Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Impressions

News of Caroline Kennedy throwing her hat into the ring for the Senate seat Hilary Clinton is vacating has me harkening back to my impressions of JFK's White House. Much of that was formed by a comedy album, The First Family. It poked fun at Camelot. But apart from one line about Nikita Kruschev ordering lunch, I don't remember it at all. Contrast that to the Allan Sherman album, My Son the Folk Singer, where seeing the song titles I can recall both the tune and the lyrics (not perfectly, of course, but a few lines). A few years later there was the Tom Lehrer album That Was The Year That Was where again the songs are memorable (you can't take six from two, two is less than six so you look at the four in the tens place..... base eight is just like base ten, if you're missing two fingers). I don't recall singing, humor, and satire as a bundle after that, at least part of the general culture. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour had all the elements, but separate. Loudon Wainright, maybe, but he was less mainstream.

The form of satire/entertainment that survives today (Daily Show, Colbert Report) dates back to the David Frost invention TW3. I wonder if the other forms can be rejuvenated. Anybody want to take up acoustic guitar?

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