Friday Playlist: Comedy/Novelty Songs
Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Playlist where members of the Times-Tribune staff submit their music picks based on a theme.
One of the suggestions we keep getting for a theme is comedy or novelty songs. So we decided to lighten things up and go for it.
Leonard Nimoy - The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins Brian Fulton Fan of the writings of JRR Tolkien (The Hobbit and LOTR) and of Nimoy. Elmo & Patsy - Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindee Caitlin Heaney West My grandmother had the best sense of humor, and I remember being at her house as a little kid and her putting this on the record player, because she thought it was hilarious. Barnes & Barnes - Fish Heads Clayton Over Mostly because the video is bizarre, fun and features a very young Bill Paxton, but also for non-musical reasons. I’m a huge fan of the criminally underrated show Babylon 5 and a cast member, Bill Mumy, is one half of Barnes & Barnes. You might also recognize him as the original Will Robinson from Lost in Space and as the kid who wishes people into the cornfield on The Twilight Zone. Pop-O-Pies - Truckin’ Ed Pikulski It’s a perfectly abusive and hysterical punk rock version of the Grateful Dead standard. Be sure to listen past the :20 mark! Monty Python - The Lumberjack Song Jim Haggerty The lyrics are hilarious, but the looks on their faces as they realize what they are singing make it incomparable. Frank Zappa - Lonesome Cowboy Burt Jim Haggerty This side-splitter from Zappa’s 1971 movie, “200 Motels,” the original music video, is the ultimate spoof of redneck attitudes. It commits mortal sins against PC culture. Drummer Jimmy Carl Black fills in as Burt, Zappa plays drums and Flo and Eddie, who had monster hit singles as the Turtles, sing backup. Weird Al Yankovic - Another One Rides the Bus Jim Lockwood The first Weird Al song I ever heard, while listening to the old Dr. Demento show on a car radio, late on a Sunday night, hanging out with friends in an alley. Monty Python - Eric the Half-a-Bee John Cole John Cleese has said this is one of his favorite Monty Python bits, due mainly to its complete silliness. Ipso facto, I won’t disagree. Spike Jones - Der Fuehrer’s Face John Cole Spike Jones was the father of the novelty tune, and this was one of his most famous. Phil Harris - The Thing John Cole A cautionary tale. Beware “great big boxes just a floatin’ in the bay.” The Rutles - Cheese and Onions John Cole Eric Idle and Neil Innes’ sendup on The Beatles is one of the best parodies out there. Bo Burnham - Can’t Handle This (Kanye Rant) Jon O’Connell Tiny Pringle cans, overstuffed Chipotle burritos and the human condition Larry Vincent - The Freckle Song Pat McKenna Fond memories of listening to Dr. Demento on Sunday nights. The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian Patrice Wilding I feel any song that inspires its own dance craze qualifies as a novelty song, but this tune is also straight-up GOOD. The Rutles - Get Up And Go Ted Baird Because I sincerely like “Cheese and Onions” so much I refuse to admit that it’s a novelty tune. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast - Let’s Generalize About Men Gia Mazur “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is an irreverent and silly show that delves into deep subjects like mental illness and feminism, without ever feeling like “A Very Special Episode.” It’s also a musical, heavy with numbers based on songs you *almost* know with lyrics suited to each character’s storyline. Creator Rachel Bloom also isn’t afraid to poke fun anything -- like what the show does with this song. Based on “It’s Raining Men,” it recounts every bitchfest you’ve ever had with your girlfriends about dudes, complete with double-standards and generalities. The show is so funny, so smart and so good, you must watch. Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling David Singleton We snickered about this song in high school.
Harry McClintock - Big Rock Candy Mountain Joe Butkiewicz Many choices but went with a classic and the original version. No Burl Ives.