Lately, I have been helping Best Friend listening to and assessing the quality of a stack of vintage record albums he came in possession of to resell in his music shop.
In this latest stack, there were four comedy albums. We had heard of three (Woody Woodbury, Redd Foxx, and Rusty Warren), and one comedienne we had to research – Belle Barth – because, well, who was she?
We knew for sure that two or three had reputations for being vulgar and foul-mouthed, and our research told us Belle Barth was offensive, too. We braced ourselves. We listened. And—
We didn’t find anything really uncouth in the sense of language or topics. That is, with our knowledge of today’s lax syntax using f-word and s-word peppered within general conversations, these vintage comedy routines were mild. Of course, the albums contain adult topics and are not for children, for sure.
I can see, however, that in the early 1960s and 1970s, the topics on those albums would have been considered of the adult nature and probably rated X. As far as Redd Foxx’s went, well – his commentaries, as true as they were about race, would send today’s PC Woke Crowd to the loony bin after burning down comedy clubs.
I really did expect these comedy albums to be riddled with vulgar language and horribly crude jokes, but in all seriousness, we can hear the same routines on television and social media today.
Color me shocked.
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Excerpt from my upcoming book, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023