What's So Funny!
It’s the reboot of What’s So Funny! and there’s a new spin on things! Our host, Dave Schwensen, returns and this time he’s brought three of his friends: Kelly, Tom, and Logan. Join in as we listen to comedy albums from the 1950s, ‘60s, or ‘70s. We’ll take a look at the life of the comedian as well as the cultural relevance of the album then and
Dick Gregory broke barriers for African American comics. In fact, he was the first black comedian to sit next to Jack Paar becoming a trailblazer for other black comedians. He had a very successful comedy career, but he felt the call of civil rights activism which took priority over making people laugh. Not only did Dick Gregory run for mayor of Chicago, a year later he ran for President of the United States and even put his face on the $1 bill. He went on to become an actor, a health guru, and an author. The one thing he was committed to throughout his whole life was justice. Let’s take a listen to his very first album from 1961 “In Living Black and White.” The album we're listening to today is: "In Living Black and White," written and performed by Dick Gregory with introduction by Alex Dreier, Colpix Records 1961
Our final episode of the season features the one, the only, Shelley Berman and his album “Inside Shelley Berman!” Before becoming a comedian, Shelley worked quite a few odd jobs, but he didn’t let that stop him from becoming the comedian we know of today! He is most known for his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm but, he was one of the premiere comics of his time. . Listen in to find out what makes Shelley Berman unstoppable!
In this episode of What’s So Funny! we are listening to the one and only Moms Mabley and her 1970 album “Live at Sing Sing.” Jackie Moms Mabley is not only known as the funniest woman in the world, but she is also known as the first black stand up comedienne, the first black woman to take the stage at the Apollo theater, and the first black woman to play at Carnegie Hall. Her career spans over 30 years, and she really knows how to put on a show. Listen in to find out what it’s like to be Live in Si
In this episode of What’s So Funny! Dave Schwensen and Tom Megalis listen to original one hit wonder Vaughn Meader. His comedy album broke records when it was released in 1962 skyrocketing to the top of the charts, but his career took a turn for the worse when national tragedy hit. As the original presidential impersonator he changed the face of the nation as John F. Kennedy. Let’s go back in time to Camelot with Vaughn Meader’s “The First Family.”
It’s hard to believe, but the parents of improvisational comedy didn’t even like each other the first time they met! In this episode of What’s So Funny! we take a listen to the live recording of their Broadway show “An Evening With Nichols and May,” by Mike Nichols and Elaine May. This comedy duo rose to fame in just 2 short years and paved the way for improvisational comedy that we see today!
In this episode of What’s So Funny! We meet Lily Tomlin’s famous character Ernestine the Telephone Operator in her 1971 album This Is A Recording. Ernestine shows us what a day in the life of the telephone company is like. She persuades Gore Vidal to pay his bill, introduces us to the hunky Vito the Repairman, and we get to hear about the upcoming telephone company pageant. Lily Tomlin has done it all listen in to find out more about Lily Tomlin!
We all know Steve Martin the actor, but in this episode we go back in time to his comedy roots with the album “A Wild and Crazy Guy.” From Disney Land to sold out stadiums Steve Martin’s career exploded onto the scene forever changing the way people viewed comedy. He can juggle, he can lasso, he can play the banjo, he appreciates art, and he’s been on SNL almost as many times as Alec Baldwin, is there anything Steve Martin can’t do? We don’t think so!
One of the most controversial comedians of his time, Lenny Bruce, was the original bad boy of comedy. In this episode we will be listening to his 1961 album “American.” We will find out how Lenny got his start doing stand up, the influence of jazz on his comedy, and why he wore a trench coat on stage. Listen in as we discover what made Lenny Bruce so controversial!
It’s the first episode of the new season of What’s So Funny! and we are listening to the first recorded modern comedy album, “The Future Lies Ahead” by Mort Sahl. Mort is the master of political satire, he was the first comedian to be on the cover of Time Magazine, the original comedy game changer. Listen in to find out how Mort Sahl transformed the comedy scene one newspaper at a time!