The Future of Trump Parodies

Humor can be a place where we celebrate what we as a human race value: honesty, love, safety, racial equality, fairness, peacefulness. We usually do this by poking fun at the times when any of these values are violated by public figures such as world leaders or celebrities. Usually these violations happen once or twice, but what if it happens all the time … ?

It’s been an amazing month on the talk show circuit regarding how Trump and his administration have been lampooned by seemingly every stand-up comedian and talk show host — and don’t forget Saturday Night Live. It will also be interesting to note how much mileage you would get out of the political satire.

Melissa McCarthy will have to work hard to try to make the caricaturing of Sean Spicer fresh for the next four years. The same can be said for Alec Baldwin, or anyone charged with hosting a nighttime talk show, like Bill Maher or Stephen Colbert.

But I guess, it is not just Trump that is a laughingstock. It is also a large swath of his administration and his appointees. It looks comedians are already lampooning Education Secretary Betsy where can you buy tramadol DeVos, Chief Strategist (and probably the real (unelected) president) Steve Bannon (who right now appears on SNL as a kind of Grim Reaper), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and of course Mike Pence (the Vice President), Jeff Sessions, the list goes on. The field is so ripe with those who shall be referred to as “characters”, that it could also turn out that the supply of satirical material will be nearly unlimited. It would be a surprise if somewhere there is a quiet, boring place in government where things just go on as usual, under this administration. A department inside of a department that no one has ever paid attention to and no politician cares about. Oh, the hilarious possibilities in that!

It is worth noting that I have not really been a fan of SNL for some time now, as many haven’t, but seeing that their ratings have been the best since the days of Wayne’s World, and possibly since the days of The Blues Brothers, it doesn’t look like they are going to slow down the pace any time soon, and it might be high time I start tuning in.

Famous Teetotalers 06: Very expressive people

American actor Jim Carrey attends the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, "Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape." AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey – Probably one of the funniest comedians alive, the star of the Ace Ventura sequels, The Mask, and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has had a few ups and downs in his private life, including battling depression, he has sworn off all meds, booze, and even coffee, and has been that way since at least 2013.

rollins
Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins – This former lead member of the post punk group Black Flag and later becoming a maker of several spoken word records, appearing in lots of films, found drugs and alcohol to be “a bummer”, and tended to be too much of a bore, and so he has never felt the need to drink. He says he gets his highs from listening to music and performing.

What I liked about Robin Williams

Robin Williams, 1951-2014
Robin Williams, 1951-2014

Robin Williams was a great comedian, whose greatest strengths lay in ad-libbing. It is said that the writers for Mork and Mindy left intentional gaps in the script so that Robin could fill it in with his lightning-fast ad-libbing.

He played very funny characters on stage and TV, but he also played very warm, but serious characters on film. One serious character was his role as counselor Sean Maguire in the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, a film loosely based on the life of Will Sidis, a real-life savant, rumored to have an IQ of 250 to 300, but his IQ could not have been as high as that. Indeed, the scale does not go above 200.

Whatever he played, there was an undeniably human quality about every character he played, as far as I could tell. Even the zaniest or improbable characters had a human quality you could connect with emotionally.

He was an actor with an amazing amount of energy, and he will surely be missed.

Robin Williams died today at age 63.

Rob Ford: A comedy Review

Rob Ford, played on SNL by Bobby Moynihan.

The Saturday Night Live (SNL) parody of the Toronto Crack-Smoking-Mayor-in-name-only Rob Ford has been roundly declared, from many sources in radio and blogs, and me, to be not funny. A post-mortem is in order as to why SNL, the foremost bastion of coolness-and-funny, dropped the ball bigtime on this one with last Saturday’s show opener regarding Rob Ford.

Writing comedy is hard work. Parody and satire are the worst to write about. Satire can’t not be funny. Satire that does not make you laugh quickly becomes a big turn-off. And to make things worse, in this situation, it is Rob Ford himself who has all the best lines, and he delivers them deadpan, with no sense of irony. That would be the mark of a great comic actor, but he is not acting. He is the definitive windbag, with his grandiosity billowing in full sail, and no one wants to tell him how full of it he really is. And so not being told, he keeps going full steam ahead, the gift to The Comedy Network that keeps on giving.

SNL was going for something truly ambitious when they broke ranks with other comic satirists such as Bill Maher, David Letterman, Steven Colbert, and the best of the bunch Jon Stewart by actually making a skit of this.

