What can I say about Firesign Theatre… They are called the Beatles of comedy… but they left the Beatles in their tracks. They Were the Bach of comedy with exquisite 4 part contrapuntal lines of dialog that enveloped your mind in a mesmerizing macrocosm of mirth. I first heard Firesign in 1968 on the radio, side two of “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once, When You’re Not Anywhere at All” ( take that Fiona Apple). It was Love at first sound! I immediately went out and bought the album and wore it out. They were great, 2 Yale Drama grads ( Proctor and Bergman), a Radio DJ (Ossman), and a Rock Star ( Austin). They wrote the densest heavily referenced comedy ever. I had never heard of half the writers they referenced, and of course had to go out get educate myself as to who Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, etc. were. The material was complex, I remember friends who didn’t like “I Think Were All Bozos On This Bus” because it was too complicated. It was four things going on at once, but this was the age of head phones.
In a One Man show I did a few years back “I Was A Teenage Surrealist” I used the “Pep Rally” from ” Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Pass Me The Pliers” as an example if the surrealist humor prevalent when I was going to High School. They were so influential in my development. Firesign, Zappa, Beckett, Lennon were my big 4.
Bergman a Yale graduate was the founding member he had a radio show in LA called Radio Free OZ, which was the central point around which the Firesign formed. He also coined the phrase Love-In.
Rest In Peace, Duke of Madness.