If you don’t remember Firesign Theatre, you should.
Lt. Bradshaw, We hardly knew ye.
If you dont know Firesign Theater, buy the album “Dont Crush that Dwarf, Hand me the pliers”. You will not regret it.
I bought it in 1977, I still listen to it about once a month, I am still finding new jokes in it. It’s that good.
And Peter Bergman( Bald guy, big glasses) is prominently on display in this video(Martian Space Party):
HUGE Firesign fan since their days doing Radio Free OZ on KPFK and KPPC in L.A. in the 60s. Saw them live a few times. favorite albums: How Can You Be In Two Places… and Don’t Crush That Dwarf. Lt Bradshaw……District Attorney!!
Don’t crush that dwarf. Hand me the pliers.
I had the good fortune to see these guys live at Columbia around 1970, and they were great.
Peter Bergman, funny guy. RIP.
That’s the end of another era.
This hurts. Firesign Theater was one of the cultural icons for me, starting with listening to tapes of their radio show from Berkeley in the early seventies. Bozos has always been one of my favorites, it has so many layers of meaning that can be separated and enjoyed. It was an early look at virtual reality that holds up even today.
Sad, I will miss him. My parents listened to all their albums back in the day, and I still think they are pretty funny. All Hail Marx and Lennon and Everything You Know is Wrong are my personal favorites. Couldn’t ever get their albums on CD if I remember. No..no youu’re confused, the horizon is moving up….
“Couldn’t get their albums on CD”? You’re not trying very hard. I have plenty of Firesign CDs.
There were some official CDs cut at some point, I have them, and gave a bunch as Xmas presents back at the time.
“I’m sorry, you didn’t beat the reaper.”
The hip president, Stokely Van Cool, prefigures Obama.
I was a huge fan – I have “Don’t Crush That Dwarf” and “I Think We’re All Bozos” pretty much memorized. Sad to hear.
Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead.
Hope Peter Bergman gets a pair of nice comfortable loafers.
Farewell to a comic genius.
“Oh Nicky . . . Nick . . . Nick . . . Nick . . . “
Oh yes, memories. Back in college where we did inhale. Friday evenings in the dorm with Firesign and friends after a tough week studying.
“Guard? Guard! I’d like to speak to my ambassador!”
“Easily done – he’s in the next cell.”
Porgy Tire biter
We’ve been shootin’ reds and yellows allll day
I am proud to present my saga of eternal pain and torment, profusely illustrated, entitled…..Leather thighs!
Back in the shadows again
At first I wrote with ink composed of bits of me own blood, but this did not make a suitable carbon..
Ahh the memories RIP Peter
A returning deceased war veteran about to get that free mule he’s been dreaming of.
“Give Me Immortality, or Give Me Death” a most rewarding 1999 reprise should not go unappreciated. Check it out if you haven’t.
the parable of Moore Science stolen and hidden inside Commie Martyrs High, will never get old.
Thanks for the memories, and the premonitions.
I saw ‘em in Seattle just a couple years ago. So inventive and unlike anyone else!
My fave is/was/will always be “Everything You Know Is Wrong.” Genius!
Big fan. Saw ‘Proctor & Bergman’ at an open air venue in D.C. in 1974(?). A creative light goes out…
A sad day for all Bozos and Bozo-ettes! All out for Fort Stinking Desert!
I can recite pretty much all of Marx, Dwarf, and Bozos.
And miss the entire universe of humor that they represented. Now all we have is Bill Maher? O.M.G.
RIP Pete, you were terrific.
I remember them from college, but I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan and never got around to buying their albums. My loss, clearly. I may have to remedy that.
I saw them once, in the mid 90s. I had a friend who was a fan back in the day, and who was going through a period of depression. I found out they were playing at a local theater and dragged him along.
They all sat around after the show to meet and chat with their fans and sign autographs. So I’m sure I at least shook hands with Peter, although I didn’t have much to say.
Check out the Jack Poet Volkswagen commercials. They’re hilarious.
I have a bunch of their albums, and I have one obscure album that Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman (Calling themselves “Proctor and Bergman”) called “TV or Not TV”, where they have a typical program day for “Channel 85″ set in, likely, 1985. The “programs” on that channel were hilarious, I think my favorite was “Escaping from the Declining Fall of the Roaming Umpire”. The only CD I have is the one with the cover “All Hail Marx and Lennon” with pictures of Groucho and John. So much great humor, so many twists and turns in getting there.