A skit. Like, you know, with actors and saying lines, and stuff.

And who would play Rob Ford? And would they do justice to him and the whole situation? It’s hard. Try it, sometime. That would mean that your punchlines have to compete with Ford’s. And SNL, populated with the best comic writers in America, couldn’t match him. All they could muster were a few sentences ending in “eh?”, a drunken “best mayor” song and dance followed by a “crowd-surf” dive gone badly and couple of penis jokes. This kind of weak offering is the kind of writing a comic writer resorts to under a 3-day deadline with blank paper and 6 hours left. The story changes from underneath you, Ford steals your goddamn lines by saying something better in the interim, the wastebasket getting fuller and fuller with ideas that no longer work, and telling excuses to your boss at NBC won’t pay the bills. That had to be the scenario that produced the skit.

Jon Stewart, and just about everyone else, however, took the easy route, and in actuality the only sensible route. They played back recordings of Ford himself speaking the punchlines, with the real comedians playing “straight man” and reacting to him. That is really the only sensible way out. Rob Ford has to be understood as “the comedy which writes itself”. Literally, and there is really no choice. If you come up with something funny, Ford will blindside you with something more brilliant. Then, you’re not funny anymore. Your only hope is to know your place and play second fiddle to him, and just react.

[Media Monday] Collision of cultures

Another in a series of highly-circulated videos. Somewhere off the coast of Ireland in the North Atlantic, a large, fully-armed ship tries to avoid a collision with something on its radar which it thinks is another ship. They make radio contact, and find this smart-alecky Irish dude on the other end. American bravado versus Irish snarkiness. Who wins? This is an ad for the Swedish company Silva Navigation Systems.

[media id=87 width=400 height=300]

Crappy Album Covers #318 — Swingin’ People

Some guys are “leg men”, others are “breast men”. Here’s a “family man”. He should tell wifey to go easy on the popcorn. Followers of this blog will recognise that nudity had been a major staple of classical, big band, and other nerdy non-rock albums throughout the late sixties to early seventies, beginning with Herb Alpert.

By the time this album came out in 1970, Enoch Light and The Light Brigade was a big band that had been around off and on for 40 years. They largely had their heyday in the 1930s, and Enoch Light (1905-1978) was winding down his career by this time. He is credited with making experimental stereo recordings at a time when most homes and radio stations had mono equipment, chiefly during the 1950s and 1960s.

It is widely suspected that this is a Photoshop job. Since allmusic.com says that Buddy Cole (1916-1964) was active before 1960, an album cover like this would have been a little too much for the sensibilities of the McCarthy Era (late ’50s and early ’60s). However, what many claim to be the original cover make the young lady on the cover look like an amputee, with no legs at all. My claim is that they are both ‘shop jobs.

There are many subtle clues that this present cover is a ‘shop job. For one thing, she appears to have no left knee, which should be showing from behind her right arm. I noticed that most CAC bloggers that put this photo up failed to point this out. Actually, if you’re busy admiring her legs, it’s hard to notice. But once you do, you also notice that they’re disproportionately long, that her pelvis appears out of joint with her hips. To see this, size up her butt (I know you’re doing this anyway), then see where her panties are in relation to her butt (I know you’re staring at that too). Her whole butt looks double-jointed. Sorry if I just ruined this for you. But this is called a Crappy Album Cover journal for a reason.

Cole was a pianist who had an interest in the organ, and made several recordings with Henry Mancini and other big-band musicians of the era.

This album, “Have Organ, Will Swing” is not listed on Allmusic.com.

I’ll let the New Yorker finish, but …

Recently, Kanye West has taken to Twitter, and many of his quotable tweets have been repackaged by someone with a lot of time on their hands, and have become the new captions on many New Yorker cartoons. Not my cup of tea (I didn’t find them either funny or ironic, just dull), but here is an example. Clicking on the graphic will get you to the source of many more of these re-worked comic frames.

Crappy Album Covers #279 — Disco Lotion

1977 was the height of the disco invasion. And I say “invasion” rather than “revolution”, because at least revolutions are welcome in some homes.

Rod McKuen’s Disco parody “Slide Easy In … Disco” has been described as a “gay porn version of Grease”. The hit single “Amor” never made it in North America, but it was quite prominent in many European countries.

These days, if anyone looked like this at a border crossing, they would be subject to a cavity search on the spot.

