Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Firesign Theater "Dope Humor of the Seventies"


(Stand Up Records, 2020) I am as big an advocate for comedy LPs as you'll find, so I have heard a number of Firesign albums, and the fact that I can't remember anything about them probably tells you a lot about my opinion on them. After listening to over two hours of bits from their 70s radio show I still can't say I'm down with the FT, and I really didn't laugh listening to this, but I do feel I have a better idea about where they fit into comedy history. The general vibe I get is sort of those comedy duos/teams you would see on Ed Sullivan footage doing Nichols and May type skits, but not as funny as N&M. But everything also has the kind of dank scent of 70s comedy for stoners, where general silliness mixed with sounds-like-smartness (without making any actual clear points), appealing perfectly to a slowed down, giggle primed brain. When they do an old man voice it is such an homage to Jonathan Winters that there's also a revival of the kinda chaotic manic madness that Robin Williams later ruined. All that said, while I didn't love this, they seem to be amusing themselves pretty much, which is fun to hear. Also, for fans, buy this instead of streaming for free because the booklet, featuring tons of fantastic reproductions of handwritten and typed scripts, notes, scripts with notes, scripts with doodles, and some great photos is my favorite part of this package 

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