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One of his bits was about a short-tempered judge who had a low tolerance for foolishness in his courtroom. Called "Here Comes the Judge," the bit eventually found its way onto the television show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, at the time one of the most popular comedy shows of the day. After "Here Comes the Judge" became a nationwide catch phrase (and Shorty Long had cut a song of the same title), Markham cut a version of "Here Comes the Judge," with Pigmeat bellowing a rhyming version of his act and a hot R&B band (led by legendary producer and sideman Gene Barge) cutting the funk in the background. While such numbers had been staples on the "chitlin circuit" for years, this was something new on the radio, and "Here Comes the Judge" became a mainstream hit, rising to number 19 on the pop charts in the summer of 1968. Markham cut a handful of follow-ups, including "Sock It to 'Em, Judge," "The Hip Judge," and "Your Wires Have Been Tapped," but none enjoyed the same success as "Here Come the Judge," and in time Markham returned to standup comedy, though the success of his records certainly raised his profile (and asking price) in mainstream venues. After a career that spanned seven decades, Markham died as a result of a stroke on December 13, 1981. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi