Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ralph "Moody" Thayer

A few years ago I wrote about a routine by Bob and Ray that demonstrated just how ahead of their time they were in their satires of TV/radio talk and news shows. This was the "Corrupt Mayor" routine where the news host (Bob) interviews a corrupt politician (Ray) and we hear what a news interview would be like if nobody used any spin or euphemisms -- they just say outright that he's corrupt and crooked, and the few times the host drops into news-speak ("an interest in financial matters"), Ray corrects him with the real-world term ("loan sharking"). Before Bob and Ray, hardly anyone was doing this kind of dissection of the news media's dependence on fakery and pretending not to notice the obvious; now The Daily Show has made everyone familiar with this kind of humor, but it was new when they were doing it.

I found my old copy of Bob and Ray's late '60s Broadway show Bob and Ray: the Two and Only (where they performed most of their best-known routines) and decided to upload this routine. So here it is, several years too late to make the original post more interesting:

And here's another routine from the same LP that does a similar number on the rituals of news interview shows: Ray, as a government official, hands Bob a list of questions in advance of the interview, including fulsome praise for his guest's knowledge and helpfulness. I saw a similar bit on The Daily Show last week with Colbert giving Stewart a script and forcing him to read off all the questions; they didn't get it from Bob and Ray, but again, it wasn't a common type of routine before Bob and Ray.


Joanna said...

Those are classic routines - thank you so much for sharing them!

Michael Jones said...

That was brilliant. I always liked Mel Lastman as Toronto's mayor. At least you knew you'd elected a huckster when you voted for him.