18:40 minutes (8.96 MB)
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Listening to Spike Jones, you realize that Will Ferrell and Saturday Night Live did not exactly invent cowbell humor.
In fact, comparing one to the other is like comparing Maria Callas to Cher. What you're struck by, listening to his berserk orchestral routines from the 1940s is (a) the incredible commitment to musicianship and (b) his willingness to try just about anything. It's as if the Canadian Brass and the Turtle Island String Quartet merged into one unit and then turned into Monty Python.
We tend to have in our minds the idea that crazy, edgy, experimental humor started in 1972 or some other recent date. But Spike Jones in 1949 displayed a lot of the same comic instincts as, say, Michael Palin in 1979. We'll meet Jones's son and widow today.
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