This weekend we had some old friends staying. The weather was “mixed” so during some of the wetter periods we revisited with them some of our most memorable amusing recordings. We still have some of these on cassette tapes and our only remaining tape player is quite unreliable so I was looking on the web for suitable recordings. And I was pleasantly surprised to find many of them freely available. So I thought I would share some of them via this blog.
The idea really started when I heard a radio programme featuring the “Bricklayer’s Lament” by Gerard Hoffnung, a comic who died tragically early at the age of 34 from a cerebral haemorrhage. There is a recording of him relating the story at the Oxford Union in 1958 which is very funny, I think ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZUJLO6lMhI ).
Our thinking then turned rather musical and we turned to Tom Lehrer, who I thought must by now be dead but it appears is still alive. His suggestion for a PR tune for the Catholic Church “The Vatican Rag” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f72CTDe4-0) is hilariously provocative, as is his satire on rocket engineer Werner von Braun (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ9HrZq7Ro). On hearing that Henry Kissinger had been awarded the Nobel Peace prize he famously claimed that this made “political satire obsolete”.
Penultimately, we acquainted our guests with Anna Russell, an Anglo-Canadian lady who had a very funny routine explaining Wagner’s Ring Cycle. This is quite a long presentation but very worthwhile I think, although maybe an acquaintance with the opera is a necessary prerequisite (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv7G92F2sqs.)
Finally, we ended up with David Sidaris and his Stadium Pal story, which is a must for anyone that has not heard it before (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejEcOMqBvpY).
If anyone who reads this has favourite clips I would like to hear about them.