WRITE IF YOU GET WORK: The Best of Bob and Ray by Bob & Ray Goulding Elliott

WRITE IF YOU GET WORK: The Best of Bob and Ray

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At long last a sop for that relatively small but fierce cult which has over the years celebrated the genius of comedians Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding, who, along with Vic and Sade, the early (very early) Henry Morgan, Fred Allen, etc., have scanned contemporary absurdities from their very small planet with an insidious civility, and so light a touch that the satiric product is almost congruent with the real thing. This is a collection of fifty scripts, which Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in his introduction rightfully terms ""about one ten-thousandth of their output."" There's a recipe from Mary Magoon who evolved, as the veteran fans from Boston will remember, from a local monotonic radio personality: ""I pour (the salad) into a mold made in the likeness of a dear friend of mine."" Mary Backstayge Noble Wife and husband Harry discuss their new venture after their play, Westchester Furioso, folds--it is to be a fast food restaurant, the House of Toast, built in the shape of a toaster with a machine that shoots out 3000 pieces of toast per minute. There's the Bob and Ray Spelling Bee, rigged like a four-masted schooner (aficionados will regret the loss of Miss Proudfoot of White River Junction in this version); a performance of the man who imitates food and drink (""Wonderful. Mr. Fentriss Synom as a plate of franks and bean!""). And so it goes, through the on-camera snarls of Wally the Word Man and Mr. Wise Old Owl on Prodigy Street, a Bob and Ray Sew-Off, Mr. Treet Chaser of Lost People, etc., etc. But where, alas, is all that golden material of the '50's (the parodies of the McCarthy hearings) thrown away on the radio at dawn, the Boston years when Mary Magoon was on the pad, and oral sketches which cannot survive print, like The Slow Talkers of America? But as Vonnegut points out Bob and Ray can ""go on making people happy almost indefinitely."" May all gainsayers hang by their thumbs.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1975
Publisher: Random House