The Pundemic

On location in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, your intrepid correspondent brings you this live report from the 94th annual World Pun Competition.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the report as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica stations across the nation.

Looxury!: The Four Yorkshireman Sketch

One more sketch from pre-Python days from At Last The 1948 Show, which was later revived for the Pythons. I think I like this original version best.

For some reason, the punch line is missing at the end. “And you try telling the young folk that today… and they won’t believe you”

Tim Brooke Taylor, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman.

Thanks to YouTuber BritBox

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time

Kurt Vonnegut’s humorous and fantastical novels are all still in print today. Certainly, if you were a college student of the 60s, 70s or 80s, you probably know lines from Vonnegut novels by heart. Producer, director and writer Robert Weide has come out with a new documentary on Kurt Vonnegut, which includes Mr. Weide’s personal relationship to Vonnegut, called Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time. I was happy to interview Robert Weide for Arts Express.

Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Robert Weide, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC, and Pacifica stations across the country.

The Railway Carriage: Marty Feldman and John Cleese

John Cleese, Marty Feldman from pre-Monty Python days on a tv program called At Last The 1948 Show. Feldman was hired as a writer as he was not yet a performer, but Cleese thought that Feldman would be great in sketches. And he was.

Thanks to YouTuber inedibledormouse

Perception Deception

Magician Ben Seidman with a great effect and one of the most consistently entertaining and funny acts on Fool Us. It doesn’t seem to fool Penn & Teller, but I had no idea what Penn’s clues were there. Seidman claims on his YouTube channel that there were no camera effects involved, and that it could be reproduced live, in which case I’m totally stumped.

More at Ben Seidman

No Business Like Shoe Business: Hobson’s Choice

A delightful dance from The Birmingham Royal Ballet in David Bintley’s Hobson’s Choice, about the three daughters of a shoestore owner. With Stephen Wicks as Albert Prosser and Chenca Williams as Alice Hobson.

Thanks to YouTuber Ballet archive

Fine and Dandy: Anita O’Day

Comedian Art Metrano died this month. You can see his most famous routine here. The name of the ultra-annoying show-biz tune Metrano hums incessantly in the background is actually a lovely song called “Fine and Dandy.” Anita O’Day shows just how fine and dandy the song can be.

Fun fact: The music for “Fine and Dandy” was written by Kay Swift, but the lyrics were written by Swift’s husband, James Paul Warburg, who was a banker and financial advisor to FDR, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations who wrote about nuclear disarmament issues. He wrote the lyrics to “Fine and Dandy” under the pseudonym of Paul James.

Further Fun Fact: Warburg divorced Swift because she had been having a long-term affair with George Gershwin.

Thanks to YouTuber Phillip Primrose