Content tagged 'Comedy'
Live On The Sunset Strip (Album of the Day)
With his finger on such hot-button issues as race, sex and religion, Richard Pryor was among the most controversial comedians of the 20th century – and one of the funniest. A string of hit albums, TV and movie appearances propelled him into the stratosphere, though in June, 1980, he nearly flamed out in a freebase cocaine binge. In typical fashion, Pryor mined the incident for comedy gold on LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP, along with personal (and sometimes profane) takes on such topics as “Women” “Prison” and “Africa,” as well as a visit from recurring character Mudbone. The collection and its companion film were drawn from comeback performances at the Hollywood Palladium and the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California, and show Richard Pryor to be a stand-up without peer. The famed funnyman was born on this day in 1940, and we salute him with the Grammy-winning LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP.
Spook Along With Zacherly (Album of the Day)
John Zacherle became a sensation in the late 1950s hosting such horror movie showcases as Shock Theater and Chiller Theater on East Coast television. To capitalize on this success, the performer made a trip to the recording studio to cut his first album, SPOOK ALONG WITH ZACHERLEY. A spoof of the Sing Along With Mitch TV show, the 1960 Elektra collection was produced by Stan Rhodes and Gerald Alters, and features the cool ghoul accompanied by an orchestra. The 11 fun-filled tracks include “Coolest Little Monster,” “Transylvania P.T.A.” and “Zacherley For President” (it was an election year – where are candidates like this nowadays?). In honor of Halloween, we invite you to fire up your jack o' lantern and SPOOK ALONG WITH ZACHERLEY.
The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back (Album of the Day)
Let's Make a New Dope Deal (Album of the Day)
The undisputed heavyweight champions of stoner comedy, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong cut some of the funniest records ever made. The pair's LET'S MAKE A NEW DOPE DEAL delivers on the promise of its title with subversive drug humor sprinkled about, but Cheech & Chong wring laughs from a wide variety of subjects here, including the then-recent Star Wars (“Queer Wars”), popular music (“Bloat On,” their parody of The Floaters' hit, nearly made the Top 40 itself) and even holiday perennial “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The 1980 Warner Bros collection is an effective time capsule, but thanks to the appealingly goofy (and often perceptive) characters heard here, LET'S MAKE A NEW DOPE DEAL remains as hilarious as ever.
My Son The Nut (Album of the Day)
After a pair of LPs steeped in Jewish humor, Allan Sherman broadened his comedic approach with MY SON THE NUT, and the third time proved the charm. The 1963 Warner Bros. collection spent nearly two months at No.1 on the Billboard album chart, a remarkable feat even in the golden age of comedy records. “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter from Camp)” just missed the top spot on the singles chart - and won a Grammy to boot - and though it's the most famous track here, Sherman's dozen song parodies are all sly gems, lampooning such timeless topics as suburbia, the English language and weight loss. The million-selling MY SON THE NUT was the pinnacle of Allan Sherman's career, and decades later still brings smiles to listeners' faces.
Up In Smoke Motion Picture Soundtrack (40th Anniversary Edition) (Album of the Day)
In 1978, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their big screen debut in UP IN SMOKE, playing wannabe musicians who unwittingly smuggle a van made of marijuana from Mexico to L.A. Inspired by their now-legendary routines of the early '70s, the film was a smash hit that established the pair as the reigning comedy duo of a new generation. Retaining surprising cultural relevance, the stoner comedy classic now celebrates its 40th anniversary, and Rhino has just reissued its soundtrack. The original album featured songs like “Earache My Eye” “Framed” and the title track along with high-larious dialogue from the movie; the 40th anniversary edition of UP IN SMOKE adds a new recording of the title song and a previously unreleased version from 1978 with an additional Spanish verse by Cheech.
SONG OF THE DAY - "King Tut" (Album of the Day)
White suits, banjos and arrows-through-heads; rarely have comedy acts been more absurd, or more popular, than Steve Martin's. The wild and crazy guy's first two albums both went platinum, and his Top 20 single “King Tut” was certified Gold on this day in 1978. Performed with the “Toot Uncommons” (comprised of members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), the song pokes fun at the epic Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit then touring museums across the country (Martin's performance of the single on Saturday Night Live was also epic, ranking among the TV show's most expensive productions). Let us salute the man who was born in Arizona and moved to Babylonia - “King Tut” is our Song of the Day.
Let's Get Small (Album of the Day)
“Well excuuuuse me!” Before he became a Hollywood movie star, Steve Martin was a white-suited, banjo-playing comedian with a fake arrow through his head – a chapter of his career perfectly captured on LET'S GET SMALL. The performer's 1977 debut album was recorded at The Boarding House club in San Francisco, and the crowd is clearly in his corner as Martin launches zingers at showbiz (“Vegas”), drugs (the title track), family relationships (“Mad at My Mother”) and more. Less dependent on social commentary than many other stand-ups of the day, the surreal humor here is still riotously funny, and the Warner Bros. collection was a Top 10, platinum-certified hit. LET'S GET SMALL was where it all began for Steve Martin, and we'll play the set again to wish the man a happy birthday.
Louder Than Hell (Album of the Day)
Sam Kinison had been following in his father's footsteps as a Pentecostal preacher up to his mid-20s when he saw the light and turned to stand-up comedy. There's plenty of fire and brimstone in his debut album, LOUDER THAN HELL, directed at marriage (“Relationships”), religion (“Jesus,” “Devil”), current affairs (“World Hunger”) and much more. Including material from Kinison's breakthrough HBO specials, the 1986 Warner Bros. collection is a brilliant mix of the hilarious and the profane (its “explicit lyrics” label is well-deserved) punctuated by the high-volume tirades that made Sam legendary. We all need a good laugh these days, so on this April Fool's Day, let's give LOUDER THAN HELL another spin.
Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics (Album of the Day)
One of the greatest stand-ups of all time, George Carlin became a counterculture icon in the 1970s with his famous “seven words you can't say on television” routine, and PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LYRICS is cut from the same cloth. Excerpted from an HBO special recorded in January 1990 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the album was released at a time when government censorship had again reared its head, and on such tracks as “Offensive Language,” Carlin puts the bluenoses in their place. Though the social satire is razor-sharp, the comedian's riffs on such apolitical topics as dogs, cancer and “Life's Little Moments” are just as thought-provoking and hilarious. PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LYRICS was released 30 years ago today, and if current events leave you in need of laughter, this set will provide a bellyful.