by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of the creator or the legendary “How To Talk Hip,” one of the hippest and funniest comedy records ever created. Welcome to one of the Masters of Comedy, Del Close.
From Wikipedia, Del Close (March 9, 1934 – March 4, 1999) “was an actor, writer, and teacher who coached many of the best-known comedians and comic actors of the late twentieth century. In addition to a prolific acting career in television and film, he was considered a premier influence on modern improvisational theater.”
I remember hearing this recording back when hipsters actually were part of popular culture in the US. This is still very funny, very fresh, and guaranteed to entertain you if you ever wanted to understand what “hip” is. As in, “a nod is a very hip nap.”
Other great insights, “Everyone has a limited amount of cool, and it’s easy to blow it.” And that “I got hung up” is “the universal cop-out.” Dig, dig it, dig yourself baby, dig the cat, dig the shades on the cat, and of course, “it's a drag” if you "don't dig it." It’s worth a half hour of your time, if you dig hipsters. “Thou shalt not bug thy neighbor. That’s uncool….”
He did “How to speak hip” in 1959 when in NY and part of the Greenwich Village improv scene among other hangs. He then did a gig with Second City in Chicago, after which he split for San Fran, the Merry Pranksters, and "created light images" for the Dead.
After that, we read “in the early 1980s he served as "house metaphysician" at Saturday Night Live, and a significant percentage of the show's cast have been Close protégés throughout its run.” Checking out the list, his students include (check these names out!): Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, John Candy, Mike Myers, Jim Belushi, Wavy Gravy, Chris Farley, Brian Doyle-Murray, George Wendt, and too many more to list here. So he really was hip...
For your enjoyment, a timeless recording of a very straight language instructor doing a very funny interview with the ultra hip “Geets” Romo” in “How To Speak Hip”
Happy RIP birthday, Mister Hipster Del Close! You gave our world a gift of infinite laughter that has now outlived you, and that does in fact make you "the Funniest One in the Room." Dig the groove, man, since you now have limitless cool.....
Copyright © 2017 Robert Wilkinson