From the Land of Band Box Records

Classic LP’s from the Golden Age of Comedy

Image result for large audience laughing back in the day

Presented here, for the most part, are the charting long plays of the great comedians of our time.  This list doesn’t exclude the later day stand-ups on purpose – such as Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman,  Seinfeld, Steven Wright and so many more – but takes a look back at their predecessors.

Everyone could use a good laugh in these uncharted times……

Allen and Rossi

Marty Allen was born Morton David Allen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1922.  He died in 2018 at the age of 95.  Steve Rossi was born Joseph Charles Michael Tafarella in New York City in 1932.  He died in 2014 at the age of 82.

The two joined up as a comedy duo in 1957 and became regulars on the Ed Sullivan show appearing 44 times.  In all, they made more than 700 TV comedy stand-up appearances.  The Ed Sullivan gig resulted in a long string of popular long play recordings – selling well but not enough to enter the LP charts.

LP – ABC Paramount 2270 – “Hello Dere!” – 1962 – ABC Paramount 445 – “One More Time – Hello Dere!” – 1962

(Their debut recordings)

Steve Allen

Steve Allen was born  Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen in New York City in 1921.  He died in 2000 at the age of 78.  The LP below was his only charting comedy LP.  Most of his releases were Allen featured on the piano.

LP Dot 3472 – “Steve Allen’s Funny Phone Calls” – Charted Number 65 – 11 Weeks on the Hot 200 LP’s – March, 1963

Woody Allen

Born Allan Stewart Konigsberg in New York City in 1935.  Woody placed only this LP on the Hot 200.

LP Colpix 518 – “Woody Allen” – Charted Number 63 – 11 Weeks on the Hot 200 LP’s – August, 1964

Shelley Berman

Shelley Berman was born Sheldon Berman in Chicago, Illinois.  He placed five LP’s on the Hot 100 from 1959 into 1964

LP Verve 15003 “Inside Shelley Berman” – Charted Number 1 – 134 Weeks on the Hot 200 LP’s – April, 1959

This LP won a Grammy

Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner

Mel Brooks was born Melvyn Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. Carl Reiner was born in The Bronx, New York in 1922.  The two teamed up to place one LP on the Hot 200

LP Capitol 1529 – “2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks” – Charted Number 150 – 12 Weeks on the Hot 200 – November, 1973

Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider in Mineola, New York in 1925.  He died from a drug overdose in 1966 at the age of 40.

Although he didn’t reach the Hot 200 charts until 1975 – Bruce is included here as a storied and controversial stand up.  His first long play “Interview of Our Times” was recorded on Fantasy Records in late 1958.  Bruce was often arrested as a result of his stand up act.

Showing an early Bruce LP as well below.

LP United Artists 9800 – “Lenny Bruce/Carnegie Hall” – Charted Number 178 Hot 200 – 2 Weeks on the Hot 200 – March, 1975

This LP was actually recorded in 1972 charting several years after his death in 1966.

Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett was born Carol Creighton Burnett in San Antonio, Texas in 1933 – She started her career as a stand-up working the night clubs of New York City – She moved on to become one of the premier television comics of all time.

LP Decca 4437 – “Let Me Entertain You” – Did Not Chart – May, 1964

George Carlin

George Carlin was born George Denis Patrick Carlin in Manhattan, New York in 1937.  He died in 2008 at the age of 71. Carlin placed nine LP’s on the Hot 200 from 1972 into 1984

LP Little David 7214 – “FM & AM” – Charted Number 13 Hot 200 – 35 Weeks on the Hot 200 – February, 1972 – Won a Grammy in the “Comedy Album” category

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was born William Henry Cosby, Jr., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1937 – Cosby placed 15 LP’s on the Hot 200 charts from 1964 to 1986 – Cosby is currently serving a prison sentence in Pennsylvania stemming from sexual assault charges

LP Warner Bros. 1691 – “Revenge” – Charted Number 7 – 72 Weeks on the Hot 200 – May, 1967

Bill Dana

Bill Dana was born William Szarhmary in Quincy, Illinois in 1924 and died in 2017 at the age of 92.  He was known his character, Jose Jimenez.  He placed seven LP’s on the Hot 200 – his first in 1960 and his last in 1963

LP Kapp 1238 – “Jose Jimenez – The Astronaut (The First Man In Space) – Charted Number 5 – 51 Weeks on the Hot 200 – July, 1961

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Rodney Cohen in 1921 in Babylon, New York.   He died in 2004 at the age of 1982 – Rodney didn’t experience any chart success until 1980 even though he had recorded since 1966 – He had two LP’s reach the Hot 200 in 1980 and 1983

