Monday, April 30, 2018

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: Source of the Indy Maneuver

           One of the iconic scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark is the bring-a-gun-to-a-swordfight scene.

          You know what I mean.  Indy is running through Cairo trying to find Marion Ravenwood.  In a town square, he’s confronted by a big guy with a big scimitar.  After the “Arab Swordsman” waves his blade a few times in challenge, Indy heaves a sigh at the antics, pulls his gun, and just shoots the guy.

          While it’s a hilarious and inspired bit of storytelling, it’s not ... quite ... original.  In fact, this same idea provided the inspiration for a whole series of riffs for Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, nearly fifteen years previously.

          It was Episode 3, from February 5, 1968.

          At the 25-minute mark of this episode, a brief skit opens with a mustachioed guy waving a fencing foil, while stopping several times to blow insulting clouds of cigarette smoke into Dan Rowan’s face.  Rowan takes this with an expression of boredom.  Then the fellow backs up and points the foil at Rowan while yelling “En garde!  Whereupon Rowan draws a flintlock pistol and shoots the guy, who drops dead.

          At the 36-minute mark, the gag is repeated with Rowan pulling a knife that fires a bullet into the other guy.

          At 48 minutes, it’s another variation.  This time the challenger’s got an oversized sword.  But he’s nevertheless outgunned by Rowan’s mini-cannon.

          And it wouldn’t be surprising at all to learn of other versions of the idea.  Do you know any?

          That’s it for this year’s

          See you next Monday!  It’s a biggie, because May, 2018 is gonna be

“The Musical

Month of Compilations”!

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© by Mark Alfred