The Badass Broadcast: Kovacs, Candido and Spike Jones Sing Funny
Music and comedy rarely mix anymore, with people like Weird Al Yankovic being among the exceptions. We're supposed to keep our music all serious or something, I guess. But once upon a time, when our culture was strong and exciting, music and comedy were inextricably linked. Comedians sang and singers told jokes, and everybody was better for it.
There are some names that live on in legend from the era of classic musical funnies, and Tommy Swenson has brought us three greats with great performances. Above is Candy Candido, whose voice you might recognize from Disney's Peter Pan, where he played the Indian Chief. Candido was a popular radio performer who appeared in a bunch of movies, and whose catchphrase "I'm feeling mighty low," said in his perfect basso profundo, was so popular it even popped up in a Bugs Bunny cartoon (Homeless Hare).
Ernie Kovacs is one of the greatest geniuses in the history of television. His show was experimental, strange, often ad-libbed, hilarious and impossibly imaginative and outrageous. Here is a clip from his show with a particularly unique version of The 1812 Overture.
And finally we have the Spike Jones Orchestra. No, not Spike Jonze. The real Spike Jones, a big band leader and the original Weird Al, who would demolish popular songs of the day in a crazy style. He's well known for legendary comedy tracks like "Der Fuhrer's Face" (which appears in an anti-Nazi Disney short of the same name) and the original recording of "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth." Weird Al has always been very upfront about his influence, and other acts like The Beatles and Frank Zappa have been avowed fans of Spike's work.