I Hope He’s Poppin’ Off At Pop’s Sodium Shop.

“This is a fundamental part of your education,” an older friend said to me as he passed me a cassette tape. It was a recording of his old vinyl album of Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers. The first time I listened to it I didn’t know what to make of it. The second time I listened to it parts actually started to make sense. And then I listened to it five or six more times and it just kept getting funnier and funnier.

It was the album that made me a fan of Firesign Theater, so I can’t let the day pass without wishing a happy birthday to David Ossman, and his alter-ego George “Peorgie” Leroy Tirebiter. Tirebiter is of course best known for all those stupid Peorgie and Mudhead movies, as well as the first science fiction film set on Neptune, while Ossman should be better known for his writing, especially his writing on poetry. His first book is The Sullen Art, a collection of conversations with poets including Allen Ginsburg and Denise Levertov.

Now hand me the pliers.




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  1. Ann Koplow

    I first heard Firesign Theater when I was a senior in high school. During rehearsals for the high school play. my classmates would pass the time during breaks by quoting “I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus.” As I sat at the piano (I was the accompanist for the production), I heard “Beat The Reaper” and other skits many times, as performed by amateur high school actors. It was still very funny, so I listened to the original, too.

    I guess that was my own high school madness.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’re very lucky to have had such enlightened classmates. I wouldn’t be introduced to Firesign Theater until after I was out of college. Their logical absurdity was a revelation and I think I would have found it a lot easier to understand Beckett if I’d had “I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus” as a guide.


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