Randy Hodgins and Steve McLellan’s lifelong love of comedy was kindled when they met more than 40 years ago in graduate school in Seattle. While managing family and professional work responsibilities, they hosted a one hour comedy radio program on Saturday mornings for 10 years on a small radio station in Olympia, WA and also co-authored two books on northwest popular culture – Seattle on Film (1995) and Wet and Wired (2000). Stuck at home during the early days of the pandemic with hundreds of comedy albums, cassettes and CD’s gathering dust on their shelves, they launched Laugh Tracks Legends of Comedy in May 2020, a weekly mini-program featuring a different comedy icon, with biographical bits and a nice slice of the comedy that made them famous. From standup stars, to stellar sketch teams, to novelty music maestros -- they are all part of our Legends.
3:31Meet Kyle Kinane, a comic who looks like everyman, but whose razor sharp humor has won him elite fans around the world. Since emerging as a star in the 2010s, Kyle has recorded six albums, been a globally touring workhorse, hosted podcasts, and was a voice actor as a drug-addicted, drug-sniffing police dog. You know, typical comedy stuff. Kyle's comedy is often built around the contradiction between how he looks (big beard, flannel shirt, gruff) and his style which is playful and self-deprecating. As always, find extra clips below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Kyle? Kyle has a distinctive look and at a recent appearance in Australia he started by clearing up a few misconceptions! https://youtu.be/cvTS7uQ09ok?si=XOLtYgsFHZbSGbKW Kyle's comedy often probes the contradictions we face in our everyday live. For instance, why is he a vegan who still wears leather?https://youtube.com/shorts/qj_RqAn9fFI?si=AqjemldJ-0FtRVNe Kyle's take on cryptocurrency is a great example of his style. Lead with some self-deprecation then close with a punchline you didn't quite see coming. https://youtu.be/cvTS7uQ09ok?si=XOLtYgsFHZbSGbKW&t=183
The Blues Brothers
3:31"It's 106 miles to Chicago. . ." You know the rest, especially if you are a fan of the Blues Brothers, the musical comedy invention of John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd and one of the breakout hits of the original Saturday Night Live, earning sold out concert tours, two feature films, platinum albums, and spinoffs and tributes that continue today. A serendipitous meeting of John Belushi with future blues star Curtis Salgado in Eugene during the filming of Animal House gave John the blues bug, as well as the moves. Danny Ackroyd was already a huge blues fan, even buying a blues bar to unwind in after SNL tapings. Put that together and you had some real combustible magic -- and a real boost for blues music and blues musicians at a time it was sorely needed. As Dan Ackroyd put it (in the persona of Elwood Blues) "We're on a mission from God." Mission accomplished! As always find full cuts below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Blues Brothers? The Blues Brothers was a fun (and funny) movie -- and a very quotable one at that. See if you or your friends quoted any of these lines after the movie came out in 1980. https://youtu.be/TrxSM_Gxtqw?si=hJq1l2i9OKtyxFJl The Blues Brothers specialized in excavating superb blues tunes from singers who weren't household words (unless your house had it's own Jake and Elwood). And Jake learned well from his teachers, including Curtis Salgado, that a little ad=libbed naughtiness in the middle of a song always brought a big reaction. Check out this version of Willie Mabon's "I Don't Know" from a 1978 Winterland concert. And man, what a band! https://youtu.be/eBcc7PvXAHg?si=c4K9JH8m8jMUsYHw Blues Brothers 2000 paled in comparison to the original in critical reception and box office, but that isn't really fair given the task (replacing John Belushi). There are some great bits in here and the musical numbers are over the top. https://youtu.be/2eEpcETVV3s?si=dYwZrWy6qTq1kVf1
