Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ingrievous News

The Bear first met Gary Owens in 1968. Who could forget the brief, absurd turns as the straight arrow announcer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In? ("Beautiful downtown Burbank," intoned by Owens' rich baritone, was one of the show's many memorable catch phrases.) If you saw him on Laugh-In, you will remember his hand-to-ear delivery. He was also the voice of Space Ghost, not that anyone knew it.

Owens was a true broadcaster who made a career of bending the medium of radio around itself until it not only carried the joke, it was the joke. (The hand-to-ear delivery was legitimate, though. As the Bear learned in his own career as an announcer, that's how we would hear what we were sounding like, without headphones.)

Owens appeared in the pilot of Sesame Street. (That may seem odd, but the children's show was a kiddie version of Laugh-In. Somebody noticed that kids loved Laugh-In. Laugh-in was mostly lots of rapid-fire takes featuring recurring characters. Sesame Street catered to children's short attention spans.)

Owens died at the age of 80 on February 12, 2015. He left behind his wife of 47 years. 

As for "ingrievous," look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.


  1. Google just failed me on "ingrievous". So did Merriam-Webster and dictionary.com. I don't have a Funk and Wagnalls.

    In context, the general meaning seems clear, but not specific nuances.

  2. As kids growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, my sister and I used to listen to Owens on radio station KEWB. It was quite a kick, years later, to see him on Laugh-In and have a visual to accompany those mellifluous tones. A gentleman of memorable talent. May he rest in peace.

  3. I'd be interested how a "ute" from beautiful downtown Southern Illinois met Owens. Loved Laugh In.

    1. The Bear has a long history of running in entertainment circles. Sometime I'll tell you about Milton Berle.


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