Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Wonder Boy - The Out Of Bodies get Kinky

Okay, that was a horrible play on words. The Out Of Bodies do the Kinks? That doesn't sound much better. So let's just get to the meat of the matter... wait, that's even worse... let's start again...

The Out Of Bodies were always big fans of The Kinks... and they've committed countless atrocities, I mean - countless impromptu recordings of Kinks songs throughout the years... Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, Apeman, Mr Pleasant...and this little gem, Wonder Boy.

With Wonder Boy someone actually bothered to write down the actual lyrics, which - if you're familiar with our recordings at all, you'll know that's a rare occurrence - preparation is NOT an Out Of Bodies trait by any stretch of the imagination!

So may we present to you our NEWEST video - - INCLUDING LYRICS!!! (Don't get too used to this!!)



Friday, August 14, 2020

WOW Comix


Heyyyyyyy, somebody beat us to it!! The dirty BASTARDS!!
(thanks, Lloyd, for bringing this to my attention)

Okay, so before *OUR* WOW Comics there was a WOW Comics... you think that made a difference to two kids in Elementary School who saw a vision of greatness in their own minds? Apparently not - and besides, our WOW Comics had something THEIR WOW Comics didn't have - and that was our two heroes, Spooky and Supersnooper!

Did it matter that the names Spooky and Supersnooper were ALSO out there already in some way? HEY, DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE!!!

From WOW Comics 1976

Lloyd reminded me - something I had completely forgotten about - that even THIS 1976 rendition of our WOW Comics was NOT the first! Apparently YEARS before that while in Elementary School (yes, we go way back) we had created a version utilizing loose leaf and carbon paper, with each issue sporting a hand-colored cover - - like THIS!!...

An early version of our WOW Comics
How's THAT for rare, eh? Imagine finding one of THESE in your mother's attic! PRICELESS!!!

- - -

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Dear God - The Out Of Bodies Crucify XTC

Oh those crazy young lads! Taking a perfectly good song and RUINING it for EVERYBODY!!!

Dan and Donald late one night sitting in front of a boom box, feeling punchy and on a sugar high from one too many Lipton Iced Teas - THIS is what you get... no lyric sheets, neither Dan nor Donald knew any of the words, and Donald was cracking up Dan - talking about that XTC song that was beginning to get radio play and according to the press, a lot of controversy and hate mail, "Dear God".

Donald: "You know, Dan - that's an actual kid they got to sing the opening and closing!"
Dan: "You're kidding me!"
Donald: "No, I think that's Todd Rundgren's kid... or someone he knows." (Donald starts to imitate the kid's voice) "Dear God, hope you got my letter and..." (Dan cracks up - and starts to imitate the lead singer Andy Partridge - only making him sound more like Mortimer Snerd than Andy Partridge - they both continue laughing)...

Shortly after that - without thinking about it any further - someone presses the "record" button on the boom box...

Apologies to Andy Partridge and XTC

Monday, July 6, 2020

Coronavirus Schmorovirus 3!!

Okay, okay - I get it - this apocalypse is going on longer than we thought it would and you're throwing bologna slices at your TV screen - anything, absolutely ANYTHING to keep yourself entertained! Well fear not, folks, here's just the distraction you've all been looking for... that's right... we've found MORE episodes of The Dick Bones Show - - HEY, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!!!

Sorry I had to shout like that - everybody calm down... okay, here we go - THREE more hilarious episodes of The Dick Bones Show, picked exclusively with YOU in mind, because we have nothing else - I mean - because bringing you top notch entertainment is what we here at outofbodies.com are all abou- I SAID SIT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Saturday, May 9, 2020

WTF did I just watch?

That's EXACTLY what you'll be asking YOURSELF after watching our latest video addition to the archives! I really don't have too much of a description here that's going to make things any clearer... 'cept I found some horrendous impromptu comedy bits we did in my attic bedroom in College Point, Queens... and decided to present them as if they were being watched through Mutoscope penny arcade machines via the 1930s! ...Which led to an old Popeye cartoon I remember seeing where Wimpy is pulled to and from two competing arcades run by longtime best buddy/rivals, Popeye and Bluto! - - and then I remembered we did TWO Popeye related songs and decided why not throw those in too! And there you have it - one mixed up mess!