3:31It may be 2024 but to us it's still the Al Franken decade! One of SNL's original staff writers (and occasional on-air talent), Al Franken first announced his "decade" on SNL way back in the 1970s, but since then he has gone on to a career in movies, tv, radio, standup comedy, and a stint as the United States Senator from the state of Minnesota. He also penned a number of wickedly funny books of political analysis and satire, winning a Grammy in 1996 for the audio version of "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot". He's also collected five Emmy award for his writing and today, Al hosts his own podcast. So what if Al's is now approaching 50 years?? We say, well played, Mr. Franken! Want more Al? As we said in the intro, Al once pronounced it "The Al Franken Decade" -- here's Al from SNL taking stock of progress. https://youtu.be/wyoaOZW7rTo?si=hvv619eODQxNbddE One of Al's best loved characters was his least political -- a very "new age" self help hosted named Stuart Smalley. He turned it into a book and a movie, but first it appeared as an SNL skit. https://youtu.be/HMRX-Wj2WOk?si=ZKVCg_sQLyob_kCL Al was on top of the comedy world back in 1996 after his very funny and very pointed book about Rush Limbaugh (and his ilk) scaled the NYT best seller chart. That year Al was also tapped to host the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Here are some more highlights. https://youtu.be/Cp4vZG-PqII?si=RahZsVsFktJyRzWa Al recently returned to the spotlight with a well-received guest hosting stint on The Daily Show and a sold out standup tour -- "The Only Former U.S. Senator on Tour Tour". Here's Al with a promo for that tour. https://youtu.be/daGrLOtkyE0?si=LfweOFzKTSeNo_9f
3:31Meet the "Jazz Comedian" Franklyn Ajaye who is a fine jazz clarinetist along with a stellar career as a standup comic and character actor. Franklyn started in the 1970s with a series of excellent stand-up albums and roles in a number of popular movies including the iconic "Car Wash" in which he played a lovable motormouth known as "The Fly". Eventually tiring of American political life, Franklyn decamped to Australia where he has become a favorite on stage and screen. And he still takes an occasional role in an American hit such as that of Maya Rudolph's dad in Bridesmaids, or as part of HBO's Deadwood. As always, find extra clips below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Franklyn? Early in his career Franklyn made the rounds of tv talk shows and this clip from Merv Griffin is a good sample of his style. https://youtu.be/cog_NERLS6Y?si=QvxV4-U2QT052R6_ Franklyn cut three excellent standup albums in the 1970s, but he may be best remembered as Dee-Luxe Car Wash employee T.C. "The Fly" Elcott, in the classic 1976 comedy Car Wash. https://youtu.be/qE1u-W1uGz4?si=Fnyilj--PAgnjrCK This is a fun piece from Franklyn's "Talking Vagabond Jazz" show about a bit of Star Trek lore loved by all pop culture aficionados. https://youtu.be/oM4bi3sU59w?si=ENw4W7TyLb5JyEVG Here's a rare special that follows Franklyn on tour in Australia in 1990, and also features a bit of his clarinet at the start. https://www.reddit.com/.../jazz_comedian_franklyn.../...
Beavis and Butt-head
3:31Huh-huh, huh-huh-huh. Yes, it's time to meet Beavis and Butt-head, the legendary creations of Mike Judge who went on to MTV stardom, movie hits, and several revivals by providing boneheaded stupidity and lots of it, with some rock and roll thrown in for good measure. Based on a composite of middle-school morons Judge knew, Beavis and Butt-head shocked pundits and reviewers with its crude humor, but audiences begged to differ. So get out the Winger albums -- it's time for B and B! As always, find extra clips below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more B&B? This is short but fun -- Butt-head provides his all purpose verdict on music, food, people, tv, etc. that suck. https://youtu.be/UcbXCMvpmWo?si=2_20aWuoG1cEaY5n The clear breakout star of Beavis and Butt-head was "The Great Cornholio" who appeared when Beavis had too many stimulants (candy and caffeine in his case). Here's the transformation process in action.https://youtu.be/9oPTTfNuolc?si=PLWOAsUJCUECeeWl When Paramount rebooted Beavis and Butt-head for it's 30th Anniversary, as with most cartoons the characters were stuck in their original time frame. But not always as in this gem where a current-day B&B apply for a job with Amazon! https://youtu.be/7eU8ovtnzvw?si=FnkqxUdfoMEZctZG
Bob Rivers (Twisted Tunes)
