I wasn’t planning on doing a website dedicated to Frazer Smith (IMDB | Wikipedia | Facebook | Twitter), but that’s how this project turned out. Here you will find some of the writing, notes, and other materials relating to the Frazer Smith Show in the late 1970s (on KROQ) and early 1980s (on KLOS), including Power News, live shows, the TV project, ads, and bumper material.
Well, it’s fun to get this stuff off of deteriorating paper and into the bit bucket, and it gives me a chance to experiment with yet another Bootstrap-themed website. Pretty compelling reasoning, huh?
But also, there is something so desparately attractive about radio comedy. Often, it goes out once over the airwaves, and that’s it. I don’t know about now, but in the olden days most radio shows weren’t recorded. If you didn’t catch the show in the moment, it was lost to you. Perhaps that’s part of what made it so magical.
Another part of the magic is that when the only input is your ears, your brain gets to fill in the details. As a kid, I’d listen to recordings of the old Fibber McGee and Molly show, and then later, Stan Freberg, Jonathan Winters, Peter Ustinov, and Bob Newhart, each of whom could create a canvas in your mind’s eye through the use of the spoken word. Of course, recordings by others such as Bill Cosby, The Smothers Brothers, George Carlin, and Lord Buckley each contributed, but these were more “straightforward” comedy.
The pinnacle for me was Firesign Theatre, about which more later.
But standing on the shoulders of these titans of radio comedy, and with the help of members of Firesign Theatre, I got the opportunity to contribute to the genre.
In some ways, it seems crass to attempt to reproduce in print — even on the Interweb — these gossamer threads, but it seemed worse not to try. So sit back, hum a few bars of David Bowie’s “Panic in Detroit,” and hurt yourself.
Did you know?
The use of radio waves for delivering comedy was discovered by my GGGG grandfather, Matthias Blickensderfer (1764-1809). Pretty incredible, huh?
After spending several years perfecting radio transmission and reception for commercial applications, Matthias channelled his creative energies in another direction, and subsequently invented in-flight movies. Sadly, he passed away before ever seeing this invention come to fruition.