There that clears things up, didn't it? No?...

Well, try not to think too much about it... it's certainly not the WORST thing you'll see on YouTube these days! For what it's worth - ENJOY!!



Friday, May 1, 2020

Mailman Blues

Oh fer cryin' out loud - ANOTHER video? I mean - YES... another video!! Pulled out of the rubble, here's a rare, previously unreleased wheezer track for you to enjoy! This time it's the OOBs performing an impromptu version of "Mailman (Bring Me No More Blues)" - which was, to our ears at the time, an unreleased Beatles recording that really didn't get much exposure until The Beatles Anthology - Volume 3. We were always digging pretty deep into the Beatles unreleased material, being avid bootleg enthusiasts - finding little gems such as "Daddy's Little Boy" and "Suzy Parlor".

Mailman Blues, as we called it, never did get the 4-track treatment it deserved - but it did somehow end up getting recorded late one night on boom box - and video tape as well - although the snippet of it featured here looks like it went through a nuclear blast. As awful as it looks, however, it still offers a peek into what some of these impromptu recording sessions looked like - when a guitar found it's way into Dan's hands. Just three guys in an attic bedroom in a little town called College Point, New York. Lyrics? We don't need no stinkin' lyrics!



Glen's friends are mean.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quarantine TV - Vol 1

Stuck at home and growing tired of watching repeat episodes of The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV? (Oh no, wait a minute... that's just ME, isn't it?) Debating on whether or not it's worth the trip running to the grocery store only to find (if you're lucky) some third rate toilet paper? Whatever your stay at home situation is right now - like it says on the Belt parkway sign as you leave Brooklyn, just "Fuhgeddaboudit!" It's time for some welcome distractions - and although it might not be much, here's our contribution!

As promised, another video for you to enjoy - we're calling it "Quarantine TV" - featuring the absolute WORST acting you've ever seen or will see - and that INCLUDES anything by William Shatner... Enjoy!



Saturday, April 18, 2020

Rockin' G Mon

This has always been one of my favorite tunes of Dan's - quintessential Out Of Bodies! Love everything about it - the fact that it seems Dan really cared this time to pay attention to lyrics is one thing "The rockin' man was built to make you swooh and sway - he's a rockin' little robot I know, I taught him how to play... emodulate his voice always, he'll sing some funk or British way... his speaker's louder than a roar, distortion is his only chord" I mean that's GENIUS!!

The other thing is, for the life of me, I couldn't begin to tell you how he made some of those sounds... that fuzzy guitar, the middle break where the bass takes over sweeping you up into some trippy little waltz - Oh I've TRIED to get the secrets out of Dan, I really have, but he won't fess up! Or maybe he gave us the answer in his lyric - is it really all just the distortion? What kind of devil play is this?

Anyway, a while back Dan did a video for this song - and I found some really, really LOST footage of us when we did the "I Wonder" music video - and I inserted it in, in essence creating a slightly different version altogether - presented here for the first time for your listening and viewing pleasure! If you like it make sure to visit the YouTube page and leave a comment! We'll be posting more videos soon!

Take care, check back soon!


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Coronavirus Schmorovirus 2!!

Whoever coined the phrase "There's no better audience than a CAPTIVE audience" probably wasn't talking about a killer virus pandemic - but since we're on the subject, whaddya say we just make the BEST of this mess - turn off the news, forget all the madness going on right now and watch MORE (that's right, I said MORE) of the Dick Bones Show!

After THAT you can go back to whatever it was you were doing - staring at the same old repeats on TV, seeing the same old commercials over and over again, pacing back and forth from the couch - to the toilet - to the fridge - to the couch... let's face it - The Dick Bones Show is probably going to be the HIGHLIGHT of your evening - so just get to it!!

