shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Another Bob & Ray transcript, mostly because I'm desperate for amusement today. Also it may entertain the UK readership - I wouldn’t have thought the birth of Prince Charles would’ve inspired so much excitement among the republicans, especially not ones broadcasting so close to Bunker Hill monument, but there you go.

After exhausting the baby’s sex, weight and ‘last name’ as discussion topics (“…but Philip’s not a Windsor, is he?”) the November 15th, 1948 Matinee episode segues into a mock program lineup for the BBC, complete with painstaking Professor Higgins-style diction. Which I can't duplicate on the printed page, unfortunately, but as an artifact of inter-allied relations, it’s still…well, it’s something.

Ray: Oh, I say, this is the overseas service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Cheerio!

Bob: We’ll have talk at twenty-one hundred hours.

Ray: Talk on the new prince, bless his 'eart.

Bob: Gramophone recordings from twenty-two hundred hours.

Ray: There’ll be a nature talk by Sir Cyril Bludd at thirteen-thirty hours.

Bob: Then we’ll have a program called ‘English for the Morons’ at one hundred – er – oh-one…hundred…[trails off, grumbling]

Ray: Sir Chauncey Dimwit will play the oboe for a half-hour.

Bob: Right. Basil Brain and the BBC Trio will give out with sparkling rhythms from the cinemas at oh-four hundred hours.

[Break for Fatima cigarettes commercial - a real one - starring Basil Rathbone.]

Bob: And now to continue with our program roundup for the North African Service…

Ray: Oh, I say, are we still rounding up, and all that sort of thing?

Bob: Yes, yes, still rounding…[trails off, grumbling] We’ll have gramophone recordings at oh-two-hundred hours.

Ray: Oh, I say, that’s jolly.

Bob: Yes, a jolly program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute roundup of the weather.

Bob: And then we'll have the highly interesting ‘Fun With Algebra’ program.

Ray: Followed by a five-minute review of the weather.

Bob: Then we’ll have talk.

Ray: And gramophone recordings.

Bob: Followed by more talk.

Ray: A rock-garden talk.
shoebox_dw: (bob&ray)
Getting this out of my system early this week, as I've got other stuff to worry about (as in, Oh God I Just Posted All The Fiction Now What?!)

Anyhow, this isn't so much new! and exciting! as housekeeping - I've had these YouTube clips on Favourite for ages, but somehow've never gotten around to linking them here. Which is odd, because they really do deserve it. Besides showcasing B&R at their most personable, it's also a fun little window into the David Letterman phenomenon circa... I'm not sure, really, except it must be the very early stages. There's some background whooping and hollering that suggests Chris Elliott has been newly installed under the seats.

Part One involves intros and a typically unique take on shilling the latest project (the flick in question is Author, Author!, and yes, it's a comedy):


Part Two showcases a couple of skits from their prime (you can tell, because the second opens with a decidedly, albeit good-naturedly, un-PC flourish):

shoebox_dw: (bob&ray)
Just thought I'd note down an interesting article (yes, as distinct from the other seventeen thousand or so I've found. Sheesh) from a Cape Cod local, reprinted as a blog post. Does a really nice job of putting the duo's artistic legacy into perspective - I was particularly charmed by the notion of George Carlin obsessively buying up every recording he could find - besides elaborating a bit further on the new DVD.

It also contains a mini-interview with Bob himself, including a poignant admission that dealing with his partner's death was 'really difficult'. Apparently Ray was on dialysis for a decade or so prior, but 'never complained' and the act continued on without missing a beat for seven-eight of those years. Yikes. I don't know whether to applaud or be completely horrified.
shoebox_dw: (bob&ray)
I haven't done one of these in awhile, mostly because I don't have any new material. I think it may be time to start bugging Shoemom re: that movie.

