Don't Crush That Dwarf...

Hello, everyone.

In this thread, Dropzone points out the sad fact that no-one seems to know about the existence of the The Firesign Theatre, a very sharp comedy and social satire group. I agree that these guys deserve a lot more recognition than they get.

I love The Firesign Theatre. Almost no-one else I know has any idea who they are, and the few people I know who like TFT are at least 10 years older than me. (I’m 27.) It’s sad to know that such probing, eerie, mordantly funny work could go out of circulation with the last of the Baby Boomers. (I came to know TFT through my mother’s old records. I tried to get one of my little sisters to like them too, but to no avail. Although she’s pretty smart, she often has the attention span of a hyperactive squirrel. But, as Tom Lehrer said, I digress…)

I was thrilled when they came back from the shadows again with Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death a couple of years ago. Billville, their most recent studio recording, is also classic Firesign stuff, but I don’t think it quite measures up to GMIOGMD. I have yet to check out their recent live recording, In the Firezone.

Anyone else here a Firesign Theatre fan? If so, what is it that draws you to TFT, and what’s your favorite production of theirs? Also, what other comedy groups, writers, songwriters, etc. do you think are absolutely wonderful but are unknown to most people?


Hmm…now that I’m rereading my post…maybe I should have put this in IMHO.

re: the op

…Hand ME the pliers…

I particularly like “I think we’re all Bozo’s on this bus”

Also “Nick Danger, Third Eye”

This, I think, is my favorite.

Well, hell. They’re astonishingly funny. And the humor is layered on so thickly that the albums bear up under dozens, hundreds, of listenings.

My favorite is possibly that classic of the Late Early Period, circa 1975…EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG.

*“Benjamin Franklin! The only President of the United States…who was never President of the United States.”

You might find this thread comforting. There are quite a few Firesign fans here. Perhaps dropzone neglected to poke his head in there because someone else’s name was on the thread title. That’ll teach him.

BTW, if anyone can lead me to a copy of Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him on CD, I would be so grateful, I’d…well, I’d surely do something really nice for you.

The Firesign Theater were probably the wildest and funniest comedy groups ever. You’re right about the layering – you could listen dozens of times and come up with new jokes you missed.

I’m partial to “Don’t Crush That Dwarf,” but my favorite bit is probably Nick Danger:

Los Angales . . .
He walks again by night.


“Why that’s just a two-bit ring from a Cracker back jox.”
“I’ll sell it to you for five thousand dollars.”
“Five thousand? What kind of chump do you take me for?”
“First class.”


“How does he make his voice do that?”


“She’s no fun. She fell right over. . . . Wait a minute. Didn’t I say that on the other side of the record?”

(quoting TFT is like quoting Monty Python – you can’t stop.)

“Did you know that Indians can talk to animals?..That they invented the wire recorder?..That they can be in two places at the same time?..And YOU probably don’t even know where you are!”

There’s a seeker born every minute. And please, let’s not get started on Bob and Ray.

Bubbles? That woman is trying to kill me!

Another TFT fan checking in. Sometime in the late 80’s, the USA channel had a show called “Night Flight” - they ran a brilliantly funny TFT video about an interactive house (Rocky Rococo held the mortgage). At one point, Junior leaves home to find work in the big city and ends up with a job at a fast-food joint, “Rat-In-A-Box.” Another commercial parody was for a chewing gum that increased your bustline - “Boobie Chew!” Fortunately, a friend taped it for me because I’ve never seen it anywhere else. I’m going to have to dig out that tape and watch it again. It’s weirdly cool!

Antelope Freeway - one quarter mile.

Ditto. And, like the best absurdist works, it becomes less like fiction as time goes on. BTW, there is really supposed to be an alien buried in Arizona whose spaceship had crashed into a Judge Proctor’s windmill (attached, I assume, to Proctor’s Well).

Thanks for the link, Geobabe. No, it had been addressed to someone else, so I hadn’t looked at it.

Fudd’s Law: If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.

Testlickle’s Devient to Fudd’s Law: What goes in must come out.

Words that rule my life.

[hijack] night flight wuz the best show on tv for a while back in the day. the only place ive ever seen those weird ass devo videos with general boy and booje boy. my pals and i would come home after a night of ingesting drugs and alcohol and watch it all night. it wuz way too cool for its time and wuz eventually replaced by that moron gilbert gottfried introducing mindless 80s t&a movies. sniff…{/hijack]

Got into Firesign Theatre 'way back when in those days when I used to … umm… overindulge. …heh. Years ago. Recently came across some old albums, and tried an experiment… played them for some friends who were actually not under the influence of chemicals at the time. Admittedly, these friends are weird people, but for some reason all my friends are.

Anyhow, they laughed themselves stupid. Proving to me that it wasn’t just the drugs; they’re damn funny albums.

The elevator boy… he is in your family?

For connoisseurs of recorded comedy, might I recommend the 1950’s British “The Goon Show”. Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan, laying the foundation for Python (and everything else that came after, for that matter).

Check out for info
or to purchase CDs

aseymayo: The “Rat in a Box” bit you refer to is available in video. It’s called “Nick Danger in: The Case of the Missing Yolk.” This tape also has the Boobie Chew commercial on it, among others.

Another good Firesign video is “Eat or Be Eaten,” a heartwarming tale in which high-school cheerleader Betty Jo Fertilizer is prepared to be the Virgin Bride of the rampaging “koodzoo” vine and thereby save her little town from destruction.

And then there’s “Anythynge You Want To” (a CD), a Shakespearean parody, which contains the immortal line:

“Crack, cheeks, crack; and break, wind, break”

I’m a fan from WAY back when, in the days of the Antelope Freeway. (“Press him again - maybe he’ll pass another one.”)

Am I the only person who thinks that Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death ranks right up there with Waiting for the Electrician and How Can You Be In Two Places At Once in terms of sheer brilliance?

Quick, name the Firesign Theatre bits from whence these lines were spawned:

  1. Don’t follow the ball when it makes the street.

  2. No anchovies? You’ve got the wrong man!

  3. It’s a beaut!

  4. Own the idea of the idea of America.

OK, I’ve only heard of the Firesign Theater once before. Spider Robinson, a favorite author of mine talked about them in one of his books.

From what you all are saying they sound absolutely hysterical. Can someone point me to where some of their stuff is sold? I’m interested in checking it out.

Baker: head over to

Yes :wink:

  1. “Deputy Dan Has No Friends” Dear Friends
  2. I spell my name “Danger.” How can you be in two places at once (when you’re not anywhere at all?)
  3. “No, it’s a mound.” “And right purty, too.” Waiting for the Electrician
  4. Can I guess? I haven’t bought it yet: Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death

Baker, you’ll enjoy these guys if you are an SF fan. They got a couple Hugo nominations in the early 70s.

Nitpick, 'zone, since ya dissed my opinion of GMIOGMD. :wink:

The exchange in question vis a vis #3 actually goes like this:

“That’s our Sacred Mount.”
“It’s a beaut!”
“No, it’s a mount.”
“And right purty, too.”

Mount, not mound. Carry on.

(Deputy Dan Has No Friends is one of my all-time favorite FOFCG bits.)

Thanks for the headsup Geobabe, I’ll go check it out!