I'm a huge comedy nerd. I was listening to - and memorizing - comedy records before I could tie my own shoes. Ate it up with a spoon, followed by a cupcake from my Easy Bake Oven.
Number 5. Patton Oswalt's Parks & Rec Star Wars filibuster is one of the most amazing moments in television and comedy history. The fact that he was prescient about what the Disney-Marvel-Star Wars marriage would mean makes it even better.
Number 4. Richard Pryor's "Flying Saucers." To be honest, this could be any Richard Pryor bit. His "Exorcist" is priceless. But "Flying Saucers" tickles me. It features at least two different characters and reminds me of the New York of my childhood. That is to say, the New York depicted in "Barney Miller." Warning: the N-word is in heavy rotation.
Number 3. Father Guido Sarducci's "Carter / Coolidge Coincidenza" from my favorite special, "Gilda Live." Father Guido Sarducci is one of my all-time favorite characters, period. I was 10 when SNL premiered, and I watched it every week.
Number 2. Eddie Murphy's Uncle Gus and Aunt Bunny from Delirious. I was 15 when Delirious was released. I was obsessed with finding it. I was “too young” to buy it. I don’t remember how my cousin and I came to be in possession of Delirious on cassette tape, but I remember we huddled in the basement, making a copy of it, and listening to it over and over again. I wore that tape OUT. I memorized it – and I still sing along to most of the bits. Eddie impersonating his father owning the house will be forever funny to me. Uncle Gus and Aunt Bunny is perfection.
Number 1. Gilda Radner Judy Miller Show from Gilda Live. Gilda Live is my all-time favorite comedy show and Gilda Radner is my hero. In my comedy pantheon of muses, she’s a goddess. Her joy, her enthusiasm, her full-bodied total commitment to a bit is in all of her work and characters, but none so more than Judy Miller. Gilda captures the exuberance and the free-wheeling imagination of every five to seven year old girl.
The Elephant In The Room
“I told you that story, so I could tell you this one.” Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby was my hero. It’s no overstatement to say that he and Mr. Rogers made me who I am. It was his Best Of album that I played over and over again on my portable record player (the kind in the suitcase) when I was four. I memorized that album. Those characters and stories became a part of me. Junior Barnes. Noah and God. Fat Albert. Old Weird Harold. He was my weekend teacher with Fat Albert and Friends.
I am so mad at him, and the little four-year old girl who is still in me somewhere is so disappointed in him.
I never imagined that the man who taught me how to sing to keep the monsters away would end up being the monster at the end of the book.