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"Veeeeery interesting" -- who?
November 15, 2005 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Who was Arte Johnson parodying with his "veeeery interesting" shtick on Laugh-In?

For those of you who've watched Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: What's Arte Johnson's "veeeery interesting" Wolfgang character all about? Is the cigarette-and-German-helmet thing supposed to be a parody of someone? Who? Hans Hellmut Kirst, maybe? Or was it just random silliness?
posted by alumshubby to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think the German spy was just a silly character Johnson had developed over the years. The EncycloComedia (Google-cached) page about him indicates that as well.
posted by cerebus19 at 11:26 AM on November 15, 2005


> It was probably predicated on an old Erol Flynn movie, where flyers were shot down over Germany. Ronald Reagan was one of them. They managed to cross the entire country without attracting attention or speaking the language. At the end, they were finally surrounded by German troops, and when the commander was told how these strangers had snuck across Germany without being captured or attracting attention, the commander said "verrry interrrrrresting". I thought to myself, this is moron time. So that's where the phrase came from.

Desperate Journey
posted by dhartung at 11:29 AM on November 15, 2005


Didn't Col. Klink use the same catchphrase in Hogan's Heros (tv, not film) whenever Hogan would feed him some information?
posted by terrapin at 11:56 AM on November 15, 2005


Veddy intareshting kveshtion. Oont shtooput! *ducks back into bushes*

I'd guess it to be merely invented goofiness, parodying german spies in a generic way, just to be random and novelty :-/
posted by vanoakenfold at 12:15 PM on November 15, 2005


I KNOW NOTHING!
posted by raster at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2005


like terapin, i also think it was Colonel Klink in "Hogan's Heroes"

where Klink's "very interesting" might have come from never occured to me to question, maybe someone else knows
posted by subatomiczoo at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2005


Charlie Chan?
posted by alms at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2005


Ronald Reagan was one of them.

Just for the record, Reagan was in Hollywood during all of WWII.
posted by Rash at 2:00 PM on November 15, 2005


Oops -- sorry, I'll read better before posting, next time.
posted by Rash at 2:02 PM on November 15, 2005


Ronald Reagan was one of them.

Just for the record, Reagan was in Hollywood during all of WWII.


Think he means one of the actors who played the pilots being shot down.
posted by SuperNova at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2005


... and I'll preview...
posted by SuperNova at 2:05 PM on November 15, 2005


I'm gonna believe Arte, myself, when he sources his own material. I also suspect it would have been unlikely for NBC's Laugh-In to build a whole routine around a catchphrase popular on another network's (CBS) show.

I think those remembering it as Klink are misremembering both his character and transposing in the phenomenon of up-attributing, as it were, quotes to more famous persons.
posted by dhartung at 3:42 PM on November 15, 2005


My vote is for Arte's random silliness. We still imitate him in my family. "Hogan's" came later anyway, right?
posted by shifafa at 3:44 PM on November 15, 2005


I remember thinking at the time that Wolfgang was a parody of
Erich Von Stoheim
aka The Man You Love To Hate, who played many German villians. In Jean Renoir's great film La Grande Illusion, his character has lines like "Amusing, very amusing."
posted by richg at 11:04 PM on November 15, 2005


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