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Old 01-03-2019, 08:55 AM
MortSahlFan MortSahlFan is offline
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Funniest Musicians?

John Lennon
Jim Morrison
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:05 AM
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Roy Clark. He had such talent that he could play difficult pieces with ease all the while adding comedic touches and making funny faces. Of course he was the grinnin' part of pickin' and grinnin'.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:09 AM
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How are you defining "funny"? Funny in interviews? Funny lyrics? Laughing-out-loud funny, or smirk funny?

I think "Weird Al" Yankovic is funny. And Frank Zappa. But in very different ways.

My vote for the funniest, though, is Jon Lajoie.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:12 AM
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Let's not forget Victor Borge
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:16 AM
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Mason Williams
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:24 AM
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Banjo-playing Steve Martin has to be at the top of the list.

And the Blues Brothers and their band.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 01-03-2019 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:38 AM
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Peter Schickele/ P. D. Q. Bach -- I suspect a lot of his musical jokes went un-noticed by the general public, so he played P.D.Q. Bach pretty broadly, so people would get the joke. He was a graduate of Julliard.

He also wrote non-comic stuff. He did the score for the movie Silent Running. He also wrote over 100 pieces of various types of music.


There's also Spike Jones, and a few other older musical comedians whose names escape me right now.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:45 AM
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Aha! Here's one! Anna Russell and her deadpan dissections of opera -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Russell

Quote:
Russell became known for her deadpan humour, including her disbelieving emphasis of the absurd in well accepted stories and her mockery of pretension. For example, in her humorous analysis of Wagner's Ring cycle, she began by noting that the first scene takes place in the River Rhine: "In it!!" After pointing out that a character in the Ring Cycle is the first woman that Siegfried has ever met who is not his aunt, she pauses and declares, "I'm not making this up, you know!" This phrase also became the title of her autobiography, published in 1985. At the end of her monologue she sings the Rhinemaidens' leitmotif and declares, "You're exactly where you started, 20 hours ago!"
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
There's also Spike Jones, and a few other older musical comedians whose names escape me right now.
He stole his act from the Hoosier Hotshots. And, in turn, got it stolen by Weird Al.

Homer and Jethro were the country version.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:08 AM
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Bette Midler.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:20 AM
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He stole his act from the Hoosier Hotshots. And, in turn, got it stolen by Weird Al.

Homer and Jethro were the country version.
You might want to give more context, or link to a site about the Hotshots (like this obvious one -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoosier_Hot_Shots )

I don't know anything about the Hotshots, but saying that Weird Al stole Spike Jones act suggests to me that you're not familiar with either Jones or Yankovic, or maybe both. Although both did their own original comic songs, Jones' schtick was really weird renditions of pop tunes ("Cocktails for Two"), while Weird Al did parodies of current pop songs using the original music (or sometimes hijacking the melodies of pop songs to parody cultural movements). The acts aren't the same at all.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:20 AM
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Loudon Wainwright III is very funny in concert and has some great funny songs withe depth to them.

The Bonzo Dog Band is the gold standard of funny music in the rock era. Basically, they're the Monty Python of music. Or, rather, Monty Python is the Bonzo Dog Band of sketch comedy -- the Pythons were heavily influenced by them.

Some examples:
The Intro and the Outro
Look Out, There's a Monster Coming (cameo by Terry Jones)
Death Cab for Cutie (introduced by Michael Palin). They also performed this on the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.
Doctor Jazz

There's also Martin Mull, who put out several very funny albums in the early 70s, with songs like "Licks Off of Records."

Not quite as well known is Blotto, with "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard," "We are the Nowtones," and "Metal Head."
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:21 AM
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I am quite familiar with them all, thank you. A distinction between a weird rendition and a parody seems like a fine one, even without considering that both did both.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:23 AM
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They were mostly a local act from Boston's North Shore, but The Fools will always have a place in my heart with "Life Sucks, Then You Die", "Psycho Chicken", and "Big Big Big".

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper's "Elvis Is Everywhere" deserves a mention, too.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:26 AM
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No mention of Kinky Friedman yet? The man's songs and detective books are a laugh out loud treasure.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:27 AM
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I am quite familiar with them all, thank you. A distinction between a weird rendition and a parody seems like a fine one, even without considering that both did both.
Not at all. Weird al didn't do weird renditions, AFAIK -- he changed the words to make his points, but retained the melody and rhyme scheme (and, if he did a video, the basic structure). Spike Jones' weird renditions kept the words, but went ape with the music. That you think these are identical, or even close, baffles me.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:27 AM
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Shel Silverstein is best known as a writer, but he recorded some of his stuff, too. I trust you all know his style.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:28 AM
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That you think these are identical, or even close, baffles me.
Perhaps you need to listen to more of both. A good idea in any case.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
How are you defining "funny"? Funny in interviews? Funny lyrics? Laughing-out-loud funny, or smirk funny?

I think "Weird Al" Yankovic is funny. And Frank Zappa. But in very different ways.

My vote for the funniest, though, is Jon Lajoie.
Define it any way you want, variety is good. I really love funny in an interview setting.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:52 AM
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Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Not at all. Weird al didn't do weird renditions, AFAIK -- he changed the words to make his points, but retained the melody and rhyme scheme (and, if he did a video, the basic structure). Spike Jones' weird renditions kept the words, but went ape with the music. That you think these are identical, or even close, baffles me.
Mostly you're right, but Weird Al's polka medleys are a lot closer to the kind of thing Spike Jones did.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MortSahlFan View Post
John Lennon
Jim Morrison
I think a lot of people are taking this in a different direction than the OP intended. From the OP's example, I don't think he's looking for comedy acts—people who made funny music—so much as for serious musicians who were/are funny, who had good senses of humor than didn't necessarily come out in their music.