Send your hate mail, I mean, leave your comments on his YouTube page! I'm sure it'll make his day too! Maybe he'll enjoy your comments so much he'll share it with the girl he's got down there in his basement pit! Lord knows she could use a laugh!

So stay safe! Enjoy some laughs - and try not to soil yourself! There's a toilet paper shortage, ya know!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Schmorovirus!!

Coronavirus Schmorovirus!! - FORGET about the outside world for a few moments - and enjoy the comedy stylings of Robb Hall of The Royd's! Here's two episodes of The Dick Bones Show! Send your hate mail, I mean, leave your comments on his YouTube page! This guy cracks me up!




Saturday, February 29, 2020

Down In The Lunchroom


PREFACE - by Don

The other day I was rummaging through the OOB archives for something when a random piece of yellowed loose leaf paper, neatly folded in fours, slipped out of the pages of some composition notebook and dropped onto the carpeting. "What's this?" I asked myself. And seeing that there was no one else there to answer me I decided to open it and see for myself.

Dated February 8, 1983 - it was a hand-written true account of something that had happened about 13 years even earlier than that! A cherished Elementary School memory saved to paper - written by Lloyd - chronicling a day when he and I were mere 3rd graders attending Public School 135. Lloyd always had a great memory for such things - much better than myself - and reading it again brought it all back to me as if it had happened yesterday - except it happened 50 years ago!

It reveals a snap-shot in time... the thoughts of two young boys not even ten years old... it very well might be the earliest written account of anything pertaining to our childhood - ever! It's a piece of our history, I suppose - and being such it might not make a lot of sense outside of the two of us - but I hope it's entertaining just the same! So let's all go back 50 years and see what Lloyd and Donald were up to...


...Down In The Lunchroom 

by Lloyd

I don't really remember why, but Don and I were down in the lunchroom, and except for us, the place was empty. I was doing' Mrs. Glaser impressions (nervously looking over my shoulder after each performance) and Donald was giggling (we used to "giggle"). But we weren't there just to make fun of mean ole, fat ole Mrs. Glaser - no sir! We were third graders! We was on serious business. A "mission" you might say.

I didn't really know why we were there, but Don did (and that was good enuff for me!) So we fooled around (a little tap dance on the table - a pantomime vomit because of the hot lunch...) while we waited for our "contact".

It was a girl. Not just any girl though - it was a real ugly girl. It was a real yucky girl. The yuckiest girl in the school... Hermione Galumph!* (Blechhh!) [*editor's note: Okay, yes - that's an OBVIOUSLY made up name - just GO with it!] But, like I said, we was on important business! (What else would keep us in the lunchroom alone with Hermione (yuck) Galumph?

She "schlepped" in from Stairway 6. She was wearing an extremely wrinkled shirt and an old lady sweater that was missing most of the buttons. And, though I really don't recall clearly, it's pretty fair to guess to say that she had a fairly large bubble of snot hanging from either nostril. But, the most important detail, and the reason we were there, was the large shopping bag she lugged along behind her.

I was surprised (actually shocked, horrified and repulsed) at Hermione Galumph's sudden appearance, but Don handled it matter-of-factly. Except for a slight involuntary shudder, one might have thought that Don was talking to a real human, instead of the mockery that shambled towards him!

We gave a cordial wave. I was behind him, sitting at a lunch table. He sat next to me as Hermione Galumph drew closer. I also shuddered.

"Let's see it", Don said, getting right down to business. We didn't have much time - lunch time would be starting soon and the room would fill up. "I have two" said Hermione Galumph, her voice a throaty honk. "Two?" I asked myself. "Two of WHAT?.... I don't think I want to see this."

"Let's see", said Donald, a bit impatient. I was beginning to have second thoughts about Don. I was almost definitely sure that I did not want to see anything that Hermione Galumph had TWO of! But, before I could protest, she exposed them! She thrust her arms into the shopping bags and - - I covered my eyes for a second!

