Here comes da judge

Here comes da judge, here comes da judge, sock it to me baby 'cause here comes da judge.

I was pretty young when Laugh-in was popular. Was there a hidden or “street” meaning to “Here comes da judge” that made this funny. Is there a nuance that I’m not seeing?

I know that this is about a phrase popular on a TV station, but the question has a factual answer.

None that I heard at the time. It was Laugh-In’s intro to a regular courtroom skit. I don’t recall hearing the phrase before seeing that show.

As you probably know, “sock it to me” came from a popular song by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, which preceded Laugh-In. I don’t recall hearing that phrase before hearing the song.

The phrase came from an old comedy routine by Pigmeat Markham. Markham had a minor hit with a record of it about the time Laugh-In was starting out (I believe he was doing it on stage long before that). They stole the catchline, but later made it up to Markham by hiring him as part of the regular cast.

It was pretty much what it sounded like. Markham played a judge in the sketch, and would do a sort of proto-rap saying “Here come da judge.” I doubt it had any other connotations; it was the repetition and the rapping that made it funny.

If my memory works correctly, “Here come de judge, here come de judge” is originally from the 1930 play (and 1936 film) The Green Pastures.

Veeerrrry interesting…

Wanna Walnetto?

Technically true, except for the “as you probably know” part. Almost everybody in the country associated the phrase with Aretha Franklin’s version of “Respect,” which came out just a few months later and was several orders of magnitude more popular.

And the phrase can be found earlier than either: