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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woodstock Slappy Redux

We try not to cannibalize ourselves too much here at Dreamtime. But the summer is slow, Theme Time is, as "ocgypsy" over at the ER forums succinctly put it, "becoming the 'I Love Lucy' of radio reruns," and we're contractually obligated to mention Woodstock at least three times this week.

So, here's a golden oldie we first posted this March, with some added material...

... an update to the classic Abbott and Costello Who's On First? routine, performed by the Animaniac's Slappy Squirrel and her nephew Skippy in Woodstock Slappy.

As older Dreamtimers know, the original skit was performed by the great comedy team, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. One of the funnier things I've read on the Web was a time-challenged commenter complaining that Who's On First was an obvious rip-off of Woodstock Slappy.

Who's On First was the most famous of many burlesque routines centered around word confusion. The earliest example may be a skit designed for a straight man and comic probably written at the start of the 20th century called "The Baker Scene," where the straight man relates that he's getting paid for loafing in a bakery.

Comic: I'd like to get a job in that bakery. Who's the boss?
Straight Man: Yes.
Comic: That's what I'm asking. Who's the boss?
SM: Yes.
C: Who's the guy you're working for?
SM: Exactly.
C: I'm asking you for the last time, what's the name of your boss?
SM: No, Watt's the name of the street.
And we're off. Abbott and Costello originally introduced Who's On First? in their stage act, and trotted it out to a larger audience during their run on The Kate Smith radio show in 19 and 38. By 19 and 44, the duo had had the routine copyrighted, and it became a staple of their radio and television appearances.

Who's On First Gets Psychedelicsized

The first rock'n-roll version seems to have been done by the L.A.-based comedy group, The Credibility Gap, in the mid-70s. Members of The Credibility Gap would later go on to greater fame as Lenny and Squiggy in the Laverne and Shirley sitcom (Micheal McKean and David Lander) and as members of Spinal Tap (Harry Shearer and the versatile Michael McKean again).

The Credibility Gap's routine centered around a music promoter trying to write a newspaper ad about a concert to feature The Who, The Guess Who, and Yes. Hilarity, as one could guess, ensued. You can hear the Credibility Gap update of Who's on First here, in obnoxious RealAudio format, I'm sorry to say.

Who's On First For Real

Although it took some 60-odd years, life finally imitated art in 2007 when the Los Angeles Dodgers added an infielder named Chin-Lung Hu. After Hu singled in a game against the San Diego Padres, Dodgers announcer Vin Scully solemnly remarked "And Hu's on first."

"I've waited my entire life to say that," Scully later added.

Woodstock Slappy - The Full Script

Director: AUDU PADEN

CRONKITE-TYPE NARRATOR: 1969. As brave American soliders went to battle in Vietnam, back at home demonstrators protested the war. It was a time of flower power, pyschedelic music, student marches, and a nation divided. Which brings us to August 1969 and Slappy Squirrel.

{Going Up To The Country}

SINGER: Going up to the country
Gotta get away
Got to leave the city
Gotta get away
We might even leave the USA...

SLAPPY: Ah, here we go, summer in the country. Nothin' but rest and relaxation, right Skippy?
SKIPPY: Yeah, groovy, Aunt Slappy, man, groovy.
SLAPPY: Skippy, don't talk like that, people will think you had brain surgery.
SKIPPY: I can dig it, man, far out.
SLAPPY: *sigh*; I had to get him out of the city, away from all those bad influences.
SKIPPY: You mean like peace and love?
SLAPPY: Exactly. That stuff will warp ya!

{Humouresque (Slappy's theme)}

SLAPPY: There it is. Our summer cottage.
SKIPPY: Outta sight, man.
SLAPPY: Make yourself at home, kiddo.
SKIPPY: I can dig it.
SLAPPY: *sigh; I'll have him speakin' English again in no time.

{guitar riff...}

SLAPPY: Knock it off with the Bing Crosby, Stills, and Nash, will ya'?

{Slappy's Theme}

SLAPPY: 'Cause the only tune I want to hear is "The Sound of Silence", can you dig that?
SKIPPY: I hear ya.
SLAPPY: Good. Now let's rest up for tomorrow.
SKIPPY: Why? What are we doing tomorrow?
SLAPPY: Napping all day if I have anything to say about it. Ah, rest and relaxation at last.

{Beautiful Dreamer}

M.C.: There is 300,000 of us here today, man! And now Miss Janis Joplin!

(screaming Joplin parody)

SLAPPY: Oops. Somebody just ran over a dog!
For the love of Kaopectate, what's going on?
SKIPPY: Something's happening here, What it is, ain't exactly clear.
SLAPPY: Well, thank you for that. Hey, you kids, what are you doin'?! Go on, get away from my tree!
HIPPIE1:Like, mellow out, you running-dog squirrel.
HIPPIE2:Hey, we're here for the Woodstock concert, man.
HIPPIE1:Three days of rock from groups like Jefferson Airplane, The Band, The Who, The Grateful Dead...
SLAPPY: I'd be grateful, too, if I didn't have to listen to this noise. Now clear out all of ya, go home! Scat!

{Animaniacs' theme}

SKIPPY: Aunt Slappy, be cool. Let's just go with the flow.
SLAPPY: I'm not goin' anywhere with Flo! I want some peace and quiet.
SKIPPY: But, Aunt Slappy, man, we're witnessing history. Woodstock. A single event pulling together a whole generation.
SLAPPY: A bowl full of prunes would have the same effect.

(Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag parody}

COUNTRY JOE McDONALD: And it's two, four, six
What am I singing for?
Don't ask me; I don't give a hoot
Just pay me with lots of loot!
And it's eight, ten, twelve
I'm just killing time
My contract says to sing a song
Yee haw! I need a rhyme!

SLAPPY: All right, all of ya', hit the road! Party's over! Go on, shoo!
SKIPPY: They're not listening, Aunt Slappy, man, they're tuned into the music!
SLAPPY: Well, we'll see about that. Come on.
SKIPPY: Where are we going?
SLAPPY: To the stage, to put a stop to this. I came to the country forsome peace and quiet and I'm gonna get it.

{Brand New Key parody }

MELANINE: Who's got a box of brand-new crackers?
I've got some brand-new cheese!

{With A Little Help From My Friends parody }
JOE COCKER: Would you still cheer if I had a tin ear?
Would you throw a tomato at me?
SKIPPY: Chill out, Aunt Slappy, man.

{Feel Me parody}

ROGER DALTRY: Can you watch me?
Can you listen to me?
Can you smell me?
Can you hear me?
SLAPPY: Unfortunately, yes! Skippy, what is the name of that group playing on stage?
SLAPPY: The name of the group.
SLAPPY: The group on stage.
SLAPPY: The group playing on stage.
SLAPPY: You're starting to sound like an owl, Skippy.
SKIPPY: Who is on stage!
SLAPPY: That is what I'm askin' ya', who is on stage?
SKIPPY: That's what I said.
SLAPPY: You said who?
SKIPPY: I sure did.
SLAPPY: So tell me the name.
SLAPPY: The name of the group.
SLAPPY: The group on stage.
SLAPPY: The name of the band on stage!
SLAPPY: You're doing that owl thing again, Skippy!
SKIPPY: I'm not, Aunt Slappy, I'm telling you Who is on stage.
SLAPPY: So tell me.
SLAPPY: So tell me.
SLAPPY: The name of the group.
SLAPPY: The group on stage!
SLAPPY: That's what I'm asking you!
SKIPPY: And I'm telling you the answer.
SLAPPY: Wait, Skippy, let's start over. Is there a band on stage?
SLAPPY: Does that band have a name?
SLAPPY: Do you know the name of that band?
SLAPPY: Then tell me the name of the band on stage.
SLAPPY: The name of the band!
SLAPPY: The band, playing on stage!
SLAPPY: That's what I want to know!
SKIPPY: I'm telling you!
SLAPPY: Who is on stage.
SLAPPY: Who is?
SLAPPY: Oh. So the name of the band is Yes.
SKIPPY: No, Aunt Slappy, Yes is not even at this concert.
SLAPPY: Then who is on stage?
SLAPPY: Who is?
SLAPPY: That's just what I said, Yes is on stage.
SKIPPY: No, Yes is not here. Who is on stage.
SLAPPY: Whaddya askin' me for?
SKIPPY: I'm not!
SLAPPY: Wait, let's try this again. Do you see the band on stage?
SKIPPY: No I don't see The Band, that's a different group entirely.
SLAPPY: On stage, Skippy. Look, see the band?
SKIPPY: No I don't.
SLAPPY: Get rid of those John Lennon glasses and look! There, there's the band!
SKIPPY: No, that's not The Band. The Band is performing later on. Who's on stage.
SLAPPY: You tell me.
SLAPPY: The name of the group on stage.
SLAPPY: The name of the group!
SLAPPY: The group on stage!
SLAPPY: The band!
SKIPPY: No, The Band is performing later. Right now, we're listening to Who.
SLAPPY: That's what I wanna know!!


ROGER DALTRY: Hey, you squirrels are funny, man. Come on up here and takea bow.
SKIPPY: Yeah! Far out!
SLAPPY: Oh brother....


SLAPPY: Yeah, yeah, OK. Thank you. Now everybody go home! Including you guys, what's your name?
SLAPPY: The name of your band.
SLAPPY: Don't start with me! Just get off the stage! The rest of you, go!

SLAPPY: Why aren't they leaving?
SKIPPY: They dig you, Aunt Slappy, man.
SLAPPY: Oh yeah? We'll see about that. I said leave!
[Smashes Hendrix's guitar]
ROGER: Oh, very groovy, mates, isn't it, totally!
PETE TOWNSHEND: Totally groovy.
ROGER: We are The Who!
[Smashing insturments]
ROGER: erg...


SLAPPY: Yeesh! These kids would applaud my laundry! Why won't they take a hike?
SKIPPY: They want more music.
SLAPPY: All right, then. They can have more music!

{Slappy's theme}

SLAPPY: Hey everybody! Let's polka!

"Uncle Yasha lost his shoe
It fell in a bog; he did too.
Uncle Schmeeda grabbed his foot
He jumped in the bog and went kaput."

[audience runs]

{Beethoven's 6th Symphony}

SLAPPY: Ah. Peace and quiet at last!

{Star Spangled Banner}

In the land of the free,
Now that's comedy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is really great, thanks for the posting and your research.

Slappy and Skippy might have saved themselves an argument though had they used "The Who" as the band name