Judy Carne: ‘Sock It to Me’ Was Her ‘Laugh-In’ Line

740-judy-carne-obitJudy Carne sticks in our memories as the “Sock it to me!” character on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-73). When she uttered the magic words, she’d abruptly be doused with water, fall through a trap door or suffer some other inglorious fate.

Carne, who died on Sept. 3 at age 76 in Northhampton, England, had a life that mixed comedy with tragedy and resilience. Here are some facts about her and her famous line:

  • Two years before Laugh-In premiered, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels recorded “Sock It to Me Baby,” with the phrase obviously carrying a sexual connotation.
  • Rowan and Martin’s more likely inspiration was Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit “Respect,” which repeats the phrase in rapid succession.
  • In a 1968 Laugh-In cameo, Richard Nixon uttered the phrase as a favor to one of the show’s writers, Paul W. Keyes, who had written jokes for Nixon speeches.
  • Carne’s scores of TV roles in the 1960s and 1970s included a nun on Bonanza and a mod photographer who helps Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) catch Nazi war criminals on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 
  • She was briefly married to Burt Reynolds.
  • She left Laugh-In in 1970 after she told TV Guide that “frankly, it has become a big bloody bore.”
  • In the early 1970s, she struggled with heroin addiction, and she survived a 1978 car accident that left her with a broken neck.
  • In her final screen appearance, in the 1993 indie film What About Me, she portrayed a homeless woman in New York in a cast filled with punk rock musicians Johnny Thunders, Dee Dee Ramone and Richard Hell.

Here’s a Laugh-In segment in which she’s subjected to multiple indignities.

Photo: Daily Mail/Rex/Alamy 

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