Monday, May 9, 2011

Hanging In There (1971)

This was one of two that my Dad had in his collection. I remember seeing the cover for it and thinking it was a pretty bizarre thing to have on a comedy album, a very old photo of two guys hanging by their necks. Then again, always a good thing to have a little "sick" humor, and a clever title to go along with it.

"Ajax Liquor Store" starts it all off, and makes stars of these guys overnight, not to mention a Grammy nomination. For the uninitiated, it's about a guy ordering a boatload of booze over the phone, although he's already a few sails into the wind as it is. This routine has so many great hooks and quotes that you'll be be pilfering from it for years to come, such as "[My wife]'s out of town, but I do this in her memory!" and "Where Bambi goes, nothing grows!" . My favorite part goes like this...

H: You have any beer?
L: Yes, we have beer!
H: Ah, okay!
L: We have 16-ounce cans, and we have 12-ounce cans.
H: Uh-kay!!!!

A very creative video featuring characters from The Jetsons can be found at:

"Hippie And The Redneck" is an equally great routine about a carefree hippie getting pulled over by a loud redneck sheriff (who makes Sheriff Buford T. Justice sound like a Stanford graduate) who's about to call the judge over the CB radio, sees the hippie smoking a little reefer, and decides to take the evidence into his own hands. This a great routine to play for your stoner friends.

W.C. Fields wanders into "Pierre's Restaurant" and is trying to get a roasted duck from a snooty French waiter who's trying to keep him quiet and satisfied. As Fields says here, "Don't put any mayonnaise under the wings...makes their little goosebumps go down!".

"Kearsarge" is a Man On The Street interview segment, where the host is trying to interview what sounds like the dumbest hick that ever came from Deliverance-ville. He's a farmer who grows buckwheat and radishes, specifically to keep the wolverines off his land. A lengthy (and somewhat uninteresting) follow-up, "Five Points", closes the album's second side.

"Top-40 DJ's" is the guys' idea of what it would sound like if two Top-40 morning-radio disc-jockeys met up and talked to each other the same way they do to their listening audience, packed with the stereotypical jockey patter of the day. My favorite part...

L: Like really, man, when the rest are talkin', I'm rockin'!
H: Hoppin', boppin', snap and bingo!
L: John, Paul, George and Ringo!
H&L: Hea-veeee!!!!

"Impossible Dreams" is about a very gay-sounding guy at the psychiatrist's office, telling about the bizarre dreams he's been having. The guy who's having the dreams is a pre-cursor to a famous football figure we'll be hearing from again very soon.

"Porno Flicks" finds Landry as a barker outside the local nudie-movie house, trying to convince a sheepish Hudson to go in and check out the movies they're showing; Hudson is wanting to, but coyly muttering, "I dunno...I hear a bunch-a weirdos come down here...if anybody from my church saw me...!!". When he wanders off to go the The Sound Of Music instead, Landry shrugs it off with a classic line: "Boy, you can tell when times are good...people will blow their money on anything!".

"Friar Shuck" is a fire-and-brimstone Southern tent-preacher who is going to "open that good book and take a good look!" and rid the world of true evils, such as rogue, miniskirts and topless dancing.

Lew Bedell, Dore founder and producer, later noted that this album's recording session cost only $500, and it brought them a gold album and single, and a Grammy nomination. Not a bad return at all!

UPDATE: MARCH 28, 2012:

I saw a picture of the 8-track cartridge of this album on eBay, and it has an extra track on it, "The Pilots", which is more than likely "Flying", which later turned up on The Complete Collection.

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