Most of the usual Laugh-in elements are already here: The Cocktail party, It's a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod, World (with a look at women), the bits with the elevator, the jabs at Vietnam, the body painted Go-go dancing and Henry Gibson's poetry. Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi have most of their trademark characters ready to go, though Gladys Ormphby has to cope without Tyrone for now. The News of the Future is here, but no news of the present. There is a look into the past, but it's not connected to the news. The song introducing the news is also different. What's missing is Dan Rowan's mustache, announcer Gary Owens, Goldie Hawn, Alan Sues, the Fickled Finger of Fate Award and the Joke Wall. We witness Judy Carne getting it socked to her for the very first time, but the accompanying expression had yet to be coined.
For once, the audience and the entire set are plainly visible, very much like they would be on the first few years of SNL. Some of the featured cast is 'introduced' in a extended segment called the "New Talent Department" This includes Jo Anne Worley's ventriloquist act. Larry Hovis does some lame news items behind a desk, two years prior to John Cleese and eight years before Chevy Chase. Barbara Feldon appears as the personality of the week (Scout Mistress Barbara Stuffed), go-go's in a skin tight body suit, and sings a couple of numbers with the other galls. When Judy and Ken do a song and dance act it looks like she forgot to put on the bottom half of her outfit. There is a larger amount of prerecorded footage than usual, especially towards the end when a silly 'Pink Panther' style chase scene leads to far out end credits featuring the cast blissfully bouncing enormous beach balls. All in all a great way to turn the audience into the Laugh-In generation. Cause 'Laugh-in is a state of mind', according to Danny & Dickie. In this case, a state brought to you by a famous watch manufacturer.
8 out of 10