When I opened them, I saw that she was pulling two red shiny plastic handles out of the shopping bags. Attached to the handles were various buttons! Attached to the various buttons were strings! Attached to the strings were... FAT AND SKINNY DOLLS!!

They were Laurel and Hardy push button marionettes! The first push button marionettes ever to enter our lives! I acted nice to Hermione Galumph and she let me play with Skinny. Don was already playing with Fatty (Hermione Galumph LIKED Don) and it was kind of appropriate that he would end up with Fatty and I would end up with Skinny. I made my marionette run up the tables and then fall off the edge - it was great fun!

Other kids began to trickle into the lunchroom, so Don and I helped Hermione Galumph put the push-button marionettes away, being careful not to tangle the strings.

Eight days later, Donald had Soupy!

The rest is history!


There is no way to explain the aforementioned Soupy. This is, without perhaps, opening up a whole 'nother Pandora's Box and raising all SORTS of questions - one of them being, and certainly NOT limited to, "what the hell was WRONG with those kids?" So let's just say, yeah - okay - we played with puppets - what 3rd grader didn't. Oh you didn't? Well - okay - let's just say THESE two kids did and leave it at that. Let's not get into what sort of personalities they projected into these puppets and who did what to who. After all we're not here to judge, are we? Yes - yes - let's just move along. Shall we? AHEM!!!...



Saturday, March 30, 2019

shockmop - Condoleeza

Lloyd's Boyz!! Samuel and Jacob (and friend) in their first performance video - ENJOY!!

shockmop is a 3-piece indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Royd's "You Look Nice Today, Carol" Album Release Show

What sounds like REALLY bad news to hear in a doctor's office is actually REALLY GREAT NEWS to hear anywhere else...

"The Royds are back!!!"

(What? Who? - - - Whahhh???)


The Royds Album Release/
Farewell Sergio Show! 

 at the
174 N Wellwood Ave, Lindenhurst, New York 11757

Friday, February 15, 2019

21+ $10

The Royds release a NEW album, "You Look Nice Today, Carol", as well as honor their friend and drummer, Sergio! Special guest Steve and the Not Steves will be opening 9pm - The Royds, 10pm

...yeah, yeah... I just SAID all that...

Here's a few seconds of what you'll be hearing to tickle your taint...

Sergio, Rob and Andrew of The Royds contemplate the consequences of Splenda versus regular sugar in their coffee...  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Origins of Oogie

If you don't know who Uncle Floyd is then stop reading this RIGHT NOW!! But wait - not before I add ...SHAME ON YOU!! Okay, NOW you can stop...

But if you DO know who Uncle Floyd is then you might be interested to know that he has an online streaming podcast on Facebook - Uncle Floyd Radio, and he usually broadcasts on monday nights around 8pm or so. Don't expect the old Uncle Floyd Show with Oogie and the gang, because it's a completely different thing - but what you CAN expect is free-form, unscripted banter - and he encourages call-ins - so if you're not radio shy (as I am) you can call in and speak to Floyd and his moderator Joe Lemire.
It streams live from the Uncle Floyd Radio Facebook page and that's where I texted in my question last week. Floyd and Joe were talking to Kathy (a regular caller, always cheerful) and they were on the subject of their favorite Christmas gifts. I've always wondered about the origins of Floyd's puppet pal from the old TV show, so I decided to sort of crow bar the question into the conversation. Joe read the question on-air and Floyd answered. I, of course, knew Oogie wasn't something placed under Floyd's Christmas tree - but it was a good way to finally hear the answer for myself.

Check out the clip above to hear it for YOURSELF!! That is, if YouTube hasn't pulled it yet - - which they tend to do with some fan videos... so be QUICK about it - - and enjoy!!


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Existentialism 101 with The Dalai Deep Doodah

Greetings and Salutations, my friends.....