However, Robert Brackett Elliott - called Bob - turns 86 this month (his partner would've been turning 87, a few days earlier), and realising that is making me feel tribute-y. In what direction, though, I'm not sure. It must be a rather odd feeling to be hailed as a pioneer in any field, but especially within the arts; being constantly feted with stuff you did fifty years ago, surrounded by recordings of yourself at 30-ish. As the Barenaked Ladies once put it, 'And every time I try to do something new/All they want is 1973.' Imagine it being 1953.

Ray Goulding's widow mentioned in a recent interview that he didn't like to have the early episodes of the duo's 1951-53 TV show brought up in later years, because "it was infancy for television" and he was "appalled at how really naive they were about what to wear and how to appear." Bob agrees, mostly: "We were kids. They're embarrassing."
Given the evidence on display, as in my icon (the full-length version of this photo shows Ray in his boxers - he had pretty good legs, actually!) I'm inclined to sympathise. At the same time, it's kind of sad to imagine them disowning all their early stuff. For instance, a 1949 Boston show in which they talk up the great time they had celebrating Chinese New Year the night before, apparently at a local restaurant. Among many other exotica, they were treated to bird's-nest soup:

Bob: But you can't just make it from any old nests, we should mention.
Ray: Oh, yeah.
Bob: I mean, don't go collecting nests out of the trees in your backyard. That won't help anything...
Ray: Yeah, the bird'll be upset, and it won't work anyway. You need the special imported kind of nests. Very delicate flavour.

...Being one of the good ones, that doesn't ever change. So here's to two genuine mensches who somehow turned that very quality into a comedy revolution.
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
So, ah, yeah, in the course of rummaging around for the clips in yesterday's post...well, look at it this way: the more Bob & Ray clips, the less Bob & Ray observational verbiage, thus an exponential increase in glee all round, eh?

Besides which, this clip happens to be a source of Very Special Glee for yours truly, on account of I had no idea it even existed until it was released this month. Turns out that back in 1968 freelance producer David Jacobsen, thoroughly charmed by B&R's unique way of making funny, spent an afternoon documenting it for posterity. (And no wonder; if the clip below is any indication, in person they came across as less an act than an oddball shared introversion. Rather like those twins that develop their own private language - the urge to crack the code must've been nearly irresistible.)

The result was dubbed - at their suggestion - Bob & Ray: An Award Winning Film. Unfortunately, never mind awards, it didn't even find a distributor. So Jacobsen stuffed the footage in a closet...and has now pulled it out just in time for me to have backed up my allowance for, like, years on this iPod thing. Major loss of glee there.

Meanwhile, though, there's this promo excerpt, which may be the only comedy footage in existence to be interesting more for what's not there than what is:

shoebox_dw: (pbs happiness fairy)
So there's been some discussion re: the Take Back the Glee movement here on LJ.

I am highly in favour of this whole idea, and not just because the icon attached to that post? Totally my phrase. Just saying. But no, I've actually been a firm believer in glee ever since I first encountered the concept in about grade five or so. If for no other reason than that it's just such a fun word to bat around. To the point where saying it aloud several times running actually induces the state it describes. No, really, give it a try.


Not bad, eh? I also recommend wandering around going 'quack' for awhile. Or 'squeak'. Squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak...

[ahem] Right, yes, glee production. While I have no severe traumas to bounce back from - yet, anyway - participation in the movement does seem like a good way to get out from under the dark(ish) cloud of my last post. Clearly, the blogging gods demand sacrifice. Besides which, it fits in neatly with my new YouTube-posting habit.

(Yeah, I know, I know. Next week: I report in breathlessly on how I've learned to make my own mood icons!)

Anyhow, for now I present two clips that bring me much personal glee, in the hopes that they may spread some further:

1) Bob & Ray, 'Champion Low Jumper' - C'mon, you know I had to. It may help (sorry, guys) that this isn't a video per se; it's a recording from their Broadway show, of one of their most famous routines. The screwball logic is

2) Sesame Street, 'La La La Song' - One of the simplest and sweetest of the original Bert & Ernie clips...incidentally, 'linoleum' is a really fun word to say, too.

shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Well. Never let me hear a word against Amazon's shipping policies. I ordered the Bob & Ray CDs, they told me they'd arrive around the 17th, and lo and behold, here they were at my door yesterday, a full week ahead of schedule. I am chuffed.

