Last week I featured a clip of one of my favorite comic actors, Dick Van Dyke. Did you know that he has a kid brother who’s also a pretty darn good comedian? His name is Jerry, and I discovered him in this old episode of the Judy Garland Show. I immediately thought, “So THAT’S where Mark Lowry and Tim Hawkins got their weird!” I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some of their facial contortions and physical techniques were influenced by Jerry Van Dyke, maybe even specifically influenced by this routine, which is classic. In it, he lip-syncs/performs a 6-and-a-half minute version of the Lone Ranger’s radio debut. I actually have that radio broadcast on cassette tape, which made the routine even funnier for me to watch. He really hits his stride once Tonto shows up about half-way through:
When I was little, my three great loves were Dick Van Dyke, Danny Kaye and Donald O’Connor. (Pause for a gratuitous collage):
Where was I? Oh yes, one reason why these particular three were my great loves (w/apologies to Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, etc.) was that they all had something specific in common: They were geniuses of physical comedy. And nothing can make little kids laugh like brilliant physical comedy. Of the three, I probably fell hardest (as it were) for Dick Van Dyke, on the strength of his two classic performances in Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins. He is also the only one still with us today (with a Twitter account no less—check him out busting a dance move in the department store on Vine too). In today’s clip from his classic sitcom, he is inspired to unpack the science of slapstick and pantomime in front of a classroom of little kids, after failing to impress them merely with words and his cred as a sketch writer for the Alan Brady show. Enjoy:
In this rare clip from a 1952 episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour, Donald O’Connor and his underrated partner in comedy Sid Miller have the Tin Pan Alley blues. Try and try as they might, the next “White Christmas” is eluding the starving, freezing would-be hit-makers. They proceed to spoof the classic genre in side-splitting style.
“Beethoven said in order to write great music you gotta suffer.”
“We gotta suffer.”
I have marked off the ending of the skit before they segue into some impressions pairing up famous actors, but that skit is pure gold too, so if you like you can hover ’til you see an “x” and click ‘n’ drag to keep watching (or just go here and skip forward). If you know anything about old movies, you’ll love their takes on Edward G. Robinson + Lionel Barrymore, Ronald Colman + Peter Lorre, Bing Crosby + Barry Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Cagney + Jimmy Stewart. Donald’s Bing and Stewart are spot-on and it’s all quite wonderful. Plus, 50s product placement: “Ah Bing my boy, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, your voice is as fine as Fab, as brilliant as Halo, and as powerful as Ajax.”
Well, technically the 4th celebrates the Declaration, but it’s become a tradition for celebrating the legacy of America’s independence in general, so here’s Barney Fife’s classic stab at reciting the Constitution’s preamble by heart:
The Centricity record label (home to popular CCM artists like Aaron Shust, Andrew Peterson, and DownHere) has created some very cute promotional videos for its artists. I featured one before, but I thought I’d feature a couple more for Monday Morning Humor. Label owner John Mays (whose illustrious resumee you can look up for yourself online) runs his own Radio 101 course… in his basement. Here’s the episode featuring Jason Gray.
“I’m the big bad wolf of radio success, and I EAT cute little artists like you for BREAKFAST.”
Check out Part II, also guest starring Jason, where John Mays runs for President of… something. Keep watching to the end!
“I sent an e-mail to Bono. At u2.com. Is that his e-mail address?”
Spock: “On the bright side, it appears that the hand-holding team-building exercise we did at the retreat last month is now becoming quite useful.”
This stuff is gold. Like a mini-epic. What married couple can’t relate?
“You drop it!”
“We’ll both drop it at the same time! 1..2..3..”
So Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort, Bane, and Mahatma Gandhi walk into an interrogation room…
“The villain is probably bald. [bing, bing, bing, bing]“
An African minister was trying to perform an “exorcism.” Until he was unexpectedly interrupted…
Honoring moms everywhere, it’s a new comedy featuring Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), plus some of your favorite actors from Courageous (Alex Kendrick, Kevin Downes, and Robert Amaya), the screamingly funny ladies who play their wives, and Trace Adkins as a gentle biker. Liberals everywhere are freaking out over it. Apparently it’s “regressive,” “dangerous,” and “ugly sexist.”
I like it already.
“Everything’s great here. We’re all good. We’re gonna take a little trip to the hospital…”
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