Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Insane (1980)

I found this one at Golden Olides in the summer of 1999, still sealed. I hadn't found any of the Laff albums for a while at this point, and this was one I had definitely never seen anywhere. The cover drawing is of Richard standing in a padded cell, in a straightjacket (was this supposed to be tied in with Stir Crazy ?).

Side one starts off nicely with bits on growing up in Peoria. I like how he describes it: "Whatever you think about when you hear the name, that's what it's like!...One person threw up!". He talks about his early-morning exercise routine, and goes into a bit about the school bully, on whom he and some buddies get revenge on by overloading the barbell he's going to lift up during a school assembly (this was performed on a few TV appearances, and seemed to be a favorite bit to some).

Then it goes into some poorly-recorded but funny bits about New York subways, bad Coke machines ("your Coke comes pouring out, with no cup!"), and the dirty movies playing on 42nd Street. He talks about the then-popular nudie adventure movies, playing for an audience of guys with coats in their laps who get angry when the movie is found laughable: "Dont'cha have any ruh-spect!?!?". The last bit is about a woman who comes onto him in a Chicago hotel room; Take off your clothes, she purrs, and Richard does, and "she put them on, and left!".

Side two finds Richard at some pretty strange/unfamiliar venues, or in front of audiences who didn't get him. It starts out with him telling one-liners, accompanied by a pianist (!?!?!?), using a Jackie Mason-type accent, and the audience isn't terribly interested. Then it cuts into another set in front of an unruly audience, and he's not going over very well with the audience, or they just don't get the material. The rest of the side comes from the Troubadour, with his fire-and-brimstone preacher/faith-healer closing the album, but using the same bits from Who Me? I'm Not Him .

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