LP Decca 74798 – Did Not Chart – September, 1966

LP RCA Victor 4869 – “Rappin’ Rodney” – Charted Number 36 – 20 Weeks on the Hot 200 – November, 1983

Phyllis Diller

Phyllis Diller was born Phyliss Ada Driver in Lima, Ohio in 1917 – She died in 2012 at the of 95.  None of her long plays managed to reach the charts

LP Mirrosonic 6002 – “Wet Toe In A Hot Socket” – Released in 1959

Red Foxx

Red Foxx was born John Elroy Sanford in St. Louis, Missouri in 1922. He died in 1991 at the age of 68.  No doubt that Red’s mature stand up themes kept him from charting early in his career – that changed briefly when he found TV fame on “Sanford and Son” starting in 1972.

LP Atlantic 18157 – “You Gotta Wash Your Ass” – Charted Number 87 Hot 200 – 13 Weeks on the Hot 200 Charts – January, 1976

LP Dooto 214 – “The Laff of the Party” – Very early Red Foxx LP – did not chart – 1956

Stan Freberg

Stan Freberg was born Stankey Friberg in Pasadena, California in 1926.  He died in 2015 at age 88. The LP below was his only charting LP.

LP Capitol 1573 – “Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America” – Charted Number 34 – 24 Weeks on the Hot 200 – July, 1961

Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory was born Richard Claxton Gregory in Washington D.C. in St. Louis, Missouri.  He died in 2017 at the age of 84.   Gregory will probably be best remembered for his unabashed activism and his writing in that vein – especially his book “Nigger” and “From the Back of the Bus” two books which were riveting in my up-to-then rather shielded life first published in 1964 just as I was heading off for college.

But in his own way he could do stand-up with a bite!  Quick on his feet, engaged and intelligent his recordings rang true for a generation and still provided a distinct form of humor to be appreciated.  Gregory placed two records on the LP charts.

LP Colpix 417 – “Dick Gregory in Living Black and White” – Charted Number 23 – 27 Weeks on the Hot 200 – June, 1961

Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith was born Andy Samuel Griffith in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1926.  He died in 2012 at the age of 86.  A memorable television actor on the lighthearted “Andy Griffith Show” Andy was also an accomplished dramatic actor but his roots came as a “monologist” relating amusing home bread tales such as his “What It Was Was Football” from 1954 – It charted on the pop single charts at number 9.

Three of his long plays charted on the Hot 200 LP’s chart but none were comedy, being more inspirational in nature.

LP Capitol 962 – “Just For Laughs” – March, 1958

Buddy Hackett

Buddy Hackett was born Leonard Hacker in Brooklyn, New York in 1924.  He died in 2003 at age 78.  None of his long plays reached the LP charts.  Beyond his stand up routines Hackett appeared in more than 20 motion pictures.

LP – Dot 3169 – “Buddy Hackett” – 1959 – LP – Coral 57432 – “How You Do” – 1963 – LP’s Did Not Chart

Hudson and Landry

Bob Hudson was born Robert Howard Holmes in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1929 and Ron Landry was born in 1934 in Virginia.  The comic duo placed three long plays on the Hot 200 charts in 1971 and 1973.  Hudson died in 1997 at age 67 and Landry passed away in 2002 at age 67 also.

LP Dore 324 – “Hanging In There” – Charted Number 30 Hot 200  – 28 Weeks on the Hot 200 – April, 1971

Don Knotts

Don Knotts was born Jesse Donald Knotts in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1924 – He died in 2006 at the age of 81 – Knotts tried his hand in many areas initially as a ventriloquist comic – He journeyed to New York City to try his hand but returned home due to lack of success – but success would come in a big way when he was cast as Deputy Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show – He found his calling!

Knotts won many awards including five Primetime Emmys for “Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role By an Actor” on the Griffith Show – For a time the award became known as the “Don Knotts Award

LP United Artists 4090 – “An Evening With Me” – Did Not Chart – May 1961

Moms Mabley

Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard, North Carolina in 1894.  She died in 1975 at the age of 81.  Moms was one of the very first entertainers to publicly acknowledge being a lesbian coming out when she was 27 years old – unheard of in the 1920’s.

Moms charted 13 comedy LP’s from 1961 through 1969 placing her high on the list of successful stand-ups on charting vinyl.  Her version of Dick Holler’s “Abraham, Martin and John” was her only charting single peaking at number 35 in 1969 – a far cry from a comedy piece.