For all those who’ve found their way to this forum for an Out of Bodies happening, the bullsh*t stops here. To reach a full and thorough enlightenment, one must start with digesting a suitable portion of disagreeable edible fare that comes to one’s mind...after a length of time, let your noxious inner content culminate and expand your midsection. 

Yesss... that’s it, my friends..... now releasssssssse! Aaand that’s it..... You have just had an Out of Body experience..... consider yourself ‘enlightened’..... not very POPULAR, but enlightented. Lighting your emination is optional, at your own risk. If this should fail, take a dose of Beano, Pepto Bismol or Gas X or something- and yimminy christmas- crack a window or something, too! 

Love, Peace & Non-glutinous hair grease 
- Dalai Deepdoodah

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Step up for the Mystery Tour with Haunted Barn!!

The Haunted Barn Movie Museum/Movies to Go

Haunted Barn presents our second screening of THE BEATLES, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR! Don't miss out on all the fun and sing along...(you know the songs!!)

Saturday, June 30th 6pm

Rare clips and haunted happenings of course... Joey's dad Sonny won a Rondo Award for Lifetime Achievement and Joey will be representing and accepting for him on the big Monster Bash stage in Pittsburgh next Saturday! We couldn't be prouder! It's also the 65th Anniversary of our patron saint of monsterdom... The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms too - so it's celebrations all around at the Haunted Barn! Hope to see our favorite fiends at the show!

The Chapel Theatre, 8 Old Dominion Rd, Blooming Grove, NY 10914

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gilbert Gottfried, Never Too Soon

Gilbert is a very funny lunatic...

Earlier this year, for my birthday, my wife surprised me with the gift of laughter - - we saw Gilbert Gottfried perform live for the first time. Within seconds he had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes... literally... as he pushed further and further into absurdity. There's no way to describe Gilbert's act while doing it justice - so I won't even try - just please, take my word for it and go see him. Check into his website every now and then - watch out for a gig near you - and just go... it will do you, as it did me, a world of good! Especially today in this world we live in - an evening of Gilbert is like medicine for the soul. Okay, so perhaps the suits at Aflac would disagree - but who cares about them? I liked him so much we saw him again - it was, I believe, even the same act! Gilbert seems to care little about keeping it fresh...

Just before seeing him live I had also caught his amazing "Gilbert" documentary... and I got the chance to tell him in person how I loved it - - and admitted to him something he's probably heard from many others about it - - how "I was expecting to laugh - but I wasn't expecting to cry" as it showed a very sweet side to his story - the parts that until then, almost no one but his closest friends and family got to see. He answered with an almost painfully shy "ohhh, thank you!" - a far cry from the boisterous on-stage persona I just witnessed.

Jump to present day - - I listen to his podcast which lives up to it's name "Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast" in which he and his co-host Frank Santopadre interview anyone still breathing from the hey-day of television, movies, the stage and music - - and because I invested in Stitcher Premium I also get "Gilbert and Frank's Amazing Colossal Obsessions" - which pretty much covers everything else from childhood memories to answering listener mail and Tweets. The idea to do the show in the first place came from Gilbert's wife Dara, who noticed how often he and Frank would spend long hours on the phone talking about old Hollywood - so why not put it out there and expand on the obsession, she suggested - and before you knew it Gilbert had a hit podcast on his hands. Gilbert himself, would admit freely, that he wouldn't even know where to find his own podcast if he had to. "Somewhere on the internet" he'd say.


But it's always nice to hear Gilbert reveal a bit more about Gilbert - his seemingly inexplainable climb into the upper echelons of comedy greatness - which is why I suppose I find myself every now and then typing his name into my searches. He's an interesting man - and more importantly genuine - and genuinely funny... and no matter how many times my wife says that his laugh is sometimes a bit "too much" I find it quite contagious. It's impossible to hear Gilbert laugh without eventually laughing yourself.

So with all of this said and done...
I repeat - go see Gilbert if you can - he's one of the greats... and in the meantime, here's a little interview I came across recently which will tell you a bit more about the man who brought tears to my eyes - and on more than just one occasion!!.... Enjoy!!

