Friday, March 21, 2008
UPDATE JANUARY 2011 - Read the definitive biography of Joe E. Ross here - Joe E. Ross: King of Slobs by Kliph Nesteroff
Joe E. Ross was, by most accounts, a difficult man, not particularly polite, and extremely rough around the edges. He wasn't what you'd call "Hollywood." He probably had more relationships with prostitutes than any other sitcom star and unlike New York politicians, this wasn't something he was embarrassed about, but flaunted. He even showed up at things like The Emmys with a lady of the night on his arm. It is not known the exact number of times he was married, but it was at least eight and probably more. He wasn't known to treat his ladies well. This LP isn't about to endear him any further.
Joe E. Ross was first and foremost a nightclub performer, and it was during a stint in Miami Beach that Bilko creator Nat Hiken first decided he'd like to use him in The Phil Silvers Show and in Hiken's follow-up, Car 54, Where Are You? This rarity was pressed by Laff Records, a label that was known for its large output of profane comedy albums, primarily by unsung African-American acts. A handful of white performers like Roger & Roger, Bub Thomas and Joe appeared on the label. The copy I've uploaded here is extremely scratchy, which somehow seems appropriate. It isn't the easiest album to sit through, not just because it's scratchy, but it was a very lo-fi recording to begin with. The content doesn't help matters any either. The subtitle of the album is Dirty Memories of an Ex-Cop. The word funny is crossed out, with the word dirty scrawled over top as a gag. It is also a more accurate description of the album. That doesn't mean it isn't super interesting, and I'm glad I own it. Here are the liner notes. Any weird punctuation or capitalization is just as it appears on the back cover:
"Hey, Sweetie... your blocking is divine, but you keep hitting me in a very sensitive area. Would you mind?" "Oh, how marvy... no, you don't have to kiss it to make it better. What a darling man... OOooof; Ouch! Ughh...not so rough!" "BRUTE!" SHOULD LESBIANS BE ALLOWED TO PLAY PRO FOOTBALL? JOE E. ROSS, that dirty funny looking guy in the cop's uniform, with the hot dog stuck in his mouth, has a lot to say on the subject. "Ooh-ooh!", he says, and everybody laughs! His next famous statement was smothered in the hot dog and the laughter. "Ooh-ooh!" Who else could say it with such meaning? So much Depth and passion? As JOE E. ROSS tells it, he worked for years developing his act, refining his style, polishing his delivery... and then... one fateful night he stepped on stage, and his pants fell down... "OOH-OOH!", he cried... and a star was born! Such is fame, he says. JOE E. ROSS won acclaim as "Cookie-Mess Sergeant Ritzik" with Phil Silvers on the SERGEANT BILKO SHOW, careened into his own "CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?" TV series, and became famous as "OOH-OOH-TOOTY" the funniest cop in the world. Listen to him, as he stands on his bench in the bleachers, runs down the field with that pigskin, wanders absent-mindedly into the Ladies room, tickles, and tackles and scores! "Lookit that guy chargin' down the field... what a killer! BOOM! Bam...WoW! What a drive! Lookit that blocking! What the heck is that mincing, dancing figure doing?! Omigosh... is that a tackle or a rape scene? I Can't Look! Somebody call a cop!" "OOH-OOH!"
Lovable JOE E. ROSS tells all about how to score in football, stage, screen and sex on laughable LAFF RECORDS. "Lib and let lib," he says... "just as long as they buy the record!"
Now, Listen to it:
The Joe E. Ross Comedy Album
Break the Bank with celebrity panelists Jan Murray, Dick Gautier, Abe Vigoda, Lynda Carter, Robert Hegyes and so forth (1976)
A large roster of television stars, moderated by good old Tom Kennedy in a checkered suit.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Today Carl Reiner turns 86 years old. Here are a few episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show that he wrote.
Man, this is such a weird crossover. Phil Silvers hosts an installment of the A&E stand-up comedy program, An Evening at the Improv. It also features Leo Delyon on piano! Leo did voices for the cartoon Top Cat, which was based on The Phil Silvers Show. It's weird, it is sad (Phil was very sick) and its funny... and it's over nine minutes long. Man, would it ever have been something to have been there in attendance for a Phil Silvers fan. Unfotunately, I was two years old in the mountains of British Columbia when this went down. It's over here.
This has been on the site once before, removed from the internet by someone or other, and now it's back. Worth another view.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Here's a rare glimpse into the late seventies incarnation of the show. Good old Henry Morgan is still on the panel (having returned to America after a brief stint as a radio personality in Canada), but every one else is different. Bill Cullen is the natural choice for host and Rodney Dangerfield is the celebrity guest.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Another game show pilot that never made it past the experimental stage. This one was made for ABC but never broadcast. It includes an outtake at the 24 minute mark with directions that can be heard from the director asking them to re-do a segment. The voice is that of Jerome Schnur, a game show director who hadn't worked in television for three years after the program Dotto was indicted in the famous quiz show scandals. This show didn't make the grade and, to my knowledge, Schnur never did return to television.
This staple of daytime radio and television could often be painful to sit through. In this episode, host Jack Bailey mentions his disdain "for that Twist junk" that had been sweeping the dance floors of the nation.