Friday, June 6, 2008

The New York Improv: A Documentary

Jerry Seinfeld and Carol Leifer ask Bob Hope "a question from the audience," Larry David with hair, a headshot montage set to the Johnny Quest theme and lots of other neat goodies in this obscure documentary. I can't tell if it is three separate things pasted together, a doc, a newscast, and a home made chunk or what. Some footage is obviously from 1976-77, other parts are from 1983. I dunno.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with guest George Carlin (1972)

William Castle's Zotz! (1962)

I'm always a big fan of old movies that ditch the big star in exchange for a plethora of recognizable character actors and William Castle's Zotz! is a prime example. With the two leads played by Tom Poston and Jim Backus, the picture becomes somewhat irresistable. A post like this also makes it irresistable not to link back to a slight magazine article I wrote about the picture last year.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jam Session with host Mort Sahl and guests The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1958)

An unaired pilot.

George Kirby: A Night in Hollywood

George Kirby is one of the great mimics in the history of stand-up comedy. He was quite famous throughout the fifties and sixties, known best to regular viewers of The Ed Sullivan Show. He had a remarkable voice that allowed him to impersonate voices in a variety of ranges. His most impressive feats were his bang-on impression of Ella Fitzgerald and what is probably his most famous bit, a perfect vocal impersonation of Pearl Bailey. Both of those are on display on this, his first comedy LP, as well as takes on Marlon Brando (perhaps the earliest of all the Brando impressions), Louella Parsons, Arthur Godfrey, Johnny Mathis and several more. This record was recorded in the late fifties but I can not give you a specific year.

Kirby also drops the name of his contemporary Moms Mabley on this album and does an extended version of a joke about pot smokers that appeared on the Chess LP Moms Breaks Up the Network. This record was pressed by the Dooto outfit. 

Dooto Records was known best as the label that released tons of Redd Foxx material, but they also showcased doo-wop groups like The Penguins and The Medallions and up and coming African-American comedians like Don Bexley and a young kid billed as Rudy Moore.

The Mike Douglas Show with guest George Carlin (1971)