Arte Johnson was born on this day in 1929

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ARTE (AR-dee)

Arte Johnson: American actor best known for role in “Laugh-In” TV show

Common clues: Johnson of "Laugh-In"; First name from "Laugh-In"; Comic Johnson

Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year

Frequency in English language: 35106 / 86800

News: Laughs from the past are still a blast

Video: Freeze-In

Arte Johnson (born January 20, 1929), full name Arthur Stanton Eric Johnson, is a comic actor.

Arte Johnson and the Laugh-In cast

He was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan and attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1949 after working on the campus radio station and the U of I Theater Guild with his brother, Cos.

He initially sought employment in Chicago working for advertising agencies, but left for New York to work for Viking Press. His first "show business" job came when he impulsively stepped into an audition line and was cast in a revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

He is best known for his work on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, an American television show (1968-1973), in which he played various characters including a smoking Nazi soldier with the catch phrase "Verrry interesting..." Johnson indicated later that the phrase came from Desperate Journey, a 1942 World War II film with Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan playing Royal Air Force pilots shot down in Nazi Germany; they managed to cross much of the country without speaking German or knowing the territory, but when captured, their Nazi interrogator doubts their story with the phrase.

In the 1990s Johnson voiced "Newt", a hunting dog on the cartoon Animaniacs, who futilely became enamoured of his target, a sexy female mink named Minerva.

Arte has performed some memorable audiobook readings, including Gary Shteyngart's "Absurdistan" (2006), and more than eighty other books.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arte".