“Bloopers” by Rick Raxlen

Deconstructing the album liner notes from a vintage fifties humour 33 and a third
long playing record .

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Yogi Berra,the Yankee catcher from the fifites,is known for
his most wonky response to a reporter when asked about the team’s losing streak.
He is quoted as saying : “Its deja vu all over again…”

On the volume 2 blooper album,there is a bit that
goes something like this,also from Yogi.

interviewer: Yogi it says in the boxscores in the newspaper that you got 2 hits but you said you got three hits in the game.
Maybe it was a typographical error…?

Yogi: No ,it was clean single to left field.

AND: for the word lovers and mistake lovers,there is mentioned on the album cover
the term Spoonerism.

Spoonerism: The unintentional transposition of sounds and letters
or of parts of words in forming a sentence;
as “half-warmed fish” for “half-formed wish”,attributed to nervous tension.
So called ,from William A Spooner(1844-1930),warden of New College Oxford
England,to whom the practice is commonly attributed.

from the record:

Announcer :“Tell me, Mrs. Erwin, how many children do you have?”

Mrs. Erwin: I have nine children

Announcer: What does your husband do?

Mrs.Erwin: He operates an automatic screwing machine!
(large amount of recorded audience laughter)

and tongue twisters

“Unconscious humour is something like an unexpected dividend–
it lifts the spirit and, for an instant of time,
puts a smile on the grayest hour of day”
John Daly

On my three night vacation to a trailer
in a fishing camp just outside Sooke, BC
I visited the local Sally Ann.
I was in a hurry so did a quick sweep of books and records
and of course missed the Poppin’ Fresh and Mrs Poppin” Fresh salt & pepper
Which I bought on my next visit.
I bought a “Pardon My Bloopers” album from the 1950s,number 2 of 7 such albums.

At the trailer, I didn’t have a record player so I had to read the long
liner notes reprinted from TAPE RECORDING magazine (who knew there was
a whole magazine once devoted to taping things).
I tried to remember where when and how I had heard this record and
what was on it and if it was funny or not.
The liner notes were very odious

Mr Blooper is a guy called Kermit Schafer…
”As a hobby he began to collect
fluffs….he became a national authority on Bloopers…
he is also booked on a coast-to-coast tour lecture which is called Blooperama.”

This primo 33 and a third rpm is on the Jubilee label.
Its subtitle is:
Radio & Television’s Most Hilarious Boners.
Boner was a word that was used in the fifties to mean a mistake…

I can’t guess the date but the inside sleeve shows tiny one inch photos of album covers.
Jackie Maclean: Fat Jazz.
Art Blakey: CU-BOP.with Sabu and a bongo.
Bobby Freeman: Do You Wanna Dance.

I remember hearing this album as a kid and thinking it was some funny…
someone must have played it at parties when I was 12.
I can only try to remember what might have been funny about it.

This guy Kermit monitored shows like Arthur Godfrey

Howdy Doody and Art Linkletter but Art was never that funny & when his daughter died of a LSD overdose by jumping off a building,he became tragic.
If its kids-say-the -darndest-things humour I might not laugh.

According to the liner notes…”with the rise of the tape recorder to technical perfection, Schafer was launched on a new career…”

I didn’t know technical perfection had been achieved.
He needed perfect technical aspects to
record boners and goofs?

Again from the liner notes:

“In one afternoon, celebrities such as the Duke of Windsor, Joseph Cotton and
Marlene Dietrich were seen exiting a Madison Avenue record shop with several
Blooper Alums under each arm”
(how many arms did Joseph Cotton have anyway, I forget–one,two,three?)

The cover art is in pistachio green, black, red, and pink;
it shows a tv camera and a microphone, as drawn as cartoon characters, with faces.

The tv camera cartoon person is covering the lens with his hands & the mike
is blocking his ears. Both appear male; around them are drawn symbols
of shock and amazement as seen on my keyboard as ! ?*# and a spiral shape and a lightning bolt shape.
Bloopers seem to release lots of energy.
Above the camera & mike cartoon people there is a sign that says
ON THE AIR with lines of energy around it.
A big red circle in the lower left says: Collected by Kermit Schafer
Radio And TV Producer.
The mike is much taller than the tv camera…

According to the liner notes:
“Hollywood has been one of the first Blooper launching points, with several…top movie stars snapping up this collector’s item for the entertainment highlight at some of
Hollywoods fabulous parties.”

Don’t you wish you had been there, at those parties.????
The bits of fluffs and boners are tied together vocally by
George de Holczer who is noted
“for his work in connection with Life Magazine, which gained him the title of “The Voice of
Life Magazine

Acoustically, this takes place after WWII, when people likely could have used a laugh,
given that 50 million humans died.
So how can this be funny with Arthur Godrey, Art Linkletter, McCalls Magazine,
Readers Digest?

And just to give these bloopers ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS we get a quote from, THE JOURNAL of AMERICAN SPEECH,
in an article entitled
“Phomenic and Analogic Lapses in Radio and Televison Speech:

“These records are a rich source of contemporary materials for linguistic analysis.”

and a last quote from the liner notes:
“High on a hill overlooking the Ramapo Mountains in the Central Valley, New York,
sits a modern redwood house
…on a visit you will see a battery of built -in tape recorders which are
constantly in operation monitoring several programs…
with all this equipment Mr.Blooper capitalizes
on the mistakes of others….”

2 Responses so far.

  1. pdeholczer says:

    George de Holczer was my late Uncle George. He narrated several albums and later worked for CBS. The books and albums — I own wseveral — are funny if nostalgic.

  2. Lou de H says:

    Was nice to see your piece about the Blooper series, my dad (George) was the announcer on two of those funny albums. He also did “walk on” parts in the movies. He became an AFTRA representative in 1960, covering mostly CBS, ABC, and WNEW. He knew and rubbed shoulders with many famous actors, actresses, producers, and directors. His friends called him Old Friendly George, however he never backed down from protecting his union constituents. After retirement he helped organize charity baseball games with Jim Jensen of WCBS, and later joined the WABC team.