Monthly Archives: June 2013

A new diet plan

The late, great Richard Jeni was one hell of a comic.
I put him on my top ten list of best stand-up comedians
of all time, with only a very small, elite group above him.
I have all his recordings, the single American CD and the
few Canadian compilation recordings he was on.
Richard was a huge favorite at the Montreal Comedy Festival.
He headlined at various comedy clubs there, was a featured
comic at the Galas and one of the few that were given a one man
I saw them all.
Count me as being a very early fan, I saw his gifts for humor
way back, when he was relatively unknown.
Yes, BEFORE Platypus Man and that awful television show.
It seems to me that the best comics have the worst TV shows.
Can we all agree on this?
Thank you, I knew you would.
I consider many of his bits to be real classics…Jaws, Love Songs,
A Man’s Cooking Show, Shoe Store and lots more.
This is a funny piece on losing weight, NSFW because of one word
towards the end, but very humorous.

Mr. Jeni, you will be missed.

But it was my only line…

Monty Python was, is and always will be the most prolific
and funniest sketch comedy troupe on the planet.
To say that they changed the way comedy sketches were
made is a drastic understatement.
In 1969 BBC Television aired the first show of Monty Python’s
Flying Circus and the world has not been the same since.
I absolutely worship the ground they walk on, and I play
them on the show all the time.
Their classic sketches are so many that to mention them all here
would wear my fingers out.
The Argument Clinic, Cheese Shop, Ann Elk, The Penultimate Supper,
Crunchy Frog, The Spanish Inquisition, The Parrot Sketch and many,
MANY more!
What I find the most fascinating is that they shaped the sketches
into classics all without the use of a punchline!
They have confirmed this on many an interview that they’ve given over
the years.
Just incredible!
This piece is certainly a classic, thought it is basically the same
skit that you have heard on their audio recordings it has some subtle
That’s part of the MP magic though, they constantly changed things around.
Sometimes it was the dialogue, other times it was the actors themselves.
The lines are a little different, as is a certain prop.
Still a superb sketch, no matter how you look at it.
Terry Jones, Carol Cleveland, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin
and John Cleese.
We’d like to buy a bed please…

I just love her crying at the end!

And I’ve got a letter to mail…

There are a lot of decent bands around that play humorous ditties.
That is a good thing.
One of my current favorites is a group out of Los Angeles that can really rock.
Comprised of five guys, they formed in the early nineties and have gotten better
with time, and that is saying a lot ’cause they were pretty damned good to begin with.
Ken, Matt, Stefan, Geoff and Brett make some of the funniest songs I’ve ever heard.
Rabbit Valley, Four Years of High School Spanish, Dragon, Catbox and
I Always Wanted to Be… are just a few of the superb pieces that they play.
First a tribute video, uploaded by a fan with good taste.
This is Let Me Make You Smile in Bed by…The Four Postmen!

Then an outtake of sorts of the band members themselves doing…Sun.

Pretty neat stuff!

It might be extraterrestrials…

I am on a stand-up kick lately.
To me there is nothing better than a good comedian.
Out of the three types of comedy…musical, sketch and s-up,
the latter is the hardest of them all to master and be great at.
Timing, confidence and, most important, material all have to gel,
otherwise your end product is less than stellar.
Of course, the same could be said about the other two,
but the difference to me is that the first two can be done in a studio.
There is no way you can be a stand-up comedian without an audience.
So there.
One of my favorites of all time started out quite a few years ago.
Back when I was into television I used to watch SAST on Comedy Central.
Short Attention Span Theater was a great venue for comics, if you didn’t like
one of them all you had to do was wait a couple of minutes until another
would come on.
The show aired from the late eighties to the mid nineties, if I remember right.
This guy was on quite a bit, and I loved it.
A good, smart comic is rare.
He is one of the better ones.
Here is a partial video of a show he did in the early nineties called
“This Will Take About an Hour”.
It is broken down into smaller pieces, and I highly recommend viewing
the others as they are quite good, and easily accessible.
Here is Jake Johannsen…

Seriously, watch the other portions. Classic material contained therein!

Wait a minute, if that’s…

The world of comedy is a wacky world indeed.
On the show I play the three basic types…
Musical, Sketch and Stand-up.
The first is the most common, there are many reasons for this
but the basic one is that musicians of all genres can, and do,
dabble in the humorous.
Even the most serious have produced a funny piece or two.
Johnny Cash, Hank Thompson, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie,
Bobby Bare, Tom T. Hall and Oscar Brand are some of the
multitudes of great artists that have made me laugh.
Sketch comedy is the rarest of the lot.
There are a lot of skits but they have been created by a rather
small group of performers…Monty Python, The Frantics, The
Royal Canadian Air Farce, The Dead Alewives, Landry and Biener,
and a few others, comprise the vast majority of what’s out there.
Sad but true.
Then you have the stand-up folks.
An argument can be made that there are more of them than all the rest.
I would respectfully, but strenuously, disagree.
There are a lot of them to be sure, but not all are pure stand-up
Standing on a stage, in front of a crowd, mic in hand does not a stand-up make.
And I’m not even talking about the quality of the material.
Delivery is everything…rambling, pissing and moaning and profanity laced
diatribes are not the stuff of comedic legend.
Those attributes would guarantee you a place in my family but exclude you,
in my humble opinion, from the ranks of the stand-up comedy hall of fame.
The following gentleman is a pure stand-up comedian, and one of the most
underrated of all time.
Don’t be confused by his delivery or his rather unique usage of paraprosdokians.
His wording may very well be the smartest of any comedian ever.
This is a video of his older E=MO2 and Live at the Hasty Pudding Theatre material.
There is nobody quite like…Emo Philips!