Haven't had time to actually listen to most of the stuff - 4 discs' worth! - as yet, but am already enjoying the brief glimpses. The one difficulty with the bootlegs is that they by and large jump straight from crazy-wacky-cool young dudes in 1950 to older-and-wiser pros in 1960. It's nice to hear the transitional bits.
Also kind of interesting, as when former Boston 'newscaster' Peter Gorre (Bob, eerily authentic) shows up on their national broadcast merely to say hi, presumably because their new corporate masters would blink at his delivering such trademark headlines as "Eeeeeen happier news, only vone man vas keelled attempting suicide today..."

I can report that Ray's Joseph McCarthy imitation likewise really is that good. As Bob points out in his short intro to these skits, it was actually the authenticity of the accent that inspired the parody. Which probably explains why they never do get around - at least, not onstage - to condemning the man, exactly. Instead they pinned him to the wall just by showing him to the world as he was, not as he liked to think of himself. A far crueler fate, for Sen. McCarthy, than any direct assault.

On a cuddlier note, there is Ray Jr.'s visit to the Boston studio in December 1948. "Goin' inno town 'n' see Sanna Claus," as he explains to his loving but slightly flustered dad, whose scion has just toddled within mic range during a live broadcast. (The liner notes insist he's four, but given his parents weren't even married until mid-1945...let's go with about two-and-a-bit.)

He- er, Junior, that is - really has the most adorable voice, that kind of uber-innocent clarity that I did not think existed outside of Andy Hardy movies. The whole thing has kind of a family-movie vibe, which of course he and Bob - himself very obviously childless at this point - do not fail to mock.
Junior does a pretty good job of mocking his own cute, actually, refusing to sing, or say anything else beyond 'Gonna see my daddy! Hi, my daddy!". Then he almost knocks over a microphone and objects loudly when 'Mama' hurries to collect him ("He's mistaken his mother for a microphone...Ray is setting him he leads with a left...she counters with..." At this point Ray hurriedly suggests they just get on with it.)

...All right, all right, I have to get to bed now anyway. But it was really cute.
shoebox_dw: (sleeping beauty)
Audiobook squee: I finally convinced Shoemom to let me get those Classic Bob & Ray CDs! Featuring all the McCarthy parody skits and a cameo appearance by Ray's oldest son (aged about three)! Plus lots of other cool early stuff! Reason for yay!

...I'm not that obsessed, really I'm not. It's just that, with these guys, there's so much stuff you tend to find yourself constantly reading skit titles and going "Oooh, that looks like a must-have..."


Other audio goodness: My most recent purchase is Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Allison Weir. I thought it'd be fun to tackle a book I hadn't read yet, except inasmuch as I own most of Weir's non-fiction takes on Tudor history, and enjoy them quite a lot. Few people living can have a more intimate knowledge of Tudor minutiae than Weir; it'd be impossible to reach that point, I should think, and not start compulsively popping out potboilers.

There has anyway always been something distinctly novel-esque about her scholarship, and if it thus far seems that there's something rather too scholarly about her novel - something a little disconcerting about hearing Henry's attempts in bed with Catherine Parr narrated in the same tone used elsewhere to describe Elizabeth's palace fittings -  well, I may not be the best judge. I am very pleased with the precision she brings to it all, and the effortless way she sketches character because of it, but the true dramatic validity of the material has long since given way to familiarity.

In fact I sometimes think wistfully how nice it would be to approach sixteenth-century-themed fiction cold, as they say. Without knowing, not only how it all comes out, but all the wonderful rich twists and turns on the way.

