Saturday, July 9, 2011

'Laffter Sweet and Profane'

In the early 1960s, KNX-CBS Radio distributed an album entitled, Laffter Sweet and Profane, on which they featured two of their radio personalities (Bob Crane and Pat Buttram). This album was distributed to potential KNX advertisers so they could get a taste of how their commercials would be broadcast by either Crane or Buttram.

As you read through the album's liner notes below, you'll get a complete overview of The Bob Crane Show and Crane's unique style of humor. Then take a few minutes and listen to Jonathan Winters give Bob taste of his own medicine with an ad-libbed segment between a movie producer (Winters) and an aspiring young actor (Crane).

Laffter Sweet and Profane
Liner Notes: Bob Crane
"This disc is important for a number of reasons, one of which is that men who make important decisions in advertising are not apt to be alertly up and about and listening to radio when Bob Crane shatters the tranquility of the dawn hours on KNX. Crane comes on at 6:00 a.m. and continues at a crackling pace until 9:55 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and on Saturdays from 8:10 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. - with timeout for the news. It is important that ad men know about Crane. The record constitutes an introduction.

KNX Promotional Letter
Bob Crane / circa 1962
"The honor of occupying the flip side goes to Crane because the listener is more apt to flip over Crane's antic ebullience than over the drier humor of the sager Buttram.

"Separating the boys now, we give you first, Bob Crane, a Bridgeport (Conn.) boy who was bid come to The Land of the Orange (and the Nut) by KNX radio back in 1957 [note - incorrectly listed - should be 1956].

"The Crane side of the platter opens in confusion with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, a first-string team, discussing Crane and attempting to explain him. They fall flat on their collective faces, of course, because Crane defies definition...and then the sweet boyish voice of Crane himself comes crashing and exploding up out of the ashes of the Nichols-May defeat, so listen and perhaps you can fathom the phenomenon that is Bob Crane.

"Crane is completely lacking in respect for all things with the possible exception of The Great Coogamooga, a mythical deity whose acquaintance you are about to make.

"The Crane side of the disc purports to be exerpts from our boy's 5th Anniversary Show on KNX, itself made up of material extricated from Crane's five years of non-stop non-conformist morning jubilation.

"During the five years, Crane has interviewed 300 guests, including Miss [Marilyn] Monroe, an ape, Pat Boone, a shine boy, and Mr. [George] Jessel. Without being acerb, or caustic, or anything other than playful, Crane nevertheless is said to be rough on guests, so they crowd to get on his show. This is not because they're given to Masochism but because when a singer has a new album, few things get it launched with the impact produced by a plug on The Crane Show. The same goes for breakfast cereals and tires.

"Occasionally, however, a guest will succeed in working Crane over, as you will hear, herewith, wherein Jonathan Winters triumphs. 

"Crane approaches something close to genius in integrating his commercials with show-stuff. While he sometimes fractures a sponsor's message, he reassembles the pieces and augments and embellishes said message in such a manner as to increase the plug's effectiveness. This is a matter of record. Crane sells. Crane pitches hard. Add to this that he has the area's fastest-expanding morning audience and you have a degree of value that should make time buyers drool."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Bob Crane KNX Interview / Jonathan Winters (circa 1961)
Laffter Sweet and Profane / 5th Anniversary Promotional Record
Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio

Bob Crane / Jonathan Winters Interview Circa 1961 by vote4bobcrane