Absolutely classic stuff!
More to come in the days ahead…

Who is it?

Music videos have been around since the early eighties.
MTV was the first television channel to spotlight the medium.
As much as I enjoy a good one I like them even more if
they are funny.
There aren’t many of those, very few artists indulge in such things,
even less so in this day and age.
Weird Al Yankovic still creates them but beyond that you really
have to look far and wide.
Speaking of wide, this humorous piece brings back memories.
Arsenio Hall once had his own, fairly popular, late night talk show.
The only knock on it was that he was a bit of a sycophant…no hard balls
delivered, no home runs made.
If you know what I mean.
Here we have his alter ego, a larger than life persona with a gift for
the tongue in cheek.
Say hello to Chunky A…

I had always wondered if that had a video.

Pringles and Tennis Balls

There are lots of stand-up comedians out there. Many are good. A few are great.
Even fewer are top notch.
The late, great Mitch Hedberg was all of those.
I have seen him kill, with the folks in the audience just rolling in the aisles.
And there were times when he was not firing on all cylinders, rambling and wandering
from joke to joke.
Usually he was right about in the middle, still better than most of the comics
on the circuit.
I have been playing him on the show for a few years, especially since his untimely death.
The requests are constant, folks seem to appreciate him more now that he’s gone.
He’s a good fit for radio airplay, you don’t really need to see him perform to like
what he does, providing, of course, that his material is good.
This video shows his performance at the Montreal “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival.
A pretty good effort, with decent jokes and a constant delivery.
His humor came from a place that most comics have never visited.
That can be a good thing…

RIP Mr. Hedberg, and thanks for the laughs!

The only one in my tribe…

The nineteen nineties were a great time for comedy.
That was when I really hit the Montreal Comedy Festival, otherwise known as
Just For Laughs (Juste Pour Rire), for interviews and material for the show.
All the comedy acts would stay at the Delta Hotel right on the main drag and
I would set up shop in the bar/restaurant at about one in the morning and wait
for them to return from their gigs, looking for food and drink.
I was lucky enough to interview some superb folks, The Radio Free Vestibules,
Emo Philips, Elayne Boosler, Dom Irrera, Craig Shoemaker, Bobby Collins and many
lesser known, but just as funny, people from all walks of humor.
At the time the festival people did not have any rules for interviewing, and if you
could get a comedian to give you a few minutes, you had it made!
They have since tightened up on all that, you cannot get any interviews unless you
clear it with the security folks and management.
Needless to say, I liked it better the old way.
One of the better groups that I had some fun with was Corky and the Juice Pigs.
They gave me a superb interview, along with station IDs and many great memories.
I saw them live and they did all their hits.
This was one of them…

They have since disbanded but their material lives on.
More on the festival in upcoming posts. I cannot say enough about how good it is!

Faster than the speed of…what?!

It’s not every day that I stumble onto a group that intrigues the living hell out of me.
I will admit, and am very surprised, that I was a bit late in hearing about this band.
I only began to play their material about two years or so ago.
Just as I started getting some forward momentum with them, they split up.
They did have a great run, I know folks who saw them live and were very much impressed.
The musicianship is/was beyond top notch, as were the songs.
No matter, I play a lot of defunct bands on the show, and will continue to do so.
My lament is not limited to that however…why on earth weren’t they more well known?!
This video is a decent example of what they are capable of, but it is by no means as
good as the recordings that they have put out.
And that REALLY impresses me!
Wammo sings lead on this one.
Check out the Asylum Street Spankers!

Don’t take my word for it. Check out their recordings. Absolutely superb!

I think my stapler is seeing another desk

To my surprise I am finding a lot of great comedy videos on YouTube.
My posting will be more frequent because of it.
That is a good thing.
What is bad are all the @#$%^& ads that usually play at the beginning.
I will try to avoid those like the plague, unless the piece is SO
good that I cannot avoid it.
These guys are popular on the show, they have several tracks that
are air worthy and I enjoy playing their material.
I am not sure how to classify them, there is some Geek here, but
they are much more than that.
Lots of talent here, and as I discover more I will share them with you.
Say Hello to the Amoeba People…

I like the half-hearted attempt at showing exuberant paperclips jumping out of drawers!