That being said, many blogs remember Instant Funk’s brand of Philadelphia Soul quite fondly, in spite of their having changed record labels from TSOP to New York’s Salsoul Records prior to the release of this 1979 LP. Disco and its sub-genres had been on life support after its mega-overexposure by the Bee Gees by that time, and even the best albums of the genre were being abandoned by all but the most hard-core fans by that time.

The TSOP label was home to artists such as Lou Rawls, The Three Degrees, McFadden and Whitehead, and The O’Jays. I like these artists, and have never really associated them in my mind with Disco, except in the loosest sense of the term. They sound closer to R&B, and were grouped together with Instant Funk as part of the “Philly Soul” sound.

Crappy Album Covers #278 — Ellis Dee

This is a 1966 reocrding produced by Alan Livingston and Lawrence Schiller. Dick Clark is uncredited for the narration, and Dr. Sidney Cohen gives some medical background on various aspects of LSD.

I wish they would have taken the record sleeve designer’s stash of LSD and flushed it down the toilet.

This is the infamous Timothy Leary (1920-1996), with his recording, also from 1966, called “LSD”. This popularizer of the hippie can you buy viagra otc catch phrase “Tune in, turn on, drop out” and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 was a Harvard lecturer but was fired amidst allegations of involvement with various psychoactive drugs.

The lecture on this record came after police raids on his Milbrook esteate, looking for drugs. Hence, it is said this recording has a bitter tone to it, compared to his other recordings.

Crappy Album Covers #277 — Pink

After your first bottle, you say “Here come the Elephants”, after about 4 or 5, you say “Here comes the twister” (see below), and the room begins to spin. The album looks at least old enough to have Johnny Bond participate in The Iraq War Drinking Game (the first one), but in reality he was never alive for it, having died of a heart attack in 1978.

Cyrus Bond (1915-1978) had a string of top-10 hits in the 1940s up until the late 50s. In 1999, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I had agony researching this group. I ran into a freaking domain-parked website offering info on “Po Boy”, “The Boy” and “The Po”. It is painfully obvious that someone didn’t attend their RESL classes (that’s Redneck English as a Second Language).

Then there was this site. Our boyz don’t look like post-punk/hip-hop dudz, yo’. But if they were those Po’ Boys, they would have a killer logo.

I am new to Po’ Boysology, but according to my observations, any band buy tramadol overnight calling themselves The Po’ Boys seems to consist of

  1. 5 or 6 guys;
  2. members who only want to be addressed by their first names.
  3. The punkers call themselves:
    • James, Micheal, Mark
    • Dave, Robert, Dom
  4. The guys in the pink suits call themselves:
    • Jimmy Sonny, Snuffy,
    • Terry, and Jim

Just what we need  … two guys in the band whose names are Jimmy and Jim. Look, guys, they don’t have to be your real names. I’m sure one of you wasn’t christened Snuffy!?! Could one of you have picked a different name?

After a couple of pages of bizarre stuff having nothing to do with this band except the name, I gave up. But there is indeed a genre out there.

There is a brass band called “The Po’ Boys” which does a killer cover of Led Zep’s 1971 hit Black Dog:

[youtube WTZcSS55PP8 zep]

And as for the Twister, here are the Talking Heads, same as they ever were…

[youtube I1wg1DNHbNU heads]

Crappy Album Covers #276 — My Babe Magnet II

The Calvary Boys were a traditional Southern gospel group that formed around 1970. They hail from the Piney Woods region of Texas, often called “East Texas” or “Deep East Texas”. “Gettin’ Ready to Leave” might bave been their first album, although it is not mentioned on their website, as far as I could tell.

They call themselves a quartet. That might be because the other 3 folks in the picture are the mechanics. In Deep East Texas, you repair your own damn touring vehicle!

Chicks dig motorcycles. Dr. Dave had a novelty hit with “Vanna, Pick Me A Letter“, sung to the  tune “The Letter” (a #1 hit in 1967 by a group from Memphis Tennessee, calling themselves The Box Tops). “Vanna” was a staple on the Dr. Demento show, having been played on 38 episodes between 1986 and 2008.

Dr. Dave (David Kolin) channels his best Cheech Marin imitation (at least that’s what it sounds like), making it a matter of debate in the song that phone is spelled F-O-N-E, and trying to convince Vanna to come to his place to play The Home Edition.

What you are looking at is the cover of their 12″EP released in 1986.

Crappy Album Covers #275 — What’s that in your pipe?

