Comedy Tonight: Richard Nixon: A Fantasy

Previously, I mentioned this album as a political comedy masterpiece.  What I did not know about this David Frye album is that it had a rough time getting released. Apparently, stations would not run it, although at the time of its release, Nixon was in the midst of Watergate and was sliding down in popularity and Frye had already proven himself with the album I Am the President which reached the Billboard Top 20 album charts in 1969–no small feat by any means.

This album still is hilarious more than 30 years later. A melding of politics and satires on TV series and movies ranging from The Untouchables to The Godfather, from Perry Mason to the little-known prison movie Convicts 4, Frye lent his talents to 25(!) voices. This also is a showcase for the great writing of Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back Kotter) who also appears in a great bit as a jailed draft dodger. I first heard this album in its entirety on my local public radio station, back when they were relevant. No way in hell you will hear this album on public radio again without getting flak from right-wingers, so enjoy!

David Frye is the voice of:
Richard Nixon
Walter Winchell
Marlon Brando
William F. Buckley Jr.
Spiro Agnew
The Disc Jockey
Ted Kennedy
Hubert Humphrey
Howard Cosell
The Judge
Raymond Burr
Humphrey Bogart
Henry Kissinger
Rod Steiger
Jack Palance
The Guard
George McGovern
Billy Graham
Jimmy Cagney
Henry Fonda
William Fulbright
George Jessel
Boris Karloff
Nelson Rockefeller

The Break-In
Nixon Meets the Godfather
Addressing the Nation
The Bill Buckley Show
Dick Nixon’s Solid Gold
Prison Reform
The Trial
Dr. Kissinger
The Big House
The Cellmates
Nixon Sings the Blues
The Prison Break
The Last Mile

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10 Responses to Comedy Tonight: Richard Nixon: A Fantasy

  1. Gabriel says:

    Thank you; I’ve been looking all over for this. My dad has an old 8 track of this but we weren’t able to transfer it without a player. Now we have them all in mp3 format!

  2. Eugene, Ireland says:

    Wonderful to again hear “Nixon Meets the Godfather” – my all-time fave comedy track. Have asked iTunes again and again if we could have it. First heard it 33 years ago on a triple LP Roxbury label disc of the Bitter End Years club in New York. Could never find it on CD.

    It also featured Van Morrison, Curtis Mayfield, John Sebastian, Woody Allen, Lily Tomlin, John Prine etc.

    Many thanks to you and good wishes.

  3. Jussi says:

    Thanks for posting this brilliant classic.

  4. Richard Howard says:

    How can I purchase a copy of this album on mp3 ?

  5. Eugene, Ireland says:

    Hi Richard, been looking at your note. Have tried and failed over the years to find this on CD. If you succeed be sure to let us all know. A company in Newcastle, England offered to sell me a blank CD copy of this but I felt it a bit pricey…

  6. I highly enjoyed reading your blogpost, keep on making such exciting articles.

  7. Gary W says:

    WOW ! I long since moved from 8-Track tapes where I had copied David Frye over to cassette in 1975- lost in many moves and the 8-Track followed all the others and failed to play. Could never find this comical skit due to its content-THANK YOU for posting the links.

  8. Ra says:

    Thank you, I have look for this track for decades.

  9. Yohannon says:

    DUDE. Thank you. I first came across this album in 1976 in the back of a wreck that my stepfather and myself towed to his shop in (what else would be in a car in the mid 70’s?) 8-track format. It was brilliant, and I did EXACTLY what Gary W did and transferred it to cassette, which is LONG gone.

    Recently thought of the album again, and was sad to learn that the talented Mr. Frye died last year in Las Vegas (January, 2011), where he was a long time resident. This is particularly annoying to me, as I’ve been to Vegas for conferences and trade shows dozens of times, and would have loved to meet him, if only to thank him for the snort inducing “Mary Jo and the Cahr were Gahn” impersonation of Teddy. (I would come to use it as the template for my “Bahston” accent joke: “I Pahked the Cah. And when I got back…” that STILL causes groans to this very day… but I digress…)

    Again, seriously and sincerely, thank you!

  10. berylwrites says:

    I bought the vinyl album when it came out and my friends and I quoted it to each other for years!

    Just a note: “Paradise” was a spoof of writer Truman Capote and his attraction to the murderers. “Capote was well known for his distinctive, high-pitched voice and odd vocal mannerisms. . .”

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