Archive for the ‘Van Gogh-Gogh Comedy Albums’ Category

The Van Gogh-Goghs’ Discography

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The humor of the Van Gogh-Goghs has always been a group effort, the exceptions being Jason and T. Mike’s stand-up routines, Galen’s monologues, and Rob’s arrest for impersonating an astronaut. But this hasn’t always been the case. Early on in the plucky sextet’s comedy careers, each member dabbled in the art of comedy albums. Here is the known collection of VGG comedy albums, excluding foreign imports and bootlegs:

 

Pillowhead Talk

Label: Doneycat Records
Catalog No. 38562-J
Produced by the Dimmer Twins (Benson & Rempel)
Recorded: Spring 1993

The Pillowheads were the Van Gogh-Gogh answer to the more-famous Coneheads. The Pillowheads (Charles as Puffy, Alan as Fluffy) are a cosmic pair of wackos, whose heads resemble pillows. Fluffy and Puffy encounter the strange ways of Earthlings in such "classic" bits as "Fluffy at the Pet Store" and "The Pillowheads Take the D-Train." Many critics panned this double-album, especially the first and last tracks, each consisting of ten minutes of Fluffy and Puffy babbling incoherently. The public, however, had a different opinion: they hated it. The difference between panning and hating is small, to be sure, but it is different. Unfortunately, this album is now out of print.

 

Keeping It Reel

Label: No Cows Records

Catalog No. TMC-001
Produced by Jeremy Rankin
Recorded: Christmas 1993

T. Michael Childs had one great idea: a Christmas comedy album. This is that album. He also had three terrible ideas. First, the title, Keepin' It Reel, did not convey the Christmas theme properly. Second, the album was released on Christmas Day, a day when no one wants to buy Christmas albums. Three, the material on the album deals neither with Christmas nor comedy, but rather is a psychotic rant about pancake batter. The only thing even remotely close to Christmas comedy is the track "Christmas Slug Bathhouses." This track starts with Childs screaming, "Christmas slug bathhouses!", then continued with his pancake batter diatribe. Sadly, T. Mike failed to keep it reel, or real. This album is no longer in print.

 

Oswald (Live)

Label: Twelve Angry Cats Platters
Catalog No. J758OCW2220
Produced by Leftover
Recorded: July 1997

In the autobiography Galen: A Hernia Among Us, Galen Black listed this album as "his first California mistake."1 This live comedy album, taped live at the Hollywood Bowl, is truly a live album. "Live" was mentioned three times in the last sentence to emphasize that this is a live album. Other ways to identify this as a live album: the part in track 1 where Galen mumbles to no one in particular, "Can we start this over?"; the man in track 4 who screams, "You suck. Yeah, you, Galen Black, you suck!"; track 8, which is the murmurs of the crowd during the intermission; and track 9, when the stagehand comes on-stage and tells the crowd that Galen has gone home. Live live live live live. Live. Live live. This album is no longer in circulation.

 

Who Be Dat Man?

Label: Aw Eesh! Records
Catalog No. 12CR0001
Produced by Steven “Steve” Huh
Recorded: January 1991

Charles Rempel's first album, Who Be Dat Man?, was his homage to Cajun comedy. He knew nothing of Cajun comedy, though, or Louisiana for that matter. He thought All the King's Men was about the makers of King Kong. His accent was obnoxious at best and unintelligible at worst. Surprisingly, though, it was the only Rempel-related album to sell a million copies. Rempel still receives a couple of albums a week as blackmail threats, threats that he dutifully acknowledges and pays... in full. The album, thankfully, is no longer in circulation.

 

Things I Stole From George Carlin

Label: Excusemaster Records
Catalog No. 01
Produced by Rob Terrell
Recorded: March 1994

This album, the winner of eight platinum records, is the highest-seller of all the VGG albums, since everyone thought they were buying a George Carlin album. It also was the most litigious, as Rob Terrell was sued and later lost to George Carlin over copyright infringements. Rob's lawyers argued that the material was so mangled and unfunny, that the general public would not be able to understand the jokes, let alone that they were ripped off from Mr. Carlin. This album enjoyed a second wave of popularity when it was discovered in 1998 that columnist for the Boston Globe also stole from Carlin. Highlights include "The Seven Things You Can't Say When Plagiarizing George Carlin", and the famous line, "Hello, I'm George Carlin." Currently, this album is not in print.


Things I Stole From Kevin Pollak

Label: Excusemaster Records
Catalog No. 02
Produced by Rob Terrell
Recorded: December 1994

"Pollak" is Rob's less-successful follow-up to "Things I Stole From George Carlin." Highlights include Rob's attempts to impersonate Pollak impersonating Inspector Columbo and Captain Kirk, as well as some lines from "The Usual Suspects." Recorded live at the Firg Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, this album is unique due to its mixing; if the listener plays the second side of the album (or tracks 8-12 on the CD) and turns the stereo balance all the way to the left, he or she can actually hear the audience filing out of the auditorium in disgust.

 

Jason Torchinsky

Label: Soul Biscuit Records
Catalog No. 7D
Produced by Frank Soobner
Recorded: March 1994

The eponymously-titled first album by Jason Torchinsky was a saccharin-sweet journey through his inner psyche. An inner psyche filled with horror and disgust and pain and maladies that man was not meant to know. One track in particular, "Monsignor Happy's Daily Bouts with Depression", received moderate air-time on the Doctor Demento Radio Network. Jason learned through this album's poor sales the hard cold fact of emotions: when they see the light of day, you're ruined. Finished. If at all possible, supress all emotions. The album's highlight: the unlisted track at the end of the CD, which is a cover of "Stand By Your Man" by Lyle Lovett.

 

Westsinister Abbey

Label: Twelve Angry Cats Platters
Catalog No. W291OCLDB64H
Produced by Wendell Black & Cholly
Recorded: July 1993

This album, probably Galen Black's finest work, failed to sell even a single copy. The reason was simple: the warning label. People just don't buy comedy albums with profanity. The sentence that took the censors over the top: on Track 11, entitled "Off the Scruff", Galen says, "I told my brother he was full of cr*p." A comedy masterpiece, sullied by Galen's penchant for potty-mouth. There are no available copies of this album.

 

Polizist und DummKopf (Cop and a Nut)

Label: Der Oskarmeyerveener Records
Catalog No. 7483-TY-738
Produced by [unknown]
Recorded: April 1997

This German bootleg import was found by Jason behind a Conoco station in Louisville, Kentucky. Why was he behind the Conoco? Well, it's a long story, but he was in this chat room and the guy... well, this is not important right now. What's important is that he found it. This album is a collection of skits performed by the Van Gogh-Goghs between 1993 and 1996. The sketches, then, were completely dubbed in German. Which, I guess you could say, is just some Germans ripping off our skits, but they did get a picture of Jason and Charles for their album cover, and Jason and Charles did get credit, and the Germans act was better than ours, so in the end we think it's okay. We're not sure if this album is still in stock, here or abroad.