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Growing up without a television in the house, we got our entertainment from LPs (long playing records), and from books. Along with mostly classical, children’s, and some fold or pop with good harmony, we got my parents’ taste in comedy.
My parents met in Philadelphia as the 1950s became the 1960s. Perhaps the hottest comedy act of that time was Nicols and May, Mike Nicols and Elaine May. These two took improv comedy to a whole new level, starting with Improvisations to Music. Stan Freberg was already an established talent, and generated a send up of Lawrence Welk in 1957.
Nicols and May take us “Back to Bach:”
From there they went less musical but riotously funny:
Stan Freberg “Wun’erful Wun’erful:”
Of course, the intersection of classical music and comedy was, in those days, covered by Victor Borge:
Then came Peter Schickele and his tireless work to elevate that lesser known member of the Bach family, P.D.Q. Bach:
What music makes you laugh?Published in