Ain't That a Knee-Slapper: Rural Comedy in the Twentieth by Tim Hollis

By Tim Hollis

There has been a time while rural comedians drew so much in their humor from stories of farmers' daughters, hogs, hens, and hill kingdom excessive jinks. Lum and Abner and mum and dad Kettle will possibly not have toured fortunately lower than the "Redneck" marquee, yet they have been its precursors. In Ain't Knee-Slapper: Rural Comedy within the 20th Century, writer Tim Hollis strains the evolution of this vintage American kind of humor within the mass media, starting with the golden age of radio, while such comedians as Bob Burns, Judy Canova, and Lum and Abner saved listeners guffawing. The publication then strikes into the films of the Nineteen Thirties, Nineteen Forties, and Nineteen Fifties, whilst the verified radio stars loved moment careers at the silver display and have been joined through live-action renditions of the caricature characters Li'l Abner and Snuffy Smith, in addition to the much-loved mom and dad Kettle sequence of movies. Hollis explores such rural sitcoms because the genuine McCoys within the overdue Fifties and from the Nineteen Sixties, The Andy Griffith exhibit, The Beverly Hillbillies, eco-friendly Acres, Hee Haw, and so on. alongside the way in which, readers are taken on part journeys into the realm of lively cartoons and tv ads that succeeded via a highly rural experience of enjoyable. whereas rural comedy fell out of trend and networks sacked exhibits within the early Nineteen Seventies, the emergence of such hits because the Dukes of Hazzard introduced the style whooping again to the mainstream. Hollis concludes with a short examine the present country of rural humor, which manifests itself in a extra suburban, redneck model of standup comedy. Tim Hollis is the writer of various books, together with hello, girls and boys! America's neighborhood kid's television courses and (with Greg Ehrbar) Mouse Tracks: the tale of Walt Disney documents.

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Although the plot ostensibly continued from day to day, it would frequently be interrupted or abandoned for an entire episode just so the characters could exchange vaudeville-style jokes with each other, as in the program’s first episode: Eb: Zeb! When in tarnation did ye git back? Zeb: About a half hour ago on the 4:20 train. - 24 - Let’s See What’s Going on Down in Pine Ridge Eb: 4:20 train? Zeb: Yessir. Eb: Why, hit ain’t even three o’clock yit. Zeb: I know, but this was yistidy’s train! Zeb explained that while he was on a trip to the city, he hired an efficiency expert to return to Corn Center with him and help figure out ways to make their store more profitable: Zeb: He’s a durn smart feller—but then, I tole ye about him in the letter.

Like a trombone. He used the bazooka as a part of his various vaudeville acts, but true fame eluded him until mid-1935, when he landed some successful appearances on Rudy Vallee’s radio variety show. In those spots, Burns patterned his monologues after those of Will Rogers, with a country philosopher’s view of politics and American life. After Rogers’s sudden demise, Burns’s career looked to be in as much jeopardy as that of satirist Vaughn Meader after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Burns dropped his political commentary - 38 - Radio Rules the Roost and started telling stories about Van Buren, which got him a regular role beginning in January 1936 on the Kraft Music Hall show hosted by Bing Crosby.

The 1932–33 set included at least 256 episodes, but the characters were revived periodically for many years thereafter. When Al Pearce and His Gang became a popular weekly prime-time variety series from 1933 to 1947, Pearce and Wright frequently dragged their two rube voices out of mothballs for isolated skits, much as they - 26 - Let’s See What’s Going on Down in Pine Ridge had begun with on Blue Monday Jamboree, rather than the continuing story lines of old. The other syndicated series that in hindsight appears to have ridden on Lum and Abner’s well-worn coattails was The Misadventures of Si and Elmer.

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