Scream on someone you love today

So here I am, back at it again after a relapse last week.  From now on, I will no longer believe my doctor when he says, “You should be fine now.” 

Spending more time at home meant more time in front of the TV.  Through my pain-medication-induced haze, I remember seeing a half-hour commercial for a DVD that featured the best from Dean Martin’s Roasts.  I’m sure most of you remember these specials, hosted by Dean Martin, where a certain person would be the “guest of honor” and a handful of actors and comedians would “roast” them, or simply make them the butt of their jokes.  The jokes were usually pretty “blue” for the day, and much of the laughter was derived from watching all the celebrities laugh and have a good time with each other.  Most of them seemed pretty bombed, and the audience would be cracking up.  Only later in life did I find out that these “roasts” were performed in a studio with no audience, and the laughter was canned.  It was a devastating realization.

But it got me to thinking about all the classic comedy that my friends and I would listen to when I was a kid.  The comedy album was a staple in most homes throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  If a person only had 5 albums on the shelf, at least one of them was a comedy album.  Can you imagine your parents having some friends over, fixing a few drinks, then just sitting quietly and listening to a Bob Newhart record?  You couldn’t talk while it was going on, because you could miss something funny!  My brother and I had just about every Bill Cosby album that was released, and would listen to them so much that we would have all the routines memorized, but would still laugh at the punch lines.  We would also listen to George Carlin albums quite a bit, and got heavily into Cheech and Chong when they hit in the early 70’s. 

My friend Scott and I also listened to comedy quite a bit, and were big fans of Monty Python.  But there was one album that we listened to CONSTANTLY.  It was by an old comedian named Jack E. Leonard, and the name of the album was “Scream on Someone You Love Today.”  Scott’s dad had bought it at a truck stop (we even thought the fact that Scott’s dad had bought the album at a truck stop was funny), and we listened to it until we knew the entire album backwards and forwards.  Leonard was an old borsht-belt comedian in the same category as Don Rickles and Henny Youngman.  He was known as the “King of the Insults”, and “Scream” had plenty of them!  The whole album was set up like a stage play, with musical numbers (which we usually skipped) and an announcer that would set things up for the comedians.  Here’s an example:

Announcer: Wives.  Situation…”I should have married someone else.”

Wife: I should have married that rich doctor.  He wanted to bathe me in diamonds!

Husband: You must have been thinking about it today because there’s a big ring around the tub!

Announcer: More wives.  Situation…”You never take me anywhere.”

Wife: You never take me anywhere.  In fact, it’s been one year ago tonight since we’ve gone out.

Husband: Happy anniversary!

Wife: I know why we don’t go out.  You don’t want to spend the money.

Husband: You don’t understand.

Wife: You’d rather sit home and watch TV.

Husband: You don’t understand.

Wife: You don’t like to go out after working all day.

Husband: You don’t understand.

Wife: You think I’m old and ugly and you don’t want to be seen with me.

Husband: Now you understand.

It was great stuff, and today, many years later, all I have to do when I’m around Scott is throw out the first line and he can give me the punch line.  We still know all these routines by heart. 

So scream on someone you love today.  And better yet, hunt the web and find some classic comedy to put a smile on your face.  My personal favorites are Jack E. Leonard, Don Rickles, Henny Youngman and Jackie Vernon.  You may be able to find some youtube video on any or all of these comedy giants, or you may be able to delve back into your own comedy collection. 

I’ll leave you with some of my personal favorite one-liners:

“I started using saccharine in my coffee.  I developed artificial diabetes.” – Jackie Vernon

“My wife will buy anything marked down.  The other day she came home with an escalator.” – Henny Youngman

Woman to store owner: I would like to try on that dress in the window.

Store owner: Go ahead, it will be great for business! – Jack E. Leonard

I got a million of ‘em.

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About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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One Response to Scream on someone you love today

  1. The comedy album! Another artifact that’s vanishing from our culture. Two of my favorite’s were Albert Brooks’, “Comedy Minus One” and “A Star is Bought.” Another classic is Redd Foxx’s “You Gotta Wash Your Ass.” One of the filthiest comedy albums ever!

    Nice post, Rick, glad you’re feeling better. Got any extra pain pills?

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