LP Chess 1452 – “Moms Mabley at the U.N. – Charted Number 16 Hot 200 – 57 Weeks on the Hot 200 – May, 1961

Jackie Mason

Jackie Mason was born Jacob Maza in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1931.  He placed two LP’s on the Hot 200 – his first in 1962 and his second in 1988 – Mason earned himself a ban from the Ed Sullivan Show when his act was cut short on the show due to a special address by then President Lyndon Johnson relating to issues in Russia politics.

When Sullivan flashed two fingers to Mason on stage to indicated cutting the routine to two more minutes.  Mason retaliated on stage launching a verbal assault on Sullivan and then indicating he had “a finger for you”.  Mason’s career didn’t end there but his TV contract was cancelled with Sullivan and a law suit resulted – Mason was more or less banned from all TV programs.

LP Verve 15033 – “I’m The Greatest Comedian in the World But Nobody Knows It Yet” – Charted Number 77 – 7 Weeks on the Hot 200

Vaughn Meader (and supporting cast)

Vaughn Meader was born Abbott Vaughn Meader in Waterville, Maine in 1936.  He died in 2004 at the age of 88.  Vaughn and cast placed two consecutive LP’s on the Hot 200 LP charts the first in 1962 (below) and the follow up in 1963  – His debut LP was the fastest selling LP prior to the arrival of the Beatles of all time up to that point.  It won the Grammy “Album of the Year” award in 1963.

Upon the assassination of President Kennedy the LP was quickly pulled from the nation’s record shelves and Vaughn’s performances were all cancelled – President Kennedy was not pleased with the Meader LP’s and Jackie Kennedy was furious

LP Cadence 3030 – “The First Family” – Charted Number 1 for 12 Weeks – 49 Weeks on the Hot 200 LP’s – December, 1962

Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart was born George Robert Newhart in Oak Park, Illinois in 1929.  He placed six LP’s on the Hot 100 from 1960 into 1965 – Bob had two number 1 long plays

LP Warner Bros. 1379 “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” – Charted Number 1 for 14 weeks – 108 Weeks on the Hot 200 LP’s – May, 1960

Carroll O’Connor & Jean Stapleton (with the All in the Family Cast with Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner)

Carroll O’Connor was born John Carroll O’Connor in 1924 in New York City.  He died in 2001 at the age of 76.  The All In the Family TV Cast placed two LP’s on the Hot 200 in 1971 and 1972.  Jean Stapleton was born Jeanne Murray in 1923 in Manhattan, New York.  She died in 2013 at age 90.

LP Atlantic 7210 – “All In the Family” – Charted Number 8 – 22 Weeks on the Hot 200 – November, 1971

Pat Paulsen

Pat Paulsen was born Patrick Layton Paulsen in South Bend, Washington in 1927 – He died in 1997 at the age of 69.  He began his stand-up act – accompanied by guitar – on the West Coast and also in New York City – His fame came via the Smothers Brothers and at their suggestion ran a mock campaign for President of the United States.

Quips and slogans would abound a favorite being when ‘questioned by reporters as to some outlandish political stand Pat dryly responded “picky, picky, picky’.

LP Mercury 61179 – “Pat Paulsen for President” – Charted Number 71 – 10 Weeks on the Hot 200 – October, 1968

Don Rickles

Don Rickles was born Donald Jay Rickles in New York City in 1926.  He died in 2017 at the age of 90.  You didn’t want to be the target of Rickles’ quick and sharp tongue – but everyone was.  If Don was invited to attend a celebrity roast – fasten your seat belts!  Don was an insider quasi member of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack”.  That says it all.  He placed two long play records on the Hot 200 LP charts.

LP Warner Bros. 1745 – “Hello Dummy!” – Charted Number 54 – 29 Weeks on the Hot 200 – June, 1968

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York in 1933.  She died in 2014 at the age of 81.  Joan was my favorite female comic – Her stand up career came into focus staring in 1965 when she began appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson -whom she kept in stitches.  The LP below is her only charting recording and it didn’t happen for her until 1983 – a testament to her talent longevity.

Also showing an early Rivers’ LP below

LP Geffen 4007 – “What Becomes A Semi-Legend Most?” – Charted Number 22 – 21 Weeks on the Hot 200 – April, 1983

LP Warner Bros. 1610 – “Mr. Phyllis and Other Funny Stories” – 1965

Rowan & Martin (& the Laugh-In Cast)

Dan Rowan was born Daniel Hale David in Beggs, Oklahoma in 1922.  He died in 1987 at the age of 65. Dick Martin was born Thomas Richard Martin in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1922.  He died in 2008 at the age of 86 – The Laugh-In Cast placed two LP’s on the Hot 200 in 1968 and 1969

LP Reprise 6335 – “Laugh-In ’69” – Charted Number 88 – 10 Weeks on the Hot 200 – April, 1969

Mort Sahl

Mort Sahl was born Morton Lyon Sahl in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1927.  Mort placed two long plays on the Hot 200 charts.