3:31Meet Bob Rivers, long-time Seattle morning disc jockey, Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and for our purposes most importantly the man behind Twisted Tunes! Over the course of a 40 year radio career Rivers wrote and produced hundreds of razor sharp parodies of popular hits. Part of Bob's genius was his ear for voice talent, so his AC/DC parodies really sounded like AC/DC and the Beatles bits sounded like the Beatles. After a "Twisted Christmas" album hit the charts, Bob began releasing more tunes and they grew to have their own life separate from the radio show. When he retired in 2014, he was recalled in the press as a morning host who didn't need to shock -- he just unleashed superior wit and musicianship to get his laughs. As alway, find extra clips below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Bob? Bob was a master of stylistic satire and his take on Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" is parody perfection. https://youtu.be/9hNkfvW64VU?si=V5ypF_XYpQr4a-80 Bob once said he believed the OJ Simpson murder trial generated more Twisted Tunes than any other single event. This one, "OJ's Dirty Laundry" is a fine parody of Don Henley's then-big hit. https://youtu.be/As5swSslDVM?si=Mz8rc6IQf2JD9ocd Perhaps the most popular Twisted Tune was Bob's parody of Joan Osborne's "What if God was One of Us?". https://youtu.be/wwnXsdCbUYI?si=BRxPbvGkxdxPmO46 It doesn't happen often, but even in retirement Bob still pops out a Twisted Tune and the one he did for Covid showed he'd lost nothing off his fastball! https://youtu.be/RgAbsDKHaW0?si=5TkunrGaWZ5OUv5b
3:31It's Ebony and Ivory, baby, and we've got the Chairman of the Board to sing it for you today! Well, ok, we actually have Joe Piscopo with his superb Frank Sinatra impression that he frequently deployed on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s. His SNL run also included one of the most cringe inducing (in a good way) SNL characters ever -- Doug Whiner. After a few missteps along the way after SNL (bodybuilding!), Joe developed a touring act that focuses on his musical impressions and has become a long running talk radio host in New York. As always find extended cuts below and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Joe? Joe Piscopo has the misfortune to join SNL just after the original cast and Lorne Michaels had all departed. Lucky for him, Eddie Murphy was also along for the ride and they were the only two kept the next year when they became breakout stars and were featured in what is often voted one of SNL's best sketches ever -- take it away Stevie Wonder and The Chairman of the Board. https://youtu.be/U3-2Z2rmG0w?si=OTAogohQXoxAqq1K While his mimicry made him a star, Joe stood out in other sketches, none more so than as Doug Whiner, half of "The Whiners", a couple who meet every minor problem with a gale force blast of -- well, whining! https://youtu.be/xH8yt71CDNU?si=9N7fFa3SAD4vW7Dd Joe had always reveled in his New Jersey background -- in later talk radio incarnation he was known as "Jersey Joe". So is it any surprise that the centerpiece of his 1985 comedy album and special titled New Jersey would be another favorite son. https://youtu.be/otfMyWmkWfY?si=WQQwWhZzmDwToUSh Sorry for the rough picture quality, but we had to throw in a little bonus this week -- an extended cut of Joe as Sinatra absolutely wrecking rock songs including Under My Thumb. You'll never hear it the Rolling Stones way again. https://youtu.be/U3-2Z2rmG0w?si=MYrFx2hnvRZVg5Ai
3:31Happy Holidays from Randy and Steve! Instead of a single artist this week, we're going to dip into a little holiday comedy that will bring a smile to your face. Allan Sherman? Check! Elmo and Patsy? Check! Adam Sandler? Check! Doc Mo She (???) Check!!! You get the picture. And you also get our thanks for letting us be part of your holidays this year. As always, find extra cuts in the comments (and these are gems) and thanks for sharing our shows! Want more Holiday Humor? Jeff Foxworthy was a titan of standup comedy back in the 1990s and as all entertainers do, he adapted his shtick to the holidays and issued his version of the 12 Days of Christmas -- adding his "redneck" flavor to the proceedings. https://youtu.be/h8ISVIOgPJA?si=3yR6c1r-ARhM30UG We love Allan Sherman here and one of his best parodies was his take on the 12 Days, featuring some of the cheesier gifts of the moment. https://youtu.be/DgrkqDJFQoo?si=P3dWLQc1XKLJil-T Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis have created many fine comic characters, but none more beloved than those hosers from the Great White North, Bob and Doug McKenzie. Their take on 12 Days has a distinctly Canuck feel! https://youtu.be/c3aCw-RurOk?si=KQq8pBgYaZi0NDKW If there was an all-time Christmas novelty tune, Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" would surely be in the mix. A folk duo from Marin County, Elmo and Patsy cut this tune for fun, but it soon found its way onto radio playlists -- it was different, it was funny, and it was FCC clean! For DJs that was a Christmas miracle! https://youtu.be/MgIwLeASnkw?si=x1M2atIIojTp3VKl You don't usually associate Psychobilly/Roots wild man Mojo Nixon with Christmas tunes, but he weighed in