6/2/12

Vinyl Dynamite #39: Richard & Willie


This is easily the most offensive content I've ever put on Retrospace, but I simply couldn't resist any longer.  Me keeping this from you would just be wrong..... there would always be this thing between us, and sometimes it's just better to get it out in the open - no matter how upsetting it is at first.

In 1975, ventriloquist, Richard Sanfield, put out an album that would make even the most resilient comedy fans do a double take.  This is the stuff of Bill Cosby's nightmares. Granted, it's not a whole lot more offensive than some of Richard Pryor's stuff; however, when combined with the album cover, this one easily takes the prize for tastelessness.

In fact, the cover really has no business being on Retrospace at all.  If you want to see it, click here. I won't stop you.... but don't say you haven't been warned.  And truth be told, we probably wouldn't be talking about this LP today if it weren't for its near legendary status as one of the worst album covers of all time.

Look, I'm no politically correct pantywaist that's worried about ruffling feathers.  I wouldn't be putting this out there if I was.  However, I respect the fact that some things just aren't for everyone.

So, what's the allure? Well, it's a combination of things.  First, the album cover has achieved a bit of notoriety over the years, and I'm always excited to hear what lies behind tawdry vinyl icons such as this. Second, it's a great immersion into the seventies, with lots of pop references. And third, it's actually kind of funny - picture Richard Pryor mixed with Dave Chappelle. If you can get past the repeated use of the N Word, you might actually catch yourself laughing.

Listen
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Note: Fans of Arrested Development will no doubt be reminded of Gob's equally offensive ventriloquist dummy, Franklin.

7 comments:

  1. Good one for spotlighting this. I'm a huge comedy collector, going back several years for the material that will never be released on a digital medium. Having said that, Laff Records put out a lot of this stuff in the seventies and eighties.
    There is so much to say about Laff Records and the insane connections it has/had with the recording industry I could not possibly write it all in a comments section. Dave Drozen was in charge, he later went on to start Uproar Records, a huge leader in comedy recordings.
    I absolutely love Retrospace because of your approach to the past. Keep up the GREAT work!

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  2. In fact, didn't Richard Pryor share an LP with Richard and Willie?

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  3. Ok my question is ...Does a ventriloquist act really work well on a record? I mean isn't the whole point of the act to be visual. It's like a guy using his finger as a gun for a robbery.. It really doesn't work.

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

      Good point and yet, going even more retro, Edgar Bergan made millions with his top rated Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy RADIO Show back in the thirties and forties.

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  4. Ok my question is ...Does a ventriloquist act really work well on a record? I mean isn't the whole point of the act to be visual. It's like a guy using his finger as a gun for a robbery.. It really doesn't work.

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  5. Thanks for this. Just listened to it, and the guy has some good jokes, but it's not what I would say was a traditional vent act, in that he doesn't really interact with the dummy. It's more like a stand-up routine, but hiding behind the dummy so he can use some riskier material and act (on one occasion) as the straight man. Of course, on just this evidence it's difficult to judge the act, and quite a lot of this is dealing (very funnily) with a heckler. But hey, it may not be PC (or even remotely close to it) - but it's good and funny at times :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for this. Just listened to it, and the guy has some good jokes, but it's not what I would say was a traditional vent act, in that he doesn't really interact with the dummy. It's more like a stand-up routine, but hiding behind the dummy so he can use some riskier material and act (on one occasion) as the straight man. Of course, on just this evidence it's difficult to judge the act, and quite a lot of this is dealing (very funnily) with a heckler. But hey, it may not be PC (or even remotely close to it) - but it's good and funny at times :)

    ReplyDelete