Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adventures In Recordland, post #14: The Bs, part 11

#1: Eric Bogosian- self-titled, 1983:

I'm not that familiar with Mr. Bogosian's work, to be honest. But according to Wikipedia, he's quite an accomplished and talented man- an actor, playwright, novelist, and so on. So I'm sure he must have some talent. But this album, recorded when he was just starting out, doesn't show much of it. As Ronald L. Smith points out in his guide to comedy records, there's a reason he's called a "performance artist" rather than a comedian. This record contains a long series of monologs in which he impersonates various characters who ramble on a bit about nothing particularly amusing- DJs and radio announcers on one side, several other characters (a preacher, a drunk, a hillbilly, a child, etc.) on the other.
I'm really not sure why I bought this album many years ago, and now that I've heard it, I'd be better off getting rid of it. As an actor myself, I admire his versatility in playing all these different character types, but the writing is just bad. There's an occasional funny line, but much of it is just blather, either boring or just downright annoying. It's a waste of time. If this was the beginning of his career, I just hope he's improved since.

#2/3: Victor Borge- "Comedy In Music" and "Caught In The Act", 1954 and 55:

I might as well put these two albums together, since they come from the same source. They're both recordings of Mr. Borge's hugely successful one-man show on Broadway, "Comedy In Music." It was a record-breaker at the time, running for more than two years and well over 800 performances. The format was simple: Victor Borge and his piano, ad-libbing, taking audience requests for songs he could clown around with, doing a few prepared set-pieces, and sometimes playing "straight" piano pieces. These albums demonstrate his talent very well. They're about 50/50, half comedy and half serious music, both of which he does wonderfully.

These are actually the records I did yesterday- I was too busy with other things last night to write about them then. So I've got to catch up and do today's records. I'll be back later.

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