Laugh-In comic Dick Martin, May 24 Dick Martin, the zany half of the comedy team whose Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catchphrases as "Sock it to me!," died on Saturday, May 24, 2008, at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. He was 86. Laugh-in, which debuted in January 1968, was unlike any comedy- variety show before it. Rather than relying on a series of tightly scripted song-and-dance segments, it offered up a steady, almost stream-of-consciousness run of non sequitur jokes, political satire and madhouse antics from a cast of talented young actors and comedians that also included Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and announcer Gary Owens. Presiding over it all were Rowan and Martin, the veteran nightclub comics whose stand-up banter put their own distinct spin on the show. Like all straight men, Rowan provided the voice of reason, striving to correct his partner's absurdities. Martin, meanwhile, was full of bogus, often risque theories about life, which he appeared to hold with unwavering certainty. Against this backdrop, audiences were taken from scene to scene by quick, sometimes psychedelic-looking visual cuts. Laugh-In astounded audiences and critics alike. For two years, the show topped the Nielsen ratings, and its catchphrases -- "Sock it to me," "You bet your sweet bippy" and "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall's" -- were recited across the country. The show ended in 1973. Rowan died 10 years later. Martin moved onto the game-show circuit, but quickly tired of it. Fellow comic Bob Newhart's agent suggested he take up directing. He soon became one of the industry's busiest TV directors, working on numerous episodes of Newhart as well as such shows as In the Heat of the Night, Archie Bunker's Place and Family Ties. Martin, right, is shown here with Rowan in a 1973 episode of Laugh-In.