EXPIRED: 09/14/09 – Henry Gibson, 73, regularly interrupted 60’s TV’s landmark satirical comedy show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In while holding a giant flower and reciting a brief psychotic rhyme with his signature catchphrase, “A poem, by Henry Gibson.”
Besides his deadpan delivery on Laugh-In, he also was brought into standard sitcoms that needed something to make them a little edgier. Gibson delivered. Guest appearances included Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, Deep Space 9, Coach, MacGyver, Evening Shade, Sisters, Newhart, Magnum, P.I., and Simon and Simon.
Memorable film roles for Gibson included a turn as the voice of Wilbur the Pig in the animated “Charlotte’s Web”; as an Illinois Nazi pursuing John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in “The Blues Brothers”; as a menacing neighbor opposite Tom Hanks in “The ‘Burbs”; as flamboyant barfly Thurston Howell in “Magnolia”; and as a befuddled priest in “Wedding Crashers”. More recently, TV fans know him from his many appearances as a judge on Boston Legal and his voice work on King of the Hill (he played Bob Jenkins).
But if you’re over 35, and you were able to stay up late to see Laugh-In, you’ll remember the poems. Here’s a favorite:
The Thumbnail, by Henry Gibson
Did you ever stop to figure
Why the thumbnail is so hard?
Well, it hasn’t any choice
With all that skin to guard.
It may look fat and pudgy,
But its heart is good and true.
It’s prettier than a toenail
And easier to chew.