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Pinsent Reads Bieber


 

Having someone read teeny-bopper prose or lyrics in an authoritative or otherwise incongruous voice is an old joke, but it usually works. The latest example is the “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” video where Gordon Pinsent reads from the memoirs of Justin Bieber.

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As I said, this usually happens with lyrics, though it occasionally happens with books as well — the record “The Baroque Beatles Book,” where Beatles songs were transmogrified into Bach-style concertos and cantatas, took an excerpt from one of John Lennon’s children’s books and set it as a Baroque recitative. The most affectionate and enduring version of this idea is Peter Sellers’ recitation of “Hard Day’s Night” in the style of Laurence Olivier; the nastiest version was Steve Allen’s tendency to read rock n’ roll lyrics without the music in an attempt to show how stupid they supposedly were.


 
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Pinsent Reads Bieber

  1. Steve Allen is the ultimate source of all funny.

  2. That Steve Allen video is funny because he was young at the time, but if he were alive and doing that same material today, he would just seem like Andy Rooney misunderstanding popular music.

    By the way, Steve Allen is younger than Andy Rooney.

    • I think that even at the time it seemed that way — Allen, along with Stan Freberg, was in the forefront of comedians who hated rock n' roll and insisted their kind of music was going to come back any minute. Freberg's parodies mostly work because they seize on specific things that are wrong with rock songs (unintelligible lyrics, simplistic harmonies), but Allen really did let his anger overwhelm the comedy a lot of the time.

      • I've seen footage of Allen reading the lyrics of Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop a Lula" and holding them up for ridicule. The thing about that was that "Be-Bop a Lula" is basically a variation on the 1925 song "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Meaning that if rock n' roll lyrics were idiotic, pop music lyrics had been as idiotic for at least thirty years before that.

  3. I'll be sad if this ends up being the kiss of death for Mr. Pinsent. Pierre Berton left us barely a month after his "How to Roll a Joint" bit on 22 Minutes.

    • I think that was on the Mercer Report so Gordon is safe for now.

      • Oh, same thing!

        Gah…. I'm not as sharp as I used to be.

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