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Spit Take Saturday: Rick Moranis

09_rick-moranis-my-mothers-brisket-330x330Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

Rick Moranis hasn’t been in the limelight much since he retired from acting with 1997’s Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. And though he was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for country music parody album The Agoraphobic Cowboy, few likely associate Moranis with musical comedy, The Great White North and Little Shop of Horrors aside. So My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs, Moranis’s nod to Allan Sherman’s Yiddish-flavored parodies, will come as a surprise to those thinking they’d next see him in a long-rumored Ghostbusters sequel.

Sherman’s influence is heavy; a quick listen to his “The Ballad of Harry Lewis” and “Harvey and Sheila” reveals the blueprint Moranis used to construct these songs. The music is orchestral, the humor broad, many of the melodies are borrowed from jazzy klezmer music, and the references to Jewish culture come fast and furious. Play this album without telling listeners who it is, and they might think it came from Sherman’s vaults.

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