*Sigh*. One less bozo on the bus…
“Oh, you poor brute of a killer without a conscience! I’m wet with compassion!”
“You have violated Robot’s Rules of Order and will be asked to leave the future immediately.”
“Look at that, Chucko – it heard the word Power, and it responded just like we do!”
You can dip anywhere in the Firesign Theatre’s first four albums and find brillantly innovative wordplay that will feed your mind and keep you smiling at the pure inventive genius of these comedy masters. Only Phil Hendrie at his best comes anywhere close to these guys for sheer voice talent and improvisational skills today. But the FT were into something far deeper:Zen Master Dharma Bum comedy, or whatever they felt like calling it on any given day.
It’s always interesting to note, too, how how many people on the right can appreciate the artistry that lefty and/or counter-culture icons (Beefheart, FT, etc)gave to the world, while on the Left, once an artist thinks out of lockstep, he or she can can only be reviled.
RIP Lt Bradshaw, indeed, and for those who are keeping track, Peter was also the voices of:
(on Electrician:) Lord Kitchener, Information Man, Achmet, Hans, Singing Prisoner, Writer, Dr Flith, Charlres
(on Two Places:) Babe [the main character], Odysseus, Chester Allen Arthur, Joe Swine, Guido
(on Dwarf:) Mudhead, Joe Beets, Porcelin, Pattie, Leroy, Arnie Bohunk, the Warden, Bob Baseline, Dr Math, Sgt Mudheadski, Madge, the Newscaster, the Commercial Announcer, Son and Artie Bohunk
(on Bozos:) Floyd Damme, Artie Choke, Student, 1st Man, Last Man, Mr. Brown, Jim, Chucko & Mac 3
[citation: The Firesign Theatre's Big Book of Plays, 1972]
That Marx and Lennon album is, and always has been, “How Can You Be in Two Places at Once (When You’re Not Anywhere at All.)” I’m pretty sure Bergman would get the joke that we can’t remember the name of his best-known work.
NPR picked him, presumably out of a lineup or Central Casting, for a panel discussion of race-based fears during the Rodney King Unpleasantness. He revealed that anti-establishment revolutionary comedy had been pretty much been just his schtick, after all, and what they all What This Country Needed was for the angry mob not to come over the ridge. Up into the hills, where nobody delivers after midnight.
You there: Mr Business Executive. Anybody want a Hundred-Dollar Shine?
As you all know we’re overdosed again with old tastes and kilos. Let’s just take a look at these fantastic lids.
Follow in your book as we learn three new words…in Turkish. Bath. Towel. Border. May I see your passport, please?
Everything you know is wrong.
Bear Whiz Beer! It’s in the water!
Jesus! It’s juh-juh-juh Jesus! (with a cross in one hand and a switchblade in the other)
Sigh. Goodbye, Peter.
Ya can’t get thea from heah.
I’m high on the real things; powerful gasoline, a clean windshield, and a shoe shine.
Also agree that TV Or Not TV is pretty good.
“…up and down the mocha-java coast with a cargo of rubber goods and spiders.”
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“Pssst! Hey Sarge, how long have Pico and Alvarado been out on patrol?”
“Wow… that’s almost 400 years!”
For my money, ” waiting for the electrician or someone like him” was their greatest- but it’s a close call.
Even here in Australia I thought they were amazing, ‘Everything you know is wrong.(“Dogs flew spaceships! The Aztecs invented the vacation! Men and women are the same sex! Our forefathers took drugs! Your brain is not the boss! Yes! That’s right! Everything you know is wrong!”).’
I thought they heralded a whole new era of satire, instead they were pretty much the high point, then came political correctness plus a world which is itself too abnormal and crazy to satirise. Everything we think we now ‘know’ according to the mass media, is in fact often wrong and it’s no joke.
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“Animals without backbones hid from each other, or fell down.”
I saw them live twice, but nothing beats the show your mind creates when listening to their albums. Granted, I had the benefit of some, er, visual aids at the time…
There will never be another Firesign Theater. Godspeed, Peter.
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