Sigh. I bet all historians are science-fiction fans by default. And all engineers read Tolkien.
shoebox_dw: (garfield camera)
Just a quick couple of things:

Bob & Ray [sporfle] of the week: No, I'm not going to transcribe it this time; the joke wouldn't work nearly as well in print anyhow. I do however have a real, physical need to acknowledge the wonderfulness of an extended Matinee skit in which a discussion of 'our next project ('us' being Rogers & Hammerstein; we got here from South Pacific, don't even ask) somehow ends up with Bob previewing an opera scene. That is, Ray - as Carmen, natch - is singing each line as he shows it to him from the 'script'.

I have no idea if opera-based humour was commonplace in 1949. Hell, I don't even know if operas have scripts. From the perspective of 2008, it's so out there it's frelling hilarious even before Ray starts carolling about the rose he plucked from the garden and now has between his teeth.
Meanwhile, ah, her would-be lover the green-grocer is distraught because he has no bananas (no, no, the song, remember?) and so cannot lure shy, coy Carmen back to the market ("Dro-o-o-o-p DEAD!"). Or something. It gets a little hard to follow after awhile...though I suspect not much more so than your average straight opera. At least this one's in English.

Also, I wish to report that my Photobucket gallery has now been updated with all my pretty fall foliage pictures, therein to join all my pretty spring/summer flower and butterfly pictures, plus the occasional cat. 
Someday, when they finally pass a law against online procrastination, I will get around to collating each picture with tags and labels and possibly musical fade-ins, I swear. In the meantime, I've managed to slap a background theme on there. And it doesn't feature the Jonas Brothers. So, y'know, go nuts.
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Word is that Abby Elliott will be joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, by way of helping replace Amy Poehler while the latter's on maternity leave.

Abby is the daughter of SNL alum Chris Elliott, and thus grand-daughter of Bob. (Albeit you can't tell by looking at her - lucky girl). This is intriguing, since In the course of researching the B&R article last year I ran across a reference to Abby - then an adjunct to profiles of her dad - as being very close to her grandfather, having inherited his 'dry sense of humour'.

(Certainly Grandpa is no stranger to SNL himself, the duo having been handed a showcase special back in the Belushi/Radner years, besides hosting once or twice. This will all make for wonderful Elliott family Thanksgiving dinner conversation, I can just tell.) 

So the Elliott dynasty beats on, borne back ceaselessly into the past. This is on the whole a good thing, I think. Although Bob has publicly never been anything other than proud and supportive of his son's career, I would really like to believe that privately Chris has been whacked upside the ear at least once. Hopefully for those Tostitos commercials, although if it comes down to it I'm not picky.
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)

Overheard in passing at the subway station this morning, two young men in Bay St. suits:


“Well, for the Republicans he was the best candidate, anyway…”


Ave aqua vale, John McCain; in your time, you would’ve probably made a splendid President. It’s not really your fault that your time has long passed.


Although, the Palin thing…and all the other wildly misguided efforts you made to keep up…those are still your fault. Totally.


I’m thinking about McCain’s particular epoch especially since I finally got around to listening to Bob Edwards’ fine interview – or reminiscence, really - with Bob Elliott earlier this year, on the occasion of the latter’s 85th birthday. (One of the many just-slightly-off-plumb circs that surround Bob & Ray is that they were born almost exactly one year apart, in March of ’23 & ’22 respectively.)


I’ve been holding off on downloading it for some time now, just because…well, I didn’t really want to think of my bright, bold comedic heroes as - old. I’m cowardly that way, I guess. Didn’t help that around the same time the show was produced I’d been deep into the earliest Bob & Ray material, recorded when they were in their mid-twenties. Did not wish to consider that spark, dulled.


I shouldn’t have worried.

Read more... )
shoebox_dw: (garfield rabid moth)
...other than watching the Republican ticket lurch from strawman to strawman hoping one'll keep them dry in the storm, that is.

