"Dick Martin, a veteran nightclub comic who with his partner, Dan Rowan, turned a midseason replacement slot at NBC in 1968 into a hit that redefined what could be done on television, died Saturday night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., according to The Associated Press. He was 86. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the hyperactive, joke-packed show that Mr. Martin and Mr. Rowan rode to fame, made conventional television variety programs seem instantly passé and the sitcom brand of humor seem too meek for the times." [NYT] A clip from the classic show after the jump.