Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Fighting Clowns, Golden Age Of Radio and Rod Taylor


There’s radio comedy and then there’s The Firesign Theatre’s radio comedy.

Most of us have heard about classic radio comics such as Jack Benny, Bob Hope and the like but nothing could prepare us for The Firesign Theatre!

Take four guys, wicked sensibilities and humor, a no-hold-barred, in-your-face sarcastic and poignant jabs at current trends, politics, societal norms and conventions and you get The Firesign Theatre.

In David Ossman’s memoir: Fighting Clowns Of Hollywood he lets readers in on the latest and greatest comedy sketches and homage with such sketches as Owl & Octopus Show, Nick Danger and many more tongue-planted-firmly-in-their cheeks parodies and tributes in a hilarious romp sure to please The Firesign Theatre legion of fans.

Written by John Rayburn and published by BearManor Media, Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear: The Golden Age Of Radio takes readers back to the roots of early broadcast humor, intrigue, Westerns and other radio genre.

Comprised of personal recollections from both the author and old time radio personalitie,s the book brings the heyday of broadcast radio dramas, comedies and the like to life.

Long before TV and movies captivated audiences with their visual magic classic radio shows left it up to listeners to use their imaginations to fill in the gaps.

It is a delightful book that recaptures the long gone era of family entertainment that dominated living rooms for over a quarter of a century.

My all-time favorite, classic science fiction movie is George Pal’s The Time Machine.  Well over 50 years ago I remember sitting in a movie theater and being totally captivated by the film’s premise.  The film’ star: Rod Taylor totally owned his role as the world-weary time traveler.

Rod Taylor An Aussie In Hollywood, by Stephen Vagg, delves into Taylor's illustrious acting career.  Manyrefer to him as the premiere Australian actor in Hollywood.

For decades Taylor starred in an impressive line of movies such as The Birds, The VIPS and more.  He was one of only a few actors who successfully starred in both movies and on TV.

His range as an actor ranged from action and adventure to love stories.

The book is an absorbing tale of a young Sydney boy who dared to take on Hollywood and beat it at its own game.

Considered one of the most professional and respected actors in Tinsel Town, Rod Taylor also had his own share of demons, alcohol and ego among them.

Yet through it all he managed to survive and consistently turn out outstanding performances in high profile films. 

It is a wonderful look at the actor’s life, complete with the blemishes, and what effect his career had on the newest string of Australian actors.