Friday, December 7, 2007

The Very Funny Side of Pete Barbutti

Pete Barbutti was/is an eccentric jazz musician and comedian, known best for his many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. You can watch a couple of those old appearances over here. Barbutti eventually went on to host an absurd syndicated daytime television show called Celebrity Microwaves in the early eighties. I was going to upload his very funny Decca Records comedy album in its entirety today, titled The Very Funny Side of Pete Barbutti and released in 1967. But then I went to Barbutti's recently revamped website and discovered that the man himself has uploaded the LP in its entirety for free already! That and his earlier comedy LP on Chicago's VeeJay Records (primarliy the domain of Black R&B, DooWop, and Soul artists). The site immediately greets you with a montage of Tonight Show hosts introducing Pete. Other than Carson and Leno, you can see him introduced by guest hosts David Brenner, George Carlin, David Letterman, Martin Mull, Bob Newhart, Burt Reynolds and McLean Stevenson. You can also watch several of his television appearances that aren't anywhere else on the internet. That's all over here.


Anonymous said...

One afternoon, badly hungover, I was clicking around the tv and hit Celebrity Microwaves. It near to put me in the hospital - surely the most painful show I ever saw. Barbutti looked like he was about 10- seconds away from losing it completely. As if it had just hit him that it had really come to this, a celebrity microwave cookery show in Canada, and he was just struggling to get through the damn taping and then go murder his agent, slowly.
The jokes were all acidic, bleak cracks about the quality of the program, his career, moose, hockey etc. Truly surreal, as if Barbutti had suddenly found himself in a Lenny Bruce routine.
My own punk rock career (a band called modernettes)suddenly looked awfully good in comparison.
I only ever saw the one episode. I don't think I could have handled more than that.

Unknown said...

I have a very fond memory of Pete Barbutti. In my senior year at Clairemont High in San Diego (82-83)our band teacher convinced Pete do perform at our school auditorium. I believe he tempted Pete with some Tasti Cakes...Our band backed him up and, although our accompaniment wasn't nearly Tonight Show quality, I appreciate his appearance and treasure that night as one of my lasting memories of high school...Say what you will, but thanks for that memory Pete!