Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

R.I.P., Carl Reiner

June 30, 2020

Two of the funniest people ever. Now there’s one less.

God damn it. Who is Mel gonna watch movies with now?

I first stumbled across Carl Reiner via “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Then it was “The 2000 Year Old Man,” Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” and all the rest of it.

He never retired. And he never will. God is laughing His ass off right now.

• Late update: Rudolfo Anaya, author of the groundbreaking Chicano novel “Bless Me, Última,” has likewise shoved off. ¡Chale! Que triste es la vida!

‘The excitement is contagious. …’

March 16, 2020

Dr. Memory … paging Dr. Memory. …

I woke up singing, “Make the World Go Away.”

It wouldn’t, of course. The world is remarkably persistent. Always up in your grille with its pestilence, stock-market crashes, toilet-paper shortages, leadership vacuums, Darth Gimp boots, doctor’s appointments, and stupidity.

For, like the poor, ye have the stupid always with you.

Sometimes, a guy wants a little smart. And so, after a consultation with Dr. Memory, and in keeping with the general plague theme, we present for your listening enjoyment “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him” by The Firesign Theatre.

If only we had a generated, veneered leader. (Hear, hear!) Our own “Fighting Jack.” (Where, where?) But nope — all we have is a pestilence (There, there).

The Peach Mint Lollipop, or ‘Hello, Sucker’

January 22, 2020

Be careful what you ask for, they say.

I asked for impeachment. And now that I’ve gotten it. …

Well, for one, it looked a lot better online.

Two, it seems several sizes too small.

And three, it smells funny, like maybe a turtle dragged it down a toilet.

Nevertheless, here it is. And here we are, striding boldly down the runway wearing yet another fashionable edition of Radio Free Dogpatch.

 

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Dramatic Climax” from Zapsplat.com. The party chatter comes from dbspin at Freesound.org with an underlay of “Buddy,” an iMovie jingle. And Nick Danger (“All Things Firesign”), Mark Time (“Dear Friends”), and Principal Poop (“Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers”) appear courtesy of The Firesign Theatre, without whom none of this would have been necessary.

R.I.P., Terry Jones

January 22, 2020

One of our family jokes is, “’Ee’s not the Messiah, ’ee’s a very naughty boy!”

That was only one of the innumerable killer lines delivered over the years by Terry Jones, who died at home Tuesday. He was 77, and had suffered from primary progressive aphasia, a cruel disease that stripped him of his marvelous powers of communication.

As a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Jones generally wrote with Michael Palin, co-directed “Holy Grail” and “Meaning of Life” with Terry Gilliam, and flew solo as director for “Life of Brian,” which gave us that family gag we use so often.

Condolences, peace, and egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam, or Lobster Thermidor au Crevette with a Mornay sauce served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and with a fried egg on top, and spam, to Jones, his family, the surviving Pythons (“Two down*, four to go,” notes John Cleese), and their friends and fans.

* Cleese forgot to count the Seventh Python, Neil Innes. No spam for him.

R.I.P., Neil Innes

December 30, 2019

The Urban Spaceman has blasted off. He was 75.

Neil Innes worked with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles, a.k.a. “The Prefab Four,” and of course, Monty Python.

His abrupt departure via heart attack is both surprising and unwelcome. God keeps repo’ing the comics and leaving us with the jokes.

The NYT has an obit here. Here’s Neil performing three of his greatest hits in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert back in 2011. And here’s an extensive BBC obit that includes a few video clips.

“I’ve suffered for my music, and now it’s your turn.” How sweet, this idiot.

’13 means shit and bad luck.’

December 13, 2019

I see the Donks running the House Judiciary Committee decided to postpone voting on sending two articles of impeachment to the full House until today … which would be Friday the 13th.

Shit. Good luck with that.

Charlie Pierce had his bad luck early. Dude got hit by a car, which explains why you haven’t been seeing him over at the shebeen. I’m a little irritated with management for not giving us the word. Not everyone spends their days glued to Twitter, y’know.