- - - 

An interview with Gilbert Gottfried

“I can’t believe it! I just don’t believe it! We are never gonna get ahold of that stupid lamp!” Gilbert Gottfried exclaims to a room full of adoring fans in Roger Ross Williams’ Oscar-nominated documentary, “Life, Animated.” For a fleeting moment, the comic was reprising his beloved role as Iago, the temperamental parrot in Disney’s “Aladdin,” whose blaring yet somehow lovable voice is identical to that of Gottfried’s stage persona. You’d think that after 25 years since the film’s release, the comic would rather holler, “I am never gonna get rid of this stupid line!”, but Gottfried seems to fully savor the crowd’s love. After he tweeted a string of jokes about the Japanese tsunami in 2011, he was fired from his job voicing the duck in Aflac commercials. Three years later, he launched “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!”, an acclaimed series of uproarious conversations with show-business legends that has marked a new chapter in the comedian’s career. Now Gottfried himself is the subject of a documentary, Neil Berkeley’s thoroughly enjoyable and poignant “Gilbert,” which sheds new light on the comedian’s personal life as he enters the uncharted terrain of fatherhood.

Prior to its premiere, Gottfried spoke with RogerEbert(dot-com) about everything from schizophrenia and Nazis to the reason why no joke is “too soon.”

I was just laughing my head off listening to your latest podcast episode with Steven Wright before coming to meet you. What attracted you to the realm of podcasting?

It wasn’t my idea. It was my wife who told me that I should start a podcast, and since I live in the 1400s, I wouldn’t even know how to find my own podcast online. When people ask me where to find it, I go, “I don’t know, I guess on the internet somewhere.” The weird thing is that we have gotten a lot of older guests. I love old Hollywood, and yet this is a new sort of program, so I’m using a new method to discuss old Hollywood. On the show, we’ve had two of the original Catwomen, both Batman and Robin, Dick Van Dyke, two members of “F Troop,” and we recently interviewed Carl Reiner. People will ask me, “What’s a podcast?” and I say it’s like a radio show on your computer. I wasn’t expecting how many people would like the podcast as well as the documentary.

Has it been unusual to contrast your persona on the podcast with your persona in the film?

God, it’s definitely schizophrenic. I found out that schizophrenia as we understand it from watching movies—where all of a sudden you are a French character, or you’re an old lady, or you’re a general in the army—is not at all what it is actually like in real life. [pauses] I just said that to reveal my vast intelligence. [laughs]

My dad is a social worker, so he would agree with you.

Oh yes. I’m sure he would know that’s not really schizophrenia. People who are schizophrenic don’t all of a sudden go, [in French accent] “My name is Pierre.” I want to meet one psychologist or psychiatrist who has ever once met a “crazy” person—which I believe is the correct term for it—who has done celebrity impersonations. You see that on TV shows. They’ll hire an actor who can imitate Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino to play a schizophrenic. When I see a crazy person like that in a movie, I go, “Why don’t they just book him in Vegas?” [laughs]

How did Neil Berkeley make you feel comfortable enough to make this documentary?

He never made me feel comfortable. I was always on edge. I’ve seen the film about three times, and the experience of watching it is close to what I envision hell being like. You die, the Devil puts you in a chair, and you’re forced to watch every section of your life on a screen.

Like Albert Brooks in “Defending Your Life.”

Exactly! I think that has to be the worst possible thing to sit through.

What has it been like viewing comedy through the eyes of your children?

There’s one part in the movie where someone asks my son, “Do you think your father’s funny?” He thinks about it for a long time and then goes, “No.” [laughs] I am very proud of my son, and there was one particular time where I was really proud of him. He was very small at the time—he’s seven now—and he asked me, “Daddy, tell me a joke that’s inappropriate for children.” That's when I realized I didn’t need to do a DNA test on him. He is definitely my son.

To what extent did you have creative control over Iago in “Aladdin”?

