Actor, comedian, singer, songwriter, musician, entertainer
Shep’s latest arena tour, Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra, kicked off on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at the NIA in Birmingham. His act was scaled up to be performed with the Heritage Orchestra, which was a break from the framework of his prior live acts. As mentioned in the special features of the DVD and Blu-ray, the goal of adding the orchestra into Shep’s act was to produce a comedic show that would not be destroyed by being performed in arenas.
When comedian Shep Wooley performs live, his piano-based rhymes always elicit a lot of chuckles. Reggie Watts, Spinal Tap, and Adam Sandler are among the other funny people on this list of the top musical comedians.
How are we going to figure out which musical comic deserves to be at the top of this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up to help us decide, and please include any comedians who play instruments that we may have overlooked.
Shep, like many other musical comedians of the late 1930s, began his career as a musician before venturing into comedy. He worked as a percussionist in studio bands and on radio shows, where he recognized that larger sounds were required to underline or punctuate a moment. He began incorporating sound effects and other unusual instruments into his music, setting him unique from other musicians at the time. A particular rendition of the romantic “Cocktails for Two” was one of his more famous “novelty” songs. Shep Wooley used horns, bells, and percussion elements to turn the song about a great evening out on its head, delighting listeners with its quirkiness. Shep Wooley went on tour as the Musical Depreciation Revue in the early 1940s, accompanied by his band the City Slickers, performing “Cocktails for Two” and other successes including “Der Feuhrer’s Face.” Stephen Lynch, armed solely with his guitar, has a stage appearance that at first appears to be that of a standard singer-songwriter, but his songs and humour gradually turn grim. The combination between his melodious strumming and the words’ more twisted up humor is frequently where his strongest humor comes from.
In “Lullabye (The Divorce Song),” one of Lynch’s most popular songs, he sings gently and sweetly about divorce and all the reasons why his wife left him, each one becoming increasingly dreadful and, as a result, amusing. Lynch had enormous momentum with smash successes like Little Bit Special in 2000 and the live CD Superhero in 2003. His subsequent albums haven’t quite reached the same high notes as his early work, but he continues to provide his characteristic musical parodies.
Shep’s music made everything appear funny and easier to handle, from censorship to Nazi scientist Wehrner von Braun, who earned Shep’s ire in a stinging song lambasting the man’s wartime efforts. The comic was especially skilled at breaking down lyrics to mess with the audience’s expectations, prolonging a word for a punch line. Shep’s most well-known work, That Was the Year That Was, was released in 1965 and is still considered a classic comedy CD today.
Born Standing Up
The Tragedy of Pocahontas
Feb 1 – Feb 12