Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peter Bergman — Firesign Theater

Peter Bergman, one of the founding members of Firesign Theater, passed away this past Friday.

I never knew the names of any of the members of Firesign Theater.  But their records were just a total mindfuck.  Their skits were a rapidfire barrage of puns, puns within puns, puns segueing into further puns, non sequiturs and obscure references that would have you laughing yourself into a knot and simultaneously going “Huh?  What was that?  Wait, what?”

If Cheech and Chong were “hard rock comedy” (as rock critics described them back then), Firesign Theater were avant-garde jazz comedy; stream-of-consciousness comedy.  Or something.

The only album of theirs I had was “I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus.”  I could practically lip-synch along with it from playing it so many times.

Their other works included “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him,” “How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?” and “Everything You Know is Wrong.”

R.I.P.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And we remember the famous Hemlock Stones thriller, the "Giant Rat Of Sumatra".

Those guys were great.

March 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

I missed that one. Too bad. Loved Firesign in the day.

March 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

"Help! It's the police!"

I saw Proctor and Bergman at Eugene when I was a student there years ago. It was riotous fun! Very psychedelic, very off-kilter. Just some of the best.

"How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All" is a MUST LISTEN. It sounds a bit dated today, but the wordplay is marvelous!

"Factory air-conditioned air from our factory air-conditioned factories!"

March 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Tom, everything you know is wrong...you know?

March 13, 2012 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: I don't remember that one. But they were great.

Mr. C: Me too.

Snave: I'm sure they were mind-boggling in person. I did see a short PBS broadcast of one of their performances.

jadedj: I know.

March 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Goodtime Charlie said...

Watching the current crop of Republican presidential candidates trying to out-crazy each other in the primaries, a phrase from a distant past continually comes to mind: "Papoon for President — 'Not Insane'"

March 19, 2012 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

GC: LOL, I had to Google that phrase. Must have been from a Firesign Threater album I never heard. I might have to go out and get some Firesign Theater CDs, the ones I'm not familiar with, if any are still available.

March 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM  

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