Posts Tagged 'Abbott and Costello'

Lightening Up

I spoke on the phone w/Hubby tonight (his job is 90 miles away–it’s cheaper for him to rent an apartment there during the week than pay for gas to commute).  He thinks I’ve been too serious lately, and advised me to lighten up.  Since it’s about time for my Annual Act of Unquestioning Obedience in Order to Preserve the Marriage, I decided to comply, even if I’m not in the most jovial mood right now.

One of the first lessons I learned when studying to get my Texas Teacher’s Certificate was “don’t reinvent the wheel.”  In other words, if you see an idea you think will work; beg, borrow, or steal it.  That meshed well with the first thing I was taught in Journalism school, which was “if you can get someone else to do your research, go for it!”  It is in the spirit of those pearls of sage advice that I present the following clips, courtesy of the fine folks at YouTube–classic, timeless comedy that may even have me laughing by the time I’m done!

First is a series of clips from an 1969 episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour featuring special guest “Mr. Showmanship” himself, Liberace.  Keep an eye out for “Super Dave” Osborne as a motorcycle cop.

The next excerpt is from my favorite comedian of all time, Jack Benny.  His best friend, George Burns said, describing Benny’s comic uniqueness:  “In radio [where both first achieved nationwide fame], a comedian only has two tools–sound and silence.  Others used sound to get a laugh; Jack used the silence.”  This clip shows Jack’s use of the silence to get side-splitting laughs in a minimalist dialogue with Mel Blanc (yes, the “man of 1000 voices,” most of them for Looney Tunes cartoons).  It also showcases just how stellar a violinist Jack Benny was (the poor playing was only a gag).

Finally, there is a Shakespearean twist on what may be the best comedy routine of all time:  Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” send-up of baseball.  (click on the link if you are not familiar with the classic original).  If you love high theatre and low-flying humor, this performance by a New Jersey duo is for you!

Have a chuckle, a chortle, or a guffaw on me!  I’ll leave the “low-flying humor” light on for ya!


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