Bob & Ray [sporfle!] of the week

So I’m listening to my B&R stuff the other night, one of the skit collections that I hadn’t got around to yet because it’s an hour long and won’t play on my iPod**, and ran across what is very possibly the single cutest moment in the history of comedy: Ray interviews a ‘bunny exterminator’, that is to say Bob…

…doing a pitch-perfect Elmer Fudd. (Here named Robin Pickett, presumably because copyright lawyers don’t find this sort of thing funny.)

And I do mean perfect; an offhand salute from one of the great anarchistic spirits of comedy to another. I think that’s just swell. Especially bearing in mind that this is the early ’50’s, when the reference – to what was then generally thought of as adult entertainment – would’ve been still hip and current:

Ray: Robin, isn’t this kind of an inopportune time to be engaged in such activities? I mean…Easter Sunday coming up so soon?
Robin: Yeah…well, we don’t weawwy try to exterminate ’em. We just try to scawe ’em.
Ray: So in other words you’re not trying to kill the, ah, bunny, you just kind of stun them, is that right?
Robin: That’s wight. Just scawe ’em away from the farmer’s cwops.
Ray: What kind of cwops – er, crops – do they attack, usually, sir?
Robin: Well, anything gween, like, uh, salad gweens…
Ray (catching on): How about tuwwips – I mean, tulips?
Robin: Yes, tuwwips…cawwots…ah..anything that makes the – I beg youw pawdon?
Ray (starting to enjoy himself): I was just going to say…Gowwy, Wobin, is that wipstick on your collar?
Robin: Wipstick? Where?
Ray: Sure wooks wike it.
Robin: Well, uh, I…[giving up]...We use swingshots.
Ray: You use the regular old slingshot.
Robin: That’s wight.
Ray: And that more or less stuns the bunny, is that right?
Robin (mildly shocked): No, we don’t hit the bunny, unless we take pawticulawwy good aim, and that’s only by accident. We just want to scawe ’em away from Farmer Bwown’s stwawbewwy patch.
Ray: Is that the farmer’s name, you’re working for?
Robin: No, that’s hypothetical…
Ray: Oh, so it’s a hypothetical Farmer Brown?
Robin: That’s wight. It could be Farmer Jones, or it could be Farmer…
Ray: Gray…
Robin: No, it wouldn’t be Farmer Gway.
Ray: Oh. Well, whomever it would be, it would be a farmer.
Robin: That’s wight. [pause] And we do get paid for this kind of work.
Ray: Sure. And do you, uh…wear traditional bunny-exterminating clothing, when you’re on the job?
Robin: Well, we twy to camofwage oursewves so we wook wike wabbits. As you know, these long eaws, they’re not mine, this is pawt of my costume…
Ray (drily): Uh-huh. But that white cottontail, that’s yours, isn’t it.
Robin (not getting it): That’s wight.
Ray: Well, sir, thank you for talking with us. I don’t know when I’ve had a more idiotic –
Robin: I’m cwazy, incidentawwy.
Ray: Uh-huh, sure. Well, we accept that; I don’t know when I’ve had a crazier interview. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll switch back to New York…
Robin: Say hewwo to Mr. Ewwiott when you get back there!
Ray (giving up entirely): Gowwy, I will!

**Has anybody else encountered this? The file engages, pauses, and then without flashing an error message of any kind the iPod quickly moves on to the next file. Sometimes it cuts out similarly in mid-file. Granted, these are pretty ancient mp3s I’m dealing with here, but there doesn’t seem to be any kind of connexion to quality.


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