Shit. Good luck with that.

Speaking of being glued to things, I’ve gotten two of three modern MacBooks updated to High Sierra without incident. Still haven’t dealt with the main box or the iPhone, and given the circumstances I think I might wait until tomorrow. I don’t need any shit or bad luck.

R.I.P., Paul Krassner

July 21, 2019

The Yippies were first to run a pig for president back in 1968, but it took the Republicans to actually win with one.

Paul Krassner was instrumental in that first attempt, but we can’t blame him for the second. The founder and editor of The Realist was into absurdity — he had roots in Mad magazine, after all — but he must have left this world shaking his head at how the unreal had become all too regrettably real.

Krassner hit the door running at 87.

Colbert and Maron

June 26, 2019

If you’d just as soon skip tonight’s Democratic beauty pageant for something, anything else, well — have I got a podcast for you.

No, it’s not another edition of Radio Free Dogpatch. This is the real deal, two pros, Marc Maron talking with Stephen Colbert.

I loved “The Colbert Report,” and Herself is nuts for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Maybe you’re crazy for both of these aspects of the guy’s personality.

Well, lemme tell ya, there’s a lot more where those came from. The chorale of voices in Colbert’s head make mine look like a barbershop quartet. And yet somehow, he has them all singing instead of screaming.

I wish they’d had more time, but somebody had a show to do. Maybe there will be a rematch.

In the meantime, if you need a little sumpin’-sumpin’ for dessert, check out Maron’s chat with David Letterman. 

April drool

April 2, 2019

Yesterday’s air-quality report from the City of Albuquerque.

I lay low for April Fool’s Day. It’s gotten to be kind of like the St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve of comedy — not for serious funnymen. Funnypersons? Persons of funny?

My favorite April Fool’s gag may be the time the Gazette caught the Greeley Tribune napping. It was in the late Seventies, and some wisenheimers on staff faked up a photo of an El Paso County pickle farmer inspecting a bumper crop (reporter Don Branning in a planter’s hat, examining a plump dill tied to a tree across the street from the newspaper).

We ran it on the Metro front, then put it on The Associated Press wire just for giggles. To our astonishment, the Tribune picked it up and ran the shot on its Farm page despite the photo credit, which read something like, “GT photo by Aprylle Foole.”

The desk jockey who made that call clearly was not a local boy with shitcaked bootheels. The Tribune is in Weld County, one of the richest agricultural counties east of the Rockies, the state’s top producer of grain, sugar beets and cattle.

Not pickles, though. El Paso County had all the pickle farms in Colorado.

Here in New Mexico the ash and juniper are providing all the comedy, if your idea of a good laugh involves watching some poor sod’s nose run like an irrigation ditch with a busted headgate.

I pretended to be a runner yesterday afternoon and came home with an enraged snotlocker, a condition that persists this morning. Snot funny, man.

And now for something completely different

October 29, 2018

“‘Ee’s makin’ it up as ‘ee goes along!”

When I went to check the forecast this morning Weather Underground served me up an ad for bipolar-depression medication. Judging by the list of side effects, which ran longer than the CGI credits in a Marvel superhero flick, anyone prescribed it will soon be longing for the good old days of bipolar depression.

Clearly, with another Monday hanging over our heads like a 16-ton weight, what we need here is a solid dose of the best medicine: laughter.

Thus, for your amusement and/or bemusement, we have a twofer from Marc Maron, who last week chatted with John Cleese and Eric Idle, and a New York Times Q&A with Jerry Seinfeld, who basically channels a Cleese line from “Life of Brian” when he says of their shared line of work in troubled times: “We’re figuring it out as we go along.”

• A Cellar’s Market: Speaking of troubled times, the Comedy Cellar, where Louis C.K. has been inching back into the spotlight, is getting into late-night TV on Comedy Central. The piece is worth reading for the gags about Megyn Kelly and Il Douche.

• Wot’s All This Then? And finally, Netflix is airing a ton of Monty Python, from the original TV show to the movies to the various Pythons’ side projects.