Arte Johnson (1929–2019) was a comic actor best known for his work on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, playing a variety of characters. His credits also include appearances on The Andy Griffith Show and The Love Boat, voice roles on Animaniacs and Justice League, and Renfield in the Dracula spoof Love at First Bite with George Hamilton.
On Laugh-In, Johnson's roles included lecherous Tyrone (hitting on Ruth Buzzi) and guru Rabbi Shankar, but his breakout character was a stereotyped German soldier. Patterned after movie Nazis, Johnson's Wolfgang was a staple of the series, with his catchphrase "Verrry interesting." In 1970, Johnson appeared as Wolfgang in Sesame Street inserts. However, his appearances attracted controversy. Protest letters to Children's Television Workshop ranged from a German woman, incensed by what she termed "pejorative stereotyping," to another woman who "[couldn't] forget the war." As Patricia Tornburgh of the CTW Information Department noted, by January 1971, "Artie Johnson's soldier has yet to attract any favorable comments."
- Episode 0131: Talks about short and tall, and Q and U.
- Episode 0132: Adds apples and gets applesauce.
- Episode 0188: Counting from 1 to 10.
- Episode 0235: Talks about the eyes and nose.
- ↑ Tornburgh, Patricia. Summary of Fan Letters Received and Processed, Nov. 9, 1970.