Seriously. Wasn't their reaction to the Obama infomercial just too precious? To think, a candidate for President, raising lots of money to campaign on - and then to actually go and campaign with it. The elitist jerk had the nerve to try and give the public a coherent vision of what might be should they vote him into office.
Next thing you know, he'll be trying to convince the masses thet thar derned sci-en-mit-if-ical research has a purpose. Casting doubt on the idea that the Good Lord Above created the universe in seven days - and not a second more, d'y'hear? (I always picture Jesus, beside him, holding a stopwatch - "Hurry up, Dad, don't bother to fix the guy nipple thing! They'll work it out!").
Why, I bet that Barack Hussein fella didn't even notice when the soda-pop folks took the words 'Under God' off the Pledge of Allegiance cans awhile back. Godless commie terrorist heathen - uh, black guy!

...and oh, do I wish I was kidding, about the pop cans. But no.

Anyway, besides that. As it developed over the course of a few more threads on the CC, the person posting as 'Wally Ballou' there is also only in their mid-thirties! There are two of us! Reason for yay!

To celebrate, here's a short (15min) Bob & Ray spoof from their 1980 Carnegie Hall show: In-Depth News With David Chetley. Basically: If Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had existed in 1975. (The specific reference is to NBC's iconic Huntley-Brinkley Report).

shoebox_dw: (pbs truism)

So I'm browsing the threads over at the Comics Curmudgeon the other day, and ran across a poster with the handle 'Wally Ballou'. This provoked a mild little ripple of mirth from a few others...along with comments on how unexpected it was that people were getting the reference, as they'd've thought it 'too old' for the audience.

Erm. Given what I've been able to gather about the average age of the 'Mudgeons, also further observations elsewhere...this gave me reason for a rather lengthy pause. Apparently I'm not just the only dedicated Bob & Ray fan online, I may be the only Bob & Ray fan anywhere under 45.

Realising you're this unique on the World Wide Web is, as you can imagine, a deeply bemusing experience. Still, it's rather a pleasantly knowing one, as compared to...perhaps that one person on TVTropes who keeps adding Jem & the Holograms examples. I'm sorry, love, but there it is. On this side, brilliant, groundbreaking comedy; on the other, the '80's version of Hannah Montana.

...About that. Not Hannah, so much as High School Musical. Owing to media saturation around the third edition I have finally figured out what all the hype is about, and I gotta tell you, gang, no offense, but as far as I can tell the reason I hadn't picked up on it before was because there's nothing there to pick up. Something like cotton candy on a hot day at the Ex - one swipe, a shrug, and it's on to the next bright shiny distraction.

Well, maybe not that cheap. I mean, the part where friend[info]shing_ posts hot pictures of shiny wet topless Zac, that I get OK. Not my taste, but I can sincerely appreciate the effort. It's just that...hell, Jem had the computer gimmick, y'know? And Hannah M. has at least the occasional amusingly surreal Dolly Parton cameo. Maybe the ep I watched was the anomaly, but for one glorious moment Dolly was there. Vicki Lawrence, too. And the 'Achy Breaky Heart' guy.

HSM, on the other hand, is...just...there's no there there at all, except inasmuch as its leads are pretty. Yes, historically this has been justification for quite a lot of pop-culture, but this...this is like a running compilation of all the moments that the teen dream media machine itself considers cliche. Realising that the current craze sweeping the post-millennial nation is based around an episode plot used by every single 80's sitcom I ever watched (and a healthy few of the 70's ones, too) is the second most deeply bemusing thing I have encountered this week.

(Especially the 'Sharpay' business. I'm a little slow, so it just hit me: A Shar-pei is a dog breed. A notoriously goofy-looking dog breed. Yeah, I get the joke, but the point is, it's a really stupid joke. I can just about see proud [if slightly dense] new parents gazing down at their little red wrinkly bundle of joy and saying "Awww, doesn't widdle snookums wook just wike a widdle shar-pei doggers!" But a screenwriter naming their blond bombshell rich-bitch nemesis? Not so much.)
shoebox_dw: (pbs zebra reading)

So I gave in to an impulse this month and purchased the New! Improved! Bob & Ray Book (c. 1986) as part of my audiobook subscription. And ooh, not gonna do that again. I mean there's not much chance I will do it again, that'd be silly, but just in case I should ever be tempted, no.