with a naughty disc (Horny Holidays) back in 1992 and it had his great read on "Mr. Grinch"!https://youtu.be/A1YVehEGG6E?si=kFpqbEns4eQ0IQkJ The Christmas Jug Band is made up of some of the finest Marin County musicians and they come together once a year for a few fun and popular holiday concerts. They can handle the traditional holiday tunes -- and they can deliver this, a fun little ditty about Santa losing a prized possession!!https://youtu.be/D9zli5IC6qE?si=lWtM5I_OIDYjtD4- We always leave room for some Hanukkah humor, and it's getting easier to find each year as a new generation of Jewish humorists takes over. The absolute icon of the genre is Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song and here it is in all its SNL glory. https://youtu.be/KX5Z-HpHH9g?si=_AwmyvJ0035RHGDK Tom Lehrer wrote some of the best satirical songs ever, but his initial career was brief. So it was a delight for fans when his box set contained a few new tunes, including "I'm Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica"! https://youtu.be/R_3FjHEbdhc?si=uUUf3gGxy7XF6bIs Hanukkah Hip Hop? Of course we've got you covered! We saw a video of this years ago at a Dr. Demento lecture -- it's Doc Mo She, The Hanukkah Homeboy, letting you know what he's all about. https://youtu.be/Er8a7gOPe5Q?si=qNlRPZwWLLKIbtIj
3:31Saturday Night Live has always had cringeworthy characters and none moreso than Pat Riley, the androgynous, uncomfortable, and very funny creation of Julia Sweeney, this week's legend. With deep improv roots, Julia was on SNL for four years in the early 1990s, but after life dealt her a bad hand with a cancer diagnosis, she pivoted to one-woman shows, including God Said Ha! (about her medical journey) which later had a movie version produced by Quentin Tarantino. Since then, Julia has continued with one-woman shows and juicy supporting roles including as Andy Bryant's micromanaging mother. As always find extra clips below and thanks for sharing our shows. Want more Julia? Julia's most famous character was the androgynous and cringe inducing Pat Riley who she created at the Groundlings Improv Company, then took to Saturday Night Live and the big screen. Here Pat interacts with another legend -- the great Catherine O'Hara -- and the results are comedy perfection. https://youtu.be/Y6PcTOKSP0A?si=5FABnp5ebnNCJBpi Julia turned her greatest challenge -- a cancer diagnosis -- into her greatest triumph, the one-woman show God Said Ha! It's an intimate, tender, emotional, and very funny look at an often taboo topic. This snippet will give you a flavor, but the whole film is well worth your time.https://youtu.be/NcxWc6bpA-w?si=yvpfM5nKX7j7k9iG In recent years Julia has continued with one-woman shows, but she has also taken some great character roles such as that of Aidy Bryant's nagging mom in the Hulu Original series Shrill.https://www.metacritic.com/.../season-1/episode-2-date/
3:31For five decades Don Knotts charmed the public from early work as an ensemble player on The Steve Allen Show to his long run as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show to more family-friendly Disney movies than you can count, Don turned his "nervous man" personal into comedy gold. Later in his career, Don found a niche in small, but juicy supporting roles on Three's Company and in movies such as Pleasantville -- and he also reunited with Andy Griffith for the Matlock series. As always find more clips below and thanks for watching our shows! Want more Don Knotts? Don's greatest triumph came when he was cast as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife, a lovable bumbler, in The Andy Griffith Show. Here is one of Don's all time great bits as Barney gets into an argument with Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle. https://youtu.be/A1D78Y60gvo?si=oiL3o2wJBbWfQrqP In the 1960s Don starred in a run of family-friendly movies including The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Love God, The Reluctant Astronaut, and our fave -- The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Here are some highlights of Don in that film, playing the high strung Luther Heggs. https://youtu.be/fkSk-Zz9Bno?si=HHYinseQbbAZtUdn In 1979 Don returned as a tv series regular playing the lovable landlord Ralph Furley on the comedy hit Three's Company. https://youtu.be/NEE05Egqjlo?si=3PwAyPNpQxq7IquY Late in his career, Don appeared in a number of juicy supporting tv and film roles including a mysterious and slightly sinister tv repairman in the comedy-drama Pleasantville.https://youtu.be/Mii7EcFsGho?si=T1UFxJ0hwBphv-3U