They definitely left it open for me to be able to play around and throw in lines. When they are recording your voice, they have a video camera in the room so they can capture your facial expressions, which influenced the way that the parrot was drawn. One time, the artist showed me a drawing he made where you see a caricature of me that slowly transforms into Iago. There was a particular line in the film that I had ad-libbed, and someone told me that Robin Williams cracked up when he heard it. It was during a scene where Iago and Jafar have to escape, and I go, “Quick, let’s get everything: the guns, the knives, the hand grenades—and what about this picture of me? Do you like it? I think I’m making a weird face in it.” That was a lot of fun. Of course, every now and then, they would have to stop me and go, “This is a Disney film. We can’t really use that word.” [laughs]

For people who grew up watching you as Iago, it was wonderful to see you recite his lines in “Life, Animated.”

That documentary was another weird thing that came about. It tells a story that I first heard about in the New York Times about this writer, Ron Suskind, whose son is autistic. Ever since the boy was three, he had fallen deeper and deeper into it to the point where you couldn’t have any communication with him. It was like he was underwater. He would watch Disney films all day long, and Ron saw that in his son’s room, he had an Iago puppet lying on the floor. The father picked it up, put it on his hand and did an imitation of me. His son looked at the parrot who was speaking in my voice and reacted to it as if it was an old friend. He had a conversation with the parrot, and when I heard that, I remember thinking, “See? I can do some incredibly wonderful things … as long as I’m not directly involved.” [laughs] If I was directly involved, there’d be some major screw-up and a lawsuit.

Ron’s son was in this school for children on the spectrum, as they call it, and had started a club there where he and the other kids analyze Disney films. Even if you recorded a Disney movie, your version of it would be less accurate than the one these kids have in their minds. They know every single line and every single thing that will happen in each scene. It was his father’s idea for me to come over and surprise him. They were reenacting scenes from “Aladdin” when I popped in and they all went wild. I was worried that I would say something offensive and that it would end up in every paper. But I found that once I was up there, I could be sarcastic, and the kids would catch the humor and laugh. That was definitely a memorable event, and I still talk to this kid. He just called to wish me a happy Passover. [laughs]

It seems that many Americans are migrating toward the perspective that it’s not “too soon” to joke about disturbing subject matter, especially regarding the current state of our government.

There have been a lot of times throughout history where people have said, “Now more than ever, we need comedy.” Since we’ve got Donald Trump in office, people are saying the same thing. “Now more than ever, we need comedy!” And I’m thinking, “As opposed to when the Black Plague was going on, the Holocaust was going on…” This is really the first time that we’ve had a bad time in this world? Here’s how I feel about the “too soon” argument: When I do a joke, it’s always too soon, because it will be about what’s happening at that exact moment. People will tell me, “You should’ve waited,” but in my mind, I feel like I’m being more sensitive than someone who waits to tell a joke about a tragedy. I do a joke about September 11th or a tsunami when it’s actually happening, and they are designed to have shock value. People will laugh and then they will cover their mouths and think, “Oh god, how could he say something so terrible?” If you wait, you’re considered a good person, and then you can do all the jokes you want about the Titanic. But I think you’re actually a more insensitive person because by waiting and saying that it’s okay, you’re going, “All of those people who died don’t matter. They’re dead, forget about them. The hell with them.” At least with me, I make sure the audience is really uncomfortable when they hear the joke.

It’s more sensitive for comedians to acknowledge a tragedy in their jokes rather than avoid it.

Yes! When people say to me, “How do you do jokes on those topics? Don’t you realize the heartbreak and the tragedy?” And I go, “Yeah, that’s where the joke stems from.”

I love the scene in “Gilbert” where you manage to win back an audience by pushing them into even more uncomfortable territory with the Aristocrats joke.