I didn't know that Jim Morrison was funny, but I did know that all four Beatles, and especially Lennon, were (from their interviews, writings, etc.).
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:27 AM
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Weird Al is just channeling Frank Jacobs.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I think a lot of people are taking this in a different direction than the OP intended. From the OP's example, I don't think he's looking for comedy acts—people who made funny music—so much as for serious musicians who were/are funny, who had good senses of humor than didn't necessarily come out in their music.

I didn't know that Jim Morrison was funny, but I did know that all four Beatles, and especially Lennon, were (from their interviews, writings, etc.).
Yeah. Jim could be funny in some interviews, and was very funny sometimes in concert, shouting funny things to the crowd.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:39 AM
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Jim Stafford, folks. Guy's a total loon; I love him.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:43 AM
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Pete Townshend has told some hilarious stories in between songs at solo gigs.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:44 AM
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Ace Frehley from Kiss. It's a really specific type of humor, but if you watch any old interviews with him, his laugh alone is hysterical - Joker-level insane. The fact that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley seem like they can't stand him makes it even better.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:51 AM
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I'd second the vote for Mojo Nixon (and Skid Roper, even though he never said anything).

Perhaps surprisingly, I'll suggest Richard Thompson. For many years, both as a member of Fairport Convention and as a solo act, he never said anything on stage and wrote "doom and gloom" songs almost exclusively. In recent years, he's shown a terrific deadpan humor, both in on-stage banter and in his often humorous and totally original songs. His cover of "Oooops! I Did It Again" is hilarious.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:00 PM
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Frank Zappa
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:02 PM
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John Lennon?

Run for Your Life? Jealous Guy? He is about as funny as a Moe Howard poke in the eye.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:05 PM
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Oscar Levant.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:12 PM
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With the passing of Bob Einstein, one has to think of the Smothers Brothers in this category.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Loudon Wainwright III is very funny in concert and has some great funny songs withe depth to them.

The Bonzo Dog Band is the gold standard of funny music in the rock era. Basically, they're the Monty Python of music. Or, rather, Monty Python is the Bonzo Dog Band of sketch comedy -- the Pythons were heavily influenced by them.

Some examples:
The Intro and the Outro
Look Out, There's a Monster Coming (cameo by Terry Jones)
Death Cab for Cutie (introduced by Michael Palin). They also performed this on the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.
Doctor Jazz

There's also Martin Mull, who put out several very funny albums in the early 70s, with songs like "Licks Off of Records."

Not quite as well known is Blotto, with "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard," "We are the Nowtones," and "Metal Head."
I love "Hunting Tigers Out in Indiah" and have had "The Equestrian Statue" stuck in my head for days.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:28 PM
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Spanning the 'intentionally humorous songs' and 'funny stories in person/concert' categories is Arlo Guthrie.

And, definitely in the 'funny songs' category is Tom Lehrer of course.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:43 PM
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O-Vouty!

Last edited by jaycat; 01-03-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:59 PM
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I think Rick Wakeman matches the spirit of the OP.

Check out his acceptance speech when Yes were inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85PT2YgN780
  #37  
Old 01-03-2019, 01:07 PM
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Victor Borge was one of the funniest people of all time, period.
  #38  
Old 01-03-2019, 01:12 PM
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Victor Borge was one of the funniest people of all time, period.
You have to make a "pop" sound for that period.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:37 PM
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Both David Bromberg and Dan Hicks had many hilarious lyrics and songs, in addition to other styles.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:38 PM
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Well played, well played.

I think Borge was the undisputed master of the comedic pause. It’s what always struck me when watching him. That deadpan delivery combined with perfect pauses before the punchlines. If you can find it, look up video for the joke about his uncle who invented a soft drink called “4-Up”. Wonderful pause.

Another example is the one liner he would begin by showing the audience his watch: “My grandfather gave me this watch on his deathbed [pause]... for twenty bucks.”

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 01-03-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:42 PM
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Michael "Bluer Than Blue" Johnson can inspire a giggle.

And there's GOT to be some love for Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oates).

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 01-03-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #42  
Old 01-03-2019, 01:56 PM
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And there's GOT to be some love for Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oates).
Hell, yes! Their Vimeo show was amazing. I fall in love every time I see them.
  #43  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:08 PM
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Spanning the 'intentionally humorous songs' and 'funny stories in person/concert' categories is Arlo Guthrie.

And, definitely in the 'funny songs' category is Tom Lehrer of course.
Don't forget Flanders & Swann.
  #44  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:22 PM
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I'm not much a fan of his music, but I've seen Dave Matthews in interviews and a few acting roles and think the guy is hilarious.
  #45  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:33 PM
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Todd Snider.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2FEc37uMhU
  #46  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:34 PM
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Great choices all. I'd have to add Jerry Reed, who gave us "Amos Moses" and "When you're Hot, you're Hot" among others, and who apparently enjoyed life just as much as his singing appearances and movie roles indicated.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:35 PM
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I think Rick Wakeman matches the spirit of the OP.
Seconded for Rick, but I can't believe nobody has mentioned Noel Gallagher. Here's a snippet of his dryness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBn-UGJDtWA

j
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:41 PM
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Lou Reed, always an entertaining interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UrhX1ilwwc
  #49  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
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Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
No kidding, I almost fell off my chair laughing at some of their songs. I heard they are doing another special?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Weird Al is just channeling Frank Jacobs.
Weird Al has the smartest and funniest lyrics out there. He is also funny outside his music. His TV shows and movie are really funny and he really did write them.

He's a super funny and smart guy.
  #50  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:44 PM
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Interpreting that as "funny people," I nominate Jon Wurster and James Blunt.
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