LP Verve 15012 – “Mort Sahl At the Hungry I” – Charted Number 23 – 12 Weeks on the Hot 200 – October, 1964

Allan Sherman

Allan Sherman was born Allan Copelon in Chicago, Illinois in 1924.  He died in 1973 at the age of 48.  Allan placed seven LP’s on the Hot 200 charts including three number one LP’s in a row all three coming in 1963.  His final charting LP was in 1965.  Sherman – unlike his fellow travelers presented here – sang his paradies and enjoyed and enjoyed a number 2 Hot 100 hit with “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)” in 1963.

LP Warner Bros. 1475 – “My Son the Folk Singer” – Charted Number 1 for 2 Weeks – 51 Weeks on the Hot 200 Charts – November, 1962

The Smothers Brothers

Tommy Smothers was born Thomas Bolyn Smothers III in 1937 in New York City.  Dickie Smothers was born Richard Remick Smothers in 1939 in New York City.  The Smothers Brothers placed ten LP’s on the Hot 200 – some a mix of folk and comedy others pure comedy – from 1962 to 1968,

LP Mercury 20962 – “Curb Your Tongue Knave!” – Charted Number 13 – 33 Weeks on the Hot 200 – December, 1963

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio started his career on an Italian children’s television show in 1959.  His creator was an artist Maria Perego and his voice was first done by Giuseppe Mazzullo.  By the time he made his way as a regular feature on the Ed Sullivan Show – often including Ed in his routine – the voice was that of Davide Garbolino.

Cute little puppet mice never die and so Topo Gigio lives on!  Topo made his way onto a few recordings – mostly European and of course none ever dented the charts.

Creator Maria Perego died in November of 2019.

Image result for maria peregoImage result for maria perego

45 – Pathe 1234 (Spain) – “Uno Per Tutte” b/w “Giovane, Giovane” – 1963

Image result for topo gigio on ed sullivan

Rusty Warren

Rusty Warren was born Ilene Goldman in New York City in 1930.  Rusty ranks high among charting female stand-ups placing seven LP’s in the Hot 200 charts from 1960 to 1966.  Her comedy was the type that my parents’ generation loved to play at parties back in the early 1960’s – What a hoot!  Her “Knockers Up!” LP leads the pack on chart longevity running for over three years.  She was no Lenny Bruce but she had her following among the martini crowd.

LP Jubilee 2029 – “Knockers Up!” – Charted Number 9 Hot 200 – 181 Weeks on the Hot 200 Charts – November, 1960

Senor Wences (& “Johnny”)

Senor Wences was born Wencesiao Moreno in Spain in 1896.  He died in 1999 at the age of 103.  Wences was another regular on Ed Sullivan’s TV show and his partner “Johnny” was drawn on his hand and completed with cloth body.  Johnny’s appearance evolved over time from his debut in 1935.

It is a bit difficult to image listening to a ventriloquist on a recording but Senor did record two singles – one below which also featured the gruff voiced “Pedro” who resided inside a box!

45 – Joy 228 – “S’All Right? All Right?” b/w “Deefeecult For You – Easy For Me” – 1959

Flip Wilson

Flip Wilson was born Clerow Wilson, Jr., In Jersey City, New Jersey.  He died in 1998 at the age of 64. He placed 5 LP’s on the Hot 200 Charts his first in 1967 ad his last in 1973

LP Little David 1000 – “The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress” – Charted Number 17 – 54 Weeks on the Hot 200 – February, 1970

Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters was born Jonathan Harshman Winters III in Bellbrook, Ohio in 1925. He died in 2013 at the age of 87.  He placed six LP’s on the Hot 200 charts – the first in 1960 and the last in 1964

LP Verve 15006 – “The Wonderful World Of Jonathan Winters” – Charted Number 18 – 53 Weeks on the Hot 200 – February, 1960

Woody Woodbury

Woody Woodbury was born Robert Dennis Woodbury in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1924 and is still living (March 2020) – He began his stand up career in Florida working night clubs in Miami and would later become a mainstay in Caesar’s Palace in Vegas.

Woody placed three long play’s on the charts – two going Top 20 in 1960.

LP Steroddiities 1 – “Woody Woodbury Looks At Love And Life” – Charted Number 10 – 78 Weeks on Hot 200 – March, 1960

Henny Youngman

Henny Youngman was born Henry Yungman in 1906 in London, England.  He died in 1998 at age 91.  Youngman did not place any comedy LP’s on the charts.

LP NRC 10 – “The Primitive Sounds Of Henny Youngman” – 1959

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