At some point in their career, a stand-up comedian will eventually release a comedy album. And eventually, that stand-up comedian will transition from doing a comedy album to performing his own songs.
I call this evolution. Sort of.
Here on K-Chuck Radio, we have some examples of popular comedians transitioning to the pop and rock fields. Some of these were quite successful; others were just head-scratchingly confusing.
Let’s start with
Little Ole Man (Uptight – Everything’s Alright)
This is the ultra-rare separated stereo version of this song. And it’s quite good … as long as you can get past the part where the lead singer is Bill Cosby. And I’m saying this knowing that this was recorded before we knew him as the host of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids … or The Cosby Show … or commercials for Coca-Cola and Jell-O … or all the skeevy things he’s done with women in the past few years.
Party All The Time
There was a time in the mid-1980’s when Rick James had the Midas touch. He even found away to give Eddie Murphy a legit near-#1 pop hit. And to be honest, this is a pretty good song … it’d be better if someone could scrape Eddie Murphy’s thin vocals off it and just gave us the rhythm track.
This had to be the equivalent of a “perfect song” – comedian Sam Kinison screaming through a heavy metal cover of the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” – with cameos from popular heavy metal and hard rock singers … all staring and leering and ogling Jessica Hahn. Yes, the “I slept with Jim Bakker and brought down the PTL” Jessica Hahn. Best line in this song – “When I kiss you I taste what other guys had for lunch.” Meow.
CHEECH AND CHONG
You might not recognize this track among Cheech and Chong’s comedy classics like “Earache My Eye”‘ and “Born in East L.A.” and “Basketball Jones,” but this nice little slice of George Thoroughgood-inspired rock has a nice edge to it. I think it actually got up to maybe #41 on the pop charts, too.
Comedian Tim Wilson crafted an album of 1970’s disco tracks, complete with this dance track that could have come from an old Private Stock compilation LP. Look, it was either playing this track or “The Ward Burton Train,” except I’m not sure my blog readers would even know who Ward Burton was.
THE BLUES BROTHERS
Who’s Making Love
Gotta hand it to Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi – when they put on those porkpie hats and Ray-Ban sunglasses, they paid true homage to the classic Stax/Volt classics of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Johnnie Taylor would be proud. So would Sam & Dave, but you’ve heard the Blues Brothers perform “Soul Man” a hundred thousand times already.
RICK DEES AND HIS CAST OF IDIOTS
I want to end today’s K-Chuck Radio with this track. Yeah, back in 1976 this was a piece of disco fluff, but if you listen to this remixed version, you can definitely hear the musicianship of the Ardent Records house band, who completely sold this song as a great piece of disco music.
A great way today to get your groove on – and a smile on your face – courtesy of your friends here at K-Chuck Radio!