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If you didn’t see Letterman last night…

…then you missed Keith Olbermann talking about his breakup with Current.

I know Keith can come across as somewhat pompous, but I an’t tell you how much I miss tuning in to his show. I was very upset when he left MSNBC and was fortunate enough to have a cable contract that included Current (which I now no longer need)… but now there is no Keith at 8 PM.

Here’s the interview with Keith from last night:

Yeah, I know. Keith often seems full of himself… but I don’t think any conservative host would ever take responsibility for a show’s failure, money or not. And I hope the “nice Judge” takes Keith’s side in court…I really think he has been screwed.

Finally, I don’t know where he will end up next, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be there.

I got to thinking about Bob & Ray after yesterday’s post about Ernie Kovacs…

Ray Goulding and Bob Elliott hosting The Name'...

Ray Goulding and Bob Elliot in 1955

Bob and Ray were to radio what Ernie Kovacs was to television (although the famous radio team, who met as announcers at Boston’s WHDH in 1946, also did television, film and live performances on Broadway in their 43-year career), and were as influential on generations of comedians as Kovacs was, if not more so.

Performing right up to the late 80s when Ray was too ill to work (he died in 1990), Bob Elliot & Ray Goulding developed many characters who became treasured and respected names among listeners: Wally Ballou, Mary McGoon, Webley Webster, the McBeebe brothers, Biff Burns and so many others.

I often think that the reason their characters seemed so real over time was that Bob & Ray believed they WERE real… that there really was a radio soap opera producer named O. Leo Leahy (who they often put in their credit list after a show) or that Wally Ballou really was out on the street interviewing ordinary people and always being upcut by the broadcast engineer. I suppose when you perform the same characters for decades in so many different situations they DO become real.

Their comedy was performed without a single bad word or objectionable situation. They were rarely political (although the one exception may be the poke they gave to Senator Joe McCarthy on their soap opera parody “Mary Backstayge Noble Wife” in the late 50s) and never offensive, but remained much funnier than most of their competition.

Here’s a Wally Ballou interview sample (this is from “Bob and Ray, The Two and Only”, their Carnegie Hall performance in the 1980s):

I played that last piece because it is one of my favorites and so typical of their work… which they talked about in this interview with a very young David Letterman, who was very much influenced by them:

Letterman, of course, gave a major career start to Bob’s son Chris Elliot… and Chris’ daughter, Abby Elliot is now on Saturday Night Live, making Bob Elliot, 88 years old this year, the head of three generations of funny people.

Fortunately there is a large quantity of recordings of Bob & Ray’s work going back to the late 40s available on CDs, cassette tapes and DVDs. YouTube has a nice collection as well. These are certainly worth your time whenever you are feeling down… they never cease to provide a laugh.

Newsflash: MSNBC President Phil Griffin Threatened To Fire Keith Olbermann

This from HuffPo:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
MSNBC President Phil Griffin vowed to fire Keith Olbermann if he went on other networks to discuss his suspension, The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz reports.
Kurtz writes that the threat came during a conversation with Michael Price, Olbermann’s manager, on Nov. 7, two days into Olbermann’s suspension. Price told Griffin that, if the suspension was not resolved quickly, Olbermann would appear on “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live” and David Letterman‘s “Late Show” to air his side of the story.
“If you go on GMA, I will fire Keith,” Griffin reportedly replied. Minutes later, though, Griffin released the statement announcing the lifting of the suspension and preventing an even more serious showdown. When Price asked Griffin why he had made such an extreme threat, Griffin told him, “we are at war.”
Be sure to check out Kurtz’s whole report at The Daily Beast.
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A Quote for the Day from Tina Fey…

She was on Letterman last night and did her Sarah Palin impression. Aside from her impression, Fey also poked fun at Fox News for referring to Palin as “Governor Palin” when she appears on the network. Fey joked:

“That’s like calling me ‘Dairy Queen Employee.” I was once, but I quit!”

A 2nd Quote of the Day

Found it on All Hat No Cattle:

“But according to a newly released memo from the CIA, they used horrible torture techniques on prisoners. Dick Cheney claimed that it wasn’t torture. Enhanced interrogation techniques, that’s what he called it, enhanced interrogation technique. And he didn’t shoot that guy in the face. No, no, that was enhanced quail hunting.”

David Letterman

Needs no further comment. 🙂

Quote of the Day

“Dick Cheney has a brand new book. It’s a memoir about his life and times, and I believe the title of it is called, ‘Too Fat to Waterboard.'”

-David Letterman

Thanks to All Hat No Cattle.