Pipes, as shown here, can be fun for both boys and girls. You can slide down the mouthpiece; stand on top of a flame coming out of the pipe and not get burnt. Just as you can smoke a pipe and not get lung cancer, or walk between the raindrops in a storm and not get wet.

Los Melodicos is the brainchild of Renato Capriles, way back in 1958, and made its debut as one of Venezuela’s foremost Latin-oriented orchestras, and have made over 100 albums.

The anthropologists knew about ‘shrooms all along. They had the jump on the hippie tramadol 200 mg buy online generation, who tried to use it under the ruse of “artistic inspiration”.

Yeah, mushroom ceremony, my arse. They were passing aruond the pipe because they couldn’t get enough of that buzz.

The Mazatec (meaning “Lords of the Deer”, which is often something you see when you are stoned) were an “Indian” (aboriginal) tribe in the south of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca to the south. Their recorded history was made up of either defensive war against the Aztecs or defensive war against the Spanish Conquistadores.

Crappy Album Covers #274 — Psychedelia

Psychedelic art is supposedly the kind of art induced by drugs such as LSD. The thinking being, that the kind of mental state induced by psychedelic drugs are a kind of artistic inspiration.

Psychedelia had long died out as a fad in 1977 when Dragon released their third album, Sunshine. I have a painting below which is popular in psych textbooks. It was a painting of a cat owned by Louis Wain back in the early 20th century in the later stages of the onset of schizophrenia. He needed no drugs to turn his ordinary still life into works of psychedelia.

I wish these guys chose a better color scheme. But these are Austin Texas denizens who call themselves The 13th Floor Elevators, late 60s cult favourites. They have been covered by bands like REM, Jesus and Mary Chain, ZZ Top, and Primal Scream.

13th Floor Elevators had, among their more normal instruments, the use of a jug — an electric one, no less.

Here is a Lous Wain’s cat, after having late onset schizophrenia:

And here are the 13th Floor Elevators with one of their bigger hits “You Gonna Miss Me”

[youtube cYh5oMDlWwQ You Gonna Miss Me]

Crappy Album Covers #273 — The SJ Blind Dating Service

Jerry Hitt is a do-it-yourselfer (album cover wise) from way back, and it is difficult to pick out the year of this recording.
Joyce Drake’s stunt double, Joyce Landorf meets Jerry Hitt and they now are cozy together thanks to the SJ Blind Dating service.

Crappy Album Covers #270 — The Overuse of Cadillacs

After some looking about, I can’t for the life of me remember where I got the record cover from. While the name of the jpeg has the word “coverbrowser” in it, I tried “Coverbrowser.com” and several search strings, to no avail.

I recall it was a jazz band, possibly one that was popular in the night clubs. I know nothing else. All evidence of the origin of this photo has disappeared into the Internet memory hole.

Guy Drake had a minor spoken-word hit with “Welfare Cadillac”, a song which poked fun of welfare recipients. Johnny Cash was asked to perform for Richard Nixon, and Welfare Cadillac was one of the songs Cash was requested to play. He refused, citing “short notice” rather than political reasons.

Drake’s tune was one of a small group of “right-wing” hits; another from the same period being “Hokie From Muskokie”, a tribute to Nixon’s Silent Majority who didn’t protest the war, didn’t use recreational drugs, and didn’t listen to rock-and-roll.

Crappy Album Covers #269 — For the Kiddies

Colby was a TV series that began in the late ’80s, that send a Christian message to children. You can find Colby records and CDs for sale at on-line Christian bookstores everywhere.

The title “God Uses Kids!” smacks of this other CAC posting.

If I was a child and I wanted to be introduced to jazz, I would let Cannonball Adderley introduce me to it. In the 50s and 60s, he, Miles Davis, and others were considered the best in their field. Adderley played on Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” LP, released in the late 50s, the album which was to Jazz what Sergeant Pepper was to Rock and Roll.

Crappy Album Covers #268 — Sensitive People

By some coincidence, both of these album releases are from Cuba, and from the year 1968.

Eduardo Davidosn (1929-1994) is a cuban-born musician who released a 1968 album called “Le Chien (The Dog)”, perhaps in an early effort to make himself the darling of animal rights groups.
A muted version of The Many Facets of Roger… here, we see the two sides of La Lupe’s armchair.

Guadalupe Victoria Yoli Raymond (1939-1992) had a brief but rewarding career in the late 60s and early 70s, being the first Cuban singer to sell out in Madison Square Garden, but was in an increasing state of poverty later in life.