Let us just say - as attentive readers are now sighing and waiting for me to say once again - that their performance style depended on a sort of knowing, ad-libbed energy that's entirely missing from a straight reading of collected scripts by two elderly men. Especially given that one of them was mere months away from forced retirement due to lingering illness. You can hear Ray becoming more exhausted (medicated?) as the recording goes on... I think I'm supposed to be cheering for the game old trouper, and I would be, except it's all so bloody sad.


So because I now need cheering up, and because I was pretty impressed with the game old trouper for all that (a sixtysomething man using 'computer software' in the correct context, in 1986, might be the definition of codger cool) let's move on to the next installment in our review series: Humour.

Laffs await under the cut... )
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
So I'm listening to my B&R stuff the other night, one of the skit collections that I hadn't got around to yet because it's an hour long and won't play on my iPod**, and ran across what is very possibly the single cutest moment in the history of comedy: Ray interviews a 'bunny exterminator', that is to say Bob...

...doing a pitch-perfect Elmer Fudd. (Here named Robin Pickett, presumably because copyright lawyers don't find this sort of thing funny.)

And I do mean perfect; an offhand salute from one of the great anarchistic spirits of comedy to another. I think that's just swell. Especially bearing in mind that this is the early '50's, when the reference - to what was then generally thought of as adult entertainment - would've been still hip and current:

Funnie stuff under the cut... )
shoebox_dw: (ed bunny)
So about midway through the short sabbatical from writing to concentrate on dealing with some other stuff, I check back and realise the cliffhanger's another oddly prophetic comic strip. I am sort of enjoying how the PBS posts have become markers for these little breaks in the seems so appropriately random...but, uh, everything's fine, folks. I just thought the strip was amusingly reminiscent of the way train whistles make me feel sometimes. Really.

Anyway, here I am back in the saddle again, ready to supply all your pointless rambling needs! The long-awaited Mythbusters post - look, I've been away, humour me for a sec, OK? - is in the pipeline, also another edition of the Occasional Christie. I just need to do a little cranial housekeeping first. Two weeks sans snark outlet has left it seriously cluttered up in here...

Read more... )
shoebox_dw: (pbs happiness fairy)
Can somebody please explain Dragnet parodies to me?

I mean - backtracking a little here - I get Dragnet, itself. For that matter I get cop shows generally, having been a tender devotee of A&E's rerun lineup in the early 90's. As such, I even get how ripe - nay, automatic - a target the format must've been for hip young comics back in the day. Clearly, this is a touchstone of modern American humour.
Somehow, though, I remain completely unappreciative of their efforts. In whatever format they choose to present them, so I know it's not just the style. I've seen some of the Tom Hanks movie; I've seen the Muppet Show skits with Fozzie Bear. I've listened to Stan Freberg's classic 'St.George and the Dragonet' ("The story you are about to hear is true. Only the needle should be changed to protect the record"), and the slightly-less-classic Bob & Ray serial 'Squad Car 1182 Alameda' (in which the officers of said squad car routinely miss the scene of the crime entirely). Hey, I've even read some of the dialogue from Dragnet'67.

And my only reaction is the kind of bemused 'well, I'm sure that was all very clever...' parents give kids just before hastily slapping their fingerpaints on the fridge. I appreciate the effort, I'm just not laughing at it. At all. It's like there's an entire manic mindset I'm not tuned into here. Probably not to the detriment of health and happiness, or anything, but still a little un-nerving.

Otherwise, this week is shaping rather well. Made the Comment of the Week runner-up float over at the Comics Curmudgeon (scroll down past the baby pics).

