Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alen Robin: the Nixon tapes

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Nixon presidency, here's a little cut and paste.

Alen Robin was a comedy writer when Earle Doud-- who produced the "First Family" John Kennedy comedy records-- picked him to create a series of "press conferences" featuring the (wildly) edited voices of our national leaders.  The album, "Welcome to the LBJ Ranch", was a hit-- apparently the live performance was attended by a still-unknown John Cleese--

and Mr Robin went on to release a few other records based on the same idea.

It's a surprisingly simple concept.  The "interviewer" acts as a straight man for the "subject", and the whole thing's based on altered context.

Today's first offering is from the 1971 "Supershrink" album (available on YouTube), the Nixon psychiatric interview (4:39).
Alen Robin- Nixon 1971

He used most of this routine in his 1974 "Funnyfarm", but added a new bit about the President's king-hell social life (1:17)...
Alen Robin- Nixon 1974 excerpt

...which might have made the producers nervous enough to include this disclaimer at the end of the record (0:25).
Alen Robin 1974 disclaimer

And for those of you interested in audio detritus, here's that twisted, pained little chuckle, one more time--
nixon chuckle
the one minor detail that speaks volumes.  He was a strange man.