A Pelican’s Life

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

In itself, this is sort of a joke, as I have written and performed radio comedy on and off for as long as I have been an adult. A quarter of a freaking 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 in that part of the world, you may be asking, how can I join? 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, about four hours from now, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, I thank you.

I no longer live in New Paltz, NY, so I have not been a live participant in over 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.

* * * *
Each Wednesday, I use my website to advertise for the radio show. Neither benefits financially from the arrangement, because neither endeavor makes money (money has been spent to make both exist but has never been earned), and the arrangement is between me and me.

* * * *
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