Thursday, December 22, 2011
Not SCTV: above: Joe Penner asks Lyda Roberti "Wanna buy a duck?" from Paramount's COLLEGE RHYTHM (1934) via Craig Hodgkins' informative Joe Penner site.
You never know what comedy will last. For every Laurel and Hardy, there's a lesser known Lum and Abner or the Ritz Brothers.The number one radio comedian used to be Joe Penner way back before Jack Benny arrived. And who remembers Joe Penner? (Penner had several catch phrases, one of the more popular was "Wanna buy a duck?" which is preserved in Warner Brothers cartoons. Its original reference forgotten, the line remains as an odd non sequitor.)
TV Critic David Bianculli was on NPR's Fresh Air show last week (podcast link here). He mentioned the college media course that he teaches. When talking about TV comedy, he said he shows clips from the Smothers Brothers Show, Monty Python, the old SNL and SCTV.
The clip that got the biggest laughs was SCTV's 1981 "Perry Como: Still Alive" concert commercial parody starring Eugene Levy. Bianculli did set the clip up (Is Como forgotten like Penner now?) with a talk about Como's reputation. He played the clip and the students were laughing all the way through it. For me, it's funny also for Rick Moranis dancing in an afro wig. Here's the vid:
The college kids laughing make me hopeful that SCTV will go the way of Benny and not Penner.
Posted by Mike Lynch at 8:30 AM