Arte Johnson has said the German soldier character came about because he had noticed in many films that dealt with WWII Germans that there always seemed to be one of them smoking a cigarette and commenting on the situation saying, "Very interesting." So he adopted it, probably before Laugh-In even started. It was something he brought to the show. I agree that sometimes the character can get annoying, A lot of Arte Johnson's characters revolved around ethnic jibber-jabber, much like SId Caesar's characters did and I just never thought that dialectic ad-libbing was that amusing, myself, by Arte or Sid. Besides the German, Arte also did the Russian Rosmenko character and a Swedish one, mostly. There are also times you catch him being very abrasive to other cast members. He'll point out they're in the wrong position, for instance, and give them a shove, or make a wisecrack that sounds anything but charitable. (In the context of the entire series, though, these points, to me at least, are minor and mostly only noticeable if you have watched these episodes as many times as I have.) To be honest, the majority of most variety shows overall are not that funny. I'm a huge fan of 60's-70's variety series and almost each and every episode has a dud of a sketch or situation in them. One doesn't always care for the musical guests, either, for example. It's the nature of the beast. The best you can hope for is a few laughs or an enjoyable musical number each week. There is the notion that the first few years of SNL was brilliant, but if you watch those episodes there are just as many duds in them as there are in any after that cast left. And a bunch of musical guests one could do without. There was a huge fondness for The Smothers Brothers variety series, and many people wanted it to be available to see again, but years, or a couple decades, ago when Tommy Smothers was reviewing the series he said "people are going to hate this!" He said it wasn't going to be what people remembered! What they remembered was a compilation of things and not what you'd find in watching the episodes. So, as it was, for home viewing they put out selected, and often edited, episodes of the show, and even then not a great amount of them. The reason I find Laugh-In re-watchable is not only what you wrote above ("the nostalgia factor, re-visiting that era and seeing all the different stars from yesteryear"), but also the fact that because most everything on the show was quick etc., if something doesn't appeal to you, you know that it's going to move on to something else quickly. I'm also amazed at how at any given time, something in the show has relevance to the moment you're watching it right then and in a different context that makes it amusing in a way that wasn't when they aired. I also don't like when people will review something from the past as dated, and that's meant to be a negative thing. I may be different, but even growing up watching something from the past and something was mentioned I didn't know about, I was always interested in learning/finding out about that. It's like when someone will say, "Oh, that was before I was born." As though that's a reason not to know or appreciate something. Well, another post from me that's longer than any Laugh-In segment!