A Life in Comedy

For reasons that bore me, I am one of those lucky few whose brain does not retain jokes. Neither knock-knock groaners nor shaggy-dog tales; there are not many punchlines that are still connected to the matching set-up.

Which is in itself funny, as I have written and performed radio comedy on and off for as long as I have been an adult. A quarter of a freakin’ century.

Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. (alert: this is tonight), the Magnificent Glass Pelican half-hour is broadcast on 88.7 FM WFNP (“The Edge”) in the Rosendale-New Paltz, New York, area. The Pelican is a live half-hour radio comedy show that my friends and I have written, produced, and acted in since 1990. Lately, it has been an improvised half-hour, produced by us and scripted live on-air. We have an unwritten rule that no rules should be written.

For those who do not live there, the radio station streams the show live here at this link. Click on it and turn down your volume, as the station usually has its settings maxed out. This is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, thank you.

I no longer live in New Paltz, NY, so I have not been a live participant in a year. But the show still goes on.

It is broadcast from a college FM radio station while school is in session, and even though none of us has had any connection with the school as an educational institution for many many years, no one seems to have noticed our graying hair and lack of school books, so the station keeps inviting us back.

Some of the members are enjoying long careers in the creative arts. (You may have heard or seen some Pelicans on television or in films. Without knowing it.) Some are professional writers. Some are teachers. Myself, I am disabled/retired and a gad about town. Among our influences are the usual suspects: Monty Python, Firesign Theater, Del Close. The late Matt Coleman, a beloved friend and eternally a Pelican, once declared to a newspaper interviewer who was writing a profile about our group that we “separate the wheat from the chaff and keep the chaff.”

This is our opening theme:


 
Here is an improv from 2014, when I was a performing member of the group. In “Housemates and Scents,” a landlord confronts his tenant about some noises and scents coming from his space. I play “Mark.”


 
With Sean Marrinan as Johnny Business, Liz Burdick as Loretta Easysquid, Betsy Kraat as Father Stanley Sweetpickle, John Burdick as Lance Madwoman, Stephanie Marrinan as Mayor of the Three Cities, and me as Det. Edward Loosecandy, here is a Pelican classic from the mid-1990s, “Johnny Business”:


 
Here is our closing theme song:


 
If you can tune in, thank you.

* * * *
The Gad About Town is on Facebook! Subscribe today. Daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history plus links to other writers.

____________________________________________
The WordPress Daily Prompt for March 18 asks, “Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with a unexpected punchline, great zinger—all jokes are welcome!
Respond in a New Post”

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. Leigh W. Smith · March 18, 2015

    I guess the real question should be: What DON’T you do, Mark? Cool story, but it fills the introvert in me with anxiety thinking about ad-libbing and improvising.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · March 18, 2015

      It’s fun, but it’s a tightrope, and when I was doing the show I deferred 85% of the time to the more practiced performers. If you listened, you heard my voice and now you know that I can not sing. Thank you for asking my ego that very cool question. 😉

      Like

  2. Rose Red · March 20, 2015

    Very entertaining 🙂 you could make a lot of money at voice-overs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. loisajay · March 20, 2015

    Finally had a chance to listen to this. I loved Johnny Business–that was great!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rogershipp · March 21, 2015

    This is now on my to-do list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark Aldrich · September 2, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Gad About Town and commented:

    Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. (alert: this is tonight), the Magnificent Glass Pelican half-hour is broadcast on 88.7 FM WFNP (“The Edge”) in the Rosendale-New Paltz, New York, area. The Pelican is a live half-hour radio comedy show that my friends and I have written, produced, and acted in since 1990. Lately, it has been an improvised half-hour, produced by us and scripted live on-air. We have an unwritten rule that no rules should be written.

    For those who do not live there, the radio station streams the show live here at this address: http://t5.stationpanel.com/radio/player.php?station=wfnp&nc=755052316. Click on it and turn down your volume, as the station usually has its settings maxed out. This is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, thank you.

    Like

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.