Sunday, November 25, 2007

comedy minus one

Sorting through my old vinyl record collection on a cloudy Sunday morning, I came across what is perhaps my favorite comedy album of all time, Albert Brook's Comedy Minus One, from 1973. I had seen Albert perform his hilarious "Rewriting The National Anthem" on an episode of the Flip Wilson Show, and knew I had to get it on record.

And I'm glad I did.

What a joy this album is! On the back cover is a shiny piece of foil mirror decal surrounded by a photo of a lighted table as you would find in an old backstage dressing room. Inside the fold-out cover is a script, and on Side 2 there's a comedy sketch with timed pauses so that you can become part of the bit and actually get laughs from the audience. Even after 34 years, I'm still trying to get my timing down. And I'm still nervous as I wait in the wings.

But it's his 'Rewriting' sketch that's the little masterpiece, as he imagines what it would be like if there was an open audition to change our dull National Anthem.


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