“This is Christmas chaos, reminding you that you COULD take a day off and relax. But then you’d be a jerk, and everyone would hate you.”
(This video is brought to you courtesy of Igniter Media, whose video player is sadly un-embeddable. So take a peek here and thank yourself later.)
“What are we gonna do about the tree?”
Look for a special guest appearance by Billy Crystal, and then I don’t know who shows up at the end to try to straighten everything out:
Although this is a secular comedian, he makes a very shrewd point here about the silliness of distancing oneself from “organized religion,” as if there is such a thing as “disorganized religion.” In the process, he also, perhaps unintentionally, provides a brilliant parody of many contemporary praise & worship songs.
A little outdated by now, but hey, I just now found it and felt led to share.
“So look, Vlad, just to recap our call, no progress was made here, right?”
“None at all.”
“Okay, take care!
Carol Burnett and Roddy McDowall are absolutely marvelous together. My, didn’t he grow up to be charming? ;-) They bide their time before breaking into “Moses Supposes,” but there’s so much good stuff here I figured I’d save myself a little time and just embed the whole thing. My only question: Shouldn’t it be “Thus, the seething sea sufficeth us?” Methinks he slippeth!
Roddy: “Try this one. Captain Craxcomb cracked his cousin’s coxcomb…”
Carol: “Will you knock that off?”
Last week I featured a clip of one of my favorite comic actors, Dick Van Dyke. Did you know that he has a kid brother who’s also a pretty darn good comedian? His name is Jerry, and I discovered him in this old episode of the Judy Garland Show. I immediately thought, “So THAT’S where Mark Lowry and Tim Hawkins got their weird!” I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some of their facial contortions and physical techniques were influenced by Jerry Van Dyke, maybe even specifically influenced by this routine, which is classic. In it, he lip-syncs/performs a 6-and-a-half minute version of the Lone Ranger’s radio debut. I actually have that radio broadcast on cassette tape, which made the routine even funnier for me to watch. He really hits his stride once Tonto shows up about half-way through:
When I was little, my three great loves were Dick Van Dyke, Danny Kaye and Donald O’Connor. (Pause for a gratuitous collage):
Where was I? Oh yes, one reason why these particular three were my great loves (w/apologies to Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, etc.) was that they all had something specific in common: They were geniuses of physical comedy. And nothing can make little kids laugh like brilliant physical comedy. Of the three, I probably fell hardest (as it were) for Dick Van Dyke, on the strength of his two classic performances in Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins. He is also the only one still with us today (with a Twitter account no less—check him out busting a dance move in the department store on Vine too). In today’s clip from his classic sitcom, he is inspired to unpack the science of slapstick and pantomime in front of a classroom of little kids, after failing to impress them merely with words and his cred as a sketch writer for the Alan Brady show. Enjoy:
In this rare clip from a 1952 episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour, Donald O’Connor and his underrated partner in comedy Sid Miller have the Tin Pan Alley blues. Try and try as they might, the next “White Christmas” is eluding the starving, freezing would-be hit-makers. They proceed to spoof the classic genre in side-splitting style.
“Beethoven said in order to write great music you gotta suffer.”
“We gotta suffer.”
I have marked off the ending of the skit before they segue into some impressions pairing up famous actors, but that skit is pure gold too, so if you like you can hover ’til you see an “x” and click ‘n’ drag to keep watching (or just go here and skip forward). If you know anything about old movies, you’ll love their takes on Edward G. Robinson + Lionel Barrymore, Ronald Colman + Peter Lorre, Bing Crosby + Barry Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Cagney + Jimmy Stewart. Donald’s Bing and Stewart are spot-on and it’s all quite wonderful. Plus, 50s product placement: “Ah Bing my boy, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, your voice is as fine as Fab, as brilliant as Halo, and as powerful as Ajax.”