It was a few days after September 11th, and I performed at an event in New York. All over the world, people were in shock, but in New York, there were black clouds floating in the air for what seemed like months. They were hanging over the room and over the whole city. As you know, I’m drawn to that. So I made a September 11th joke and it lost the audience as much as it possibly could. People were hissing and booing. One guy yelled, “Too soon,” and I thought he meant I didn’t take a long enough pause between the set-up and the punchline. [laughs] Then I go into the Aristocrats joke, which is about incest and bestiality, and the crowd was howling with laughter. I thought it proved my point about comedy and tragedy. One critic wrote that it was as if I had performed a mass tracheotomy on the crowd. It was one of those instances where they needed to laugh, they needed some sort of release.

The scene where you meet the historical reenactors in St. Charles, Illinois, is also hilarious.

A lot of people who watch the documentary think that scene was all planned because it certainly looks like it was. You’d think there’s no way that could happen in real life. There were people in town reenacting many different wars—WWII, WWI, Vietnam, the Civil War…and my favorite, of course, was WWII. All these Nazis were running over, putting their arms around me and taking selfies, and I’m thinking, “Gee, the Third Reich really wasn’t all that bad. The History Channel has it all wrong. Nazis are some of the nicest people.” [laughs]

Has your embrace of humor made jokes aimed at you easier to take?

It’s kind of like at a roast. I can say any bad thing about another person, but if they start making fun of the shirt I’m wearing, I go, “Oh come on, that’s just—it’s one thing to joke, but now you’re taking it to a really cruel area.” [laughs] So I’m as hypocritical as anybody.

Gilbert and an adoring fan - January 2018

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A loving tribute to Chuck McCann

Goodbye, Mr. Dreamfinder


We lost another great entertainer a couple of days ago - the very funny beloved children's entertainer and early-television pioneer Chuck McCann! My earliest introduction to this very silly man was from early television where'd he'd be seen on WPIX-TV's Chuck McCann Show, dressing up in funny costumes portraying characters straight out of the Sunday Comics like Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie - but he'd find ways to weave in and out of my childhood memories by also being the voice of the Cocoa Puffs bird "Yahoo - Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs!" and being one half of the comedy duo with Bob Denver in the Saturday morning sitcom "Far Out Space Nuts"! And although the ride no longer exists, I distinctively remember Chuck McCann as being the voice of Dreamfinder on the Journey To Imagination Ride at Disney World! I remember being a little disappointed on one return trip to find out he had been replaced by Eric Idle (who I also love, mind you - but for some reason McCann's version just seemed to fit more organically).

And no one did a better Oliver Hardy! Throughout his career he would often don the bowler hat whenever an opportunity arose - and with his comedy partner Jim MacGeorge as Stan Laurel he was absolutely hilarious! Imagine my shock while viewing a music video of Harry Nilsson at a Beatlefest convention some years back - watching Nilsson dribble a basketball in his driveway, while suddenly (for no apparent reason) watching from across the way is Chuck McCann (as Oliver Hardy) watering his bushes! Surprised at Harry's seemingly impossible hoop shot he does that exasperated Oliver-Hardy take with his arms! At the end of the video, there he was again - eyeballing the end of his hose when it appeared to stop watering - only to (of course) have it suddenly spray jets in his face! No one nearby knew why I was laughing so hard - but it didn't matter - once again I had been McCann-attacked! And I was lovin' it!

Then more recently, I just stumbled upon a whole new generation of Chuck-appreciators on YouTube, when Chuck released a few videos he had made. He was clearly much older, but just as silly as ever - and it was all so familiar and brilliant - Chuck being Chuck. He still had the weirdness - the quirky comedy timing - and most of all, an obvious love for that old, retro style of funny... it might take me days before I can find the words to describe it - perhaps I never will... but when you see it you'll know what I mean. It's a style of comedy you don't see too often these days. It's old school, naughty but innocent, vintage and yet oddly appropriate for today...

Anyway - these are some clips I put up on YouTube some time back - some extremely rare video clips I purchased a long time ago and one day I just decided to share it with the masses - because it deserved to be shared...

Enjoy the clips! Share 'em! Spread the laughter! - - and THANK YOU, Chuck!!!