southern-US accent). Few puns slip by me, but maybe because I was all of eight when I first encountered Henry Gibson, I can be forgiven. :)

(Yes, I know, my parents are sounding like hippies this week, what with my earlier talk of them enjoying the 60s’ protest folk songs of Peter, Paul and Mary, and now this discussion of Laugh-In.)

(And, yes, we never missed the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour — the must-see prime-time American TV show for liberal intellectuals in the 1960s, either; of course, it’s tame by today’s standards, but it was, in fact, where people like Pete Seeger finally got to return to TV after being blacklisted in the McCarthy witch hunt.)

(I also remember my parents taking all three of us boys to see the Beatles’ movie Yellow Submarine, and my parents leaving us at home so they could go see a nude production of the musical Hair …)

(So, no, they weren’t hippies, but the were hip.)

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