UPDATE: My piece has sold! (profit will go to WFMU) And you can see all the artwork here.
This Friday, Gallery 1988 Melrose will unveil the second installment of Is This Thing On?, an art show hosted by "Weird Al" Yankovic saluting our favorite funny people, and I'm way excited to be among the artists. My comedians of choice are Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster of The Best Show on WFMU because about 75% of my weekly laughs come from this three-hour program. Here's my piece...
For those unfamiliar I'll quote Patton Oswalt from a recent article in SPIN,
"Trying to explain The Best Show on WFMU to someone who hasn't heard it can be one of the most frustrating tasks on the planet. [...] The simple explanation is this: For three hours each week, a guy named Tom Scharpling gets on the radio, plays some cool records, takes some phone calls, and then his friend, Superchunk and Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster, calls up and acts like a jerk."
I thought the duo was a perfect fit for a 1960s-era LP cover in the tradition of Bob Newhart, Paul Lynde or Rowan & Martin because their lives revolve around music and to me their comedy has a classic, timeless quality. Over the years they've built a self-contained mythology of characters, events, and places (i.e. Newbridge). Unlike typical radio teams they rarely depend on the latest happenings of pop culture, on the contrary they often employ hilariously obscure cultural relics and people in their vernacular.
It's performed live (though carefully written) and a single exchange between them can go on for the better part of an hour which lets the laughs gradually build to a frenzy as the absurdity reaches new depths. This breathing room also lends itself to wonderful subtlety, and once you pick up on the rhythms and running gags (which are the inspiration for many of the album's would-be tracks) there's even more mirth to be had.
And that's not even touching on the other two-thirds of the show in which Tom uproariously reflects on life's day-to-day struggles, regales us with tales of his past and toys with the clueless callers in a Bug's Bunny-like fashion.
If it's still unclear... I recommend this show.
You can listen to it live each Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern, or here are the archives, or you can subscribe to the podcast via itunes
Anyway, the "LP cover" poster-print also comes with the original colored pencil art (below) and any profit I might get will go to listener-supported WFMU. So if you're interested call or email Gallery 1988.