Then Shoemom got the urge to redecorate, and I got the new area rug for which I've been begging over a year now - one of those pseudo-Oriental jobbies that, in conjunction with a new heavy dark-wood(-finish) bookshelf, is giving off 'becomingly serious yet charmingly idealistic' vibes. Which I can now enjoy to the full, because my work situation is likewise flattering. At one point, yesterday, I paused to realise I had all the fall showcase samples in a full day ahead of time.

I got the chance to weigh myself and discovered that not only is the current diet working, I've lost twenty pounds in two months. Oh, and later this week the mondo Bob & Ray Amazon order arrives.

It's getting to be kinda freaky, and clearly I need to take advantage while it lasts. If I get some time later this week I think I may try wishing for world peace...or, y'know, going over to Holt Renfrew and staring wistfully at the gorgeous handbags, just to see if any wealthy benefactors will swoop down and gift me with one this time. 


Jun. 25th, 2008 09:36 pm
shoebox_dw: (lucy)
I know I ought to be updating more often lately, but honestly, even for the (inexplicably) dedicated readers this blog has, there's not much percentage in it that I can see. Life is just sort of puttering along - rather like the weather - here @ Shoe Central. Partly interesting, with a 40% chance of amusing overnight.

I did get my Bob & Ray CDs, but would imagine by now that even the most dedicated readers - say, the top one or two - don't want to sit through another ramble on that subject. Let us just say that I'm having a wonderful time, especially with the ep in which the guys take off on 'modern radio sales techniques' that sound rather alarmingly like, well, modern sales techniques.  ("Hello Dave! My, your hair looks so natural and un-patent-leathery!").
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
From the blurb announcing 'Hbc Day at Canada's Wonderland!' posted to the company intranet today:

It's the ultimate coaster experience featuring twists, turns, flat loops, drops and prototype open air seating that will only intensify the thrills and excitement. BEHEMOTH is
Canada's longest, tallest and fastest coaster.

I dunno. Call me a lily-livered chicken, but when I'm selecting my Ultimate Roller-Coaster Experience, ensuring the open-air seating has passed the beta-test is kind of a priority...


Meanwhile. Still working out the biographical urges re: Bob & Ray, so you might want to save time and go off shaking your head in amused exasperation now. Did I mention there were pretty flower pictures to look at?

This particular set of musings is kind of a spillover from the last. It about figures that I'd just get done commenting on how self-effacing the duo were when a CBS episode featuring Ray's tales of his recent 'European tour' comes up in the rotation. 'Course, he only gets as far as 'So, we arrived in Paris...' when a SFX rock 'crashes' through the control-room window - apparently a random production gag - and he promptly decides to go off into a corner to sulk. Shortly thereafter Bob inadvertently reveals that the mountain Ray 'conquered' as a kid was actually a fifty-foot hill, so he stays in that corner for pretty much the entire ep.

Read more... )
shoebox_dw: (bob & ray)
Being a Bob & Ray fan is a peculiarly fraught business, betimes.

Over forty years they racked up many thousands of hours of radio and TV comedy...much of which was ad-libbed, and all of which was performed without a mikeside script. No human being could be expected to consistently bring the funnie over that kind of a period. That they ended up with even a 60-40 average is enough for immortality...and I'm by no means sure of that number. Might be closer to 70-30.

This is why their output exists today mostly as neatly-collated individual skits scissored out of the random mass. The stuff that features a a well-set-up beginning, a middle containing...discernable humour (with these two, asking for punchlines is pushing it) and a neat windup at the end. Which is of course the only sane way to appreciate anyone's comedic brilliance.

As she has mentioned before, however, yours truly enjoys hearing Bob & Ray's ad-libbed bits above all else - their natural interaction and improvisation - and thus it can sometimes be a bit of a slog, plowing through entire programmes and picking out the really good bits. You can't predict it nohow. They can be merely puttering along for hours in a row, and then all of a sudden one or the other will toss out a completely throwaway quip and it's like Dorothy just stepped out into the Technicolour.


shoebox_dw: (Default)

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