Bob & Ray

On a Platter

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After making appearances on an RCA Victor Living Stereo sampler album and a comedy compilation album on Coral Records (Fun Time), Bob & Ray finally got the chance to record an entire album of their own with On a Platter. Rather than reprise popular skits from their radio show, the duo worked up some new material, although their long-running character Wally Ballou makes an appearance interviewing a clueless cranberry grower. A four-part series of vignettes titled "Non Sequitur" depict Bob Elliot's visit to the dentist, but the remaining pieces are standalone skits. "Charles the Poet" is a drunken buffoon who satirizes radio poets, "Two Face West" involves two hapless cowboys and their attempts to dismount from their horses, while the interview segment,"People to People," features Bob & Ray having fun with stereo sound effects. There are also a handful of television parodies covering game shows ("Ladies Grab Your Seats"), sports ("Saturday Afternoon TV Football"), and popular music programs ("TV Record Hop Guest Star") that, typical of Bob & Ray's comedy, involve inept or confused characters failing in their endeavors. The supposed theme of the album is Bob & Ray's presentation of winners from their "Salute to Shoddy Showmanship" award for radio and television programming, but not all of the material adheres to the theme. The final skit, "'Salute to Shoddy Showmanship' Awards -- Introductory Remarks," is a long, possibly improvised explanation of the award, and the album that concludes with the comedians walking away from their microphones. The humor isn't as sharp as the best of their radio bits, and the sound effects are sometimes intrusive, but the album has its moments for fans of this enduringly popular and influential comedy duo. [The 1997 CD on RadioArt is a straight reissue of the original album.]

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