Monday, May 9, 2011
This was the other one that my Dad had in his collection for years, and I remember liking the cover a lot as a kid. Again, kind of a strange thing to have on a comedy record, but I loved the little hot-rods jetting off the side of a cliff to the rocks down below. I always thought that they should have had cartoon drawings of the guys in the cars instead of the little raised fists. And then, on the back, we have pictures of the guys in action; at work, and at play. When I first saw it, I thought Bob Hudson was the Skipper from Gilligan's Island, or at least had a strong resemblance. We see them dressed up as their familiar characters, and as characters we will be hearing on the album. Going by these pictures, these guys should have had their own TV show, as they would have pulled it off very well. Ah, what could have been...!
"The Soul Bowl" starts things off, and earns them another classic piece. Ace Grovney is back, this time interviewing the amazing and legendary football coach, Blueberry Hill, who gives us the run-down of the rostrum of players to be in the big game at the Soul Bowl. You will be in absolute hysterics at the list of players' names, such as Booker T. Welfare, "Lima Bean" Greene, "Outta Town" Brown, The Automatic Toe, and too many more to name. Amazed, Ace predicts the upcoming game to be the mother of all losing games!
"Bruiser LaRue Meets Count Dracula"...the title says it all. Bruiser, caught in the rain (and having lost his raincoat in the man-eating plants outside), is welcomed into Drac's castle for a "bite", gets scared by yowling cats, and is intrigued by Sammy the werewolf, who has every hang-up in the book. Bruiser all of a sudden has to "skip along", and goes out to meet Sammy: "Yoo-hoooo!".
"The Rising And Falling Of Adolph Hitler" is the one cut on the record that no-one in the audience seems to find very funny, or interesting. We learn that Der Fuhrer is alive and living in Argentina, although plagued by falling and spastic spells, and is ready to show the world "no more mister nice guy!".
Hudson's famous drunk wanders into "Ajax Pet Store", looking for his lost dog, Fred. He's calling for him, to the annoyance of the owner, and tries to convince him that his pet mouse, Conrad, can whistle like a canary. He asks for a pound of those fish over there, and when he's told they're South American pirhana, he then asks for just half a pound!
"Charlie Chin" is the legendary Oriental detective who's summoned to a billionaire's cocktail party, and asked if he can find out who killed everyone there. The answer, and how he comes up with it, is too silly to mention.
"The Hippo" is a rather odd exercise routine, featuring Sir Basil and Sir Geoffrey, set to a bluesy shuffle in the background, which breaks off into weird, sped-up breaks and another voice cajoling them: "Well, c'mon, guys--charge!!!".
Ol' Wilbur calls up "Ajax Mortuary", as his brother is dead after eating a bad batch of chili con carne, and he's looking for a funeral house on the cheap. Landry does a good Boris Karloff voice, as the proprietor, who tells Wilbur that they can't pick up, as they've been busy and "things are piling up!". Wilbur decides, "Well, it wouldn't be no trick to balance him on the back of my Honda!", making this almost an early prototype of Weekend At Bernie's. Sick humor, indeed, and a favorite of many.
"Murph Almighty" is a good, wacky religious bit about another new religion, where the interviewer is being told about Murph, who came out of a green egg in a warm canal, and now everyone worships him...and aluminum!
"Frontier Christmas"...ah yes, an absolute classic, and definitely one of the best bits they ever wrote. It stars an elderly couple, the Harlowes, with the husband as a cranky old Archie Bunker-type, and the Missus as a sweet old wife who just wants to have a great Christmas, but also is concerned that she doesn't get too wasted for church the next morning! Harlowe secretly gets back an old music-box they'd sold off along the way to their home, with a little help from the local Indian chief, Red Feather. The ending to this bit will actually make tears come to your eyes, and you realize that Harlowe knew the real meaning of Christmas all along!
"The Heads" is actually "Ajax Lost & Found", where the clerk is trying to help a very drunk Hudson find his brother, Fred. There's very many words in this bit that rhyme with "Fred" that would make Dr. Suess proud. Very strange sound quality, it sounds like it was recorded through an old telephone hand-set, and a wacky sound-effects edit at the very end.
UPDATE: MARCH 28, 2012:
I found the cassette copy of this album on eBay, and when I clicked on the picture of the cassette-box label, I noticed that it contained two extra tracks. I sent away for it, and it showed up sooner than I expected. The album's running order is shuffled around a bit, to facilitate space for the extra tracks. They were not recorded in front of an audience, and were perhaps bits from their radio show.
"The Smitherly Brothers", closing side one, has the guys as real Deliverance-type hicks looking to play a prank over the phone on one of their neighbors; not one of their best bits, and it comes to a rather sudden stop. The other track on side two, "On The Street", has Landry as a street-interviewer talking to a masonry worker who loves to patch up imperfections wherever he goes. In fact, he just whipped up a batch of cement and paved over an entire stretch of sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard, outside a certain Chinese Theater!