Thursday, February 14, 2013

''Dirty'' Danny And Dave -

Dave and Danny ---''Dirty,'' Dan and Dave, was what the bit was really known as. It was the ventriloquist act we used to do in the BDS, to end the second set. To this day, I can't throw my voice, but, luckily this wasn't required, to do ventriloquism in the BDS. ---To tell this story, correctly, I do NOT need a ventriloquist dummy. This ''bit'' was done in true BDS - style. On stage, doing ventriloquism, without knowing how to do ventiloquism. ---At the finish of Franconia Notch, I would watch for possible material on television. Bobby and I had our ears open for anything we could adapt for the BDS. Danny and Dave came by way of the Dean Martin Show, with guest performer Albert Brooks. I had seen Albert perform many times, and he usually was good for a few laughs. ---This night he did Danny and Dave. I was alone in the room, and laughing out loud, at the TV. This is NOT something that happened often. ---I did not know what to expect, but here is what I remember. Albert came out and was holding an inexpensive Danny O'Day puppet. The ventriloquist dummy that sold for about $17.00 at most dept. stores in the 70's. ---Danny and Dave, had the exact same voice. Daves mouth would move when he did his own voice, and when he did the dummy's voice. The only distinction was that Dannys mouth would move, also, when he was speaking.
---They were done with the talking part, and moved into the cigarette part. Albert dropped the dummy, to a crash landing, on the floor. He reached into his own pocket, and took out a cigarette. He very carefully put it between his lips, lit it and began smoking it. He had seemingly forgotten about Danny, who was in a pile on the floor. ---He saw that he had forgotten about Danny and tried to continue the act. Next, was the water. He was going to drink the water, while Danny sang the song. Dave sang the first part and now was Dannys turn. Dave drank the water and it all came out when Danny sang. He repeated this. I was really laughing at this point because it was just so stupid. ---For the finale, he said he was going to try something that most ventriloquists don't do. Danny was going to drink the water while he sang the song. He was singing and pouring water into the Dummys mouth. I couldn't believe at how much I was laughing at this. The whole thing was so clever and stupid, that I didn't see how it could miss. We did Danny and Dave, and after a few different adaptations, we knew, also, we had a keeper. ---In the final adaptation, we had three parts. Bobby would set the premise, by introducing, ''The Worst Ventriloquism Act - IN THE WORLD.'' (In True BDS - Style, He Was Making It Easy To Live-Up-To.) We had, 1] banter with the dummy, 2] singing with water, and 3] the third part that made it all work.
 ---On the third part, the music and the dummy's voice were on tape. I would waltz with the dummy, while the music played. Bobby had done the chords for the song, ''Yesterday,'' on the tape. ---I sang the first verse of the song, straight, as it is on the record. When I was done, I would set my mouth (and NOT move it) - while the dummy's voice would come out of the speakers. It was easy for me as his voice was pre - recorded. It, actually, looked like I was throwing my voice. The Dummy, however, was singing different words than what were written by Paul McCartney. They were quite ''dirty.'' Hence the name, Dirty Dan. ---As Dave, I would be a little surprised, and shake the dummy to get ''him'' to sing the correct words. He would continue the ''different,'' words. I would shake him all the more, when he did. Eventually, his head would FALL off. I loosened it, so this would happen. I expected this, but the audience didn't. ---I would try to make things as ''slapstick and chaotic,'' as possible. I would sit in the water, from earlier, and try to put his head back on. I'd be on the floor, screwing on Danny's head, while he was still singing on the tape. The audience would finally realize, once and for all, that the Dummy was on tape. This was NOT obvious at first, but soon ALL caught on. (If you listened carefully, you could hear the audience catching-on.) As I said, I would try to make things as chaotic as possible. I would even try to put my own head on the Dummy's body. ---To end all this, I would resign myself to the futility of trying to make things right. The song was ending, and I was getting ready to leave. Bobby would be on stage, now, saying, ''let's have a big hand for Dirty Dan and Dave. Weren't They TERRIBLE?'' People were applauding and laughing, as I took my leave. We would take, a much-needed, break, at this point.
The GREAT ALBERT BROOKS - ''Ventriloquist Act''

(Their Is NO Truth To The Rumor, That Anything ''Vicarious,'' Was Happening Between Danny and a BDS Member)


Bobby said...

As usual, I remember the events quite the same but from a slightly different perspective.
First, let me add a preface:
Paul and I had been playing in our original music band for about a year before it broke up. I wanted to start up another immediately but, could find no takers. Paul proposed a sing-along duo, something along the lines of John Morgan, a popular college crowd single act. I remember saying that I would never prostitute myself in that fashion, being the artiste that I imagined myself to be (and still do, I suppose).
Well, a few weeks later I caved in and said that I would do it for six months, which was the time I figured it would take me to get back on the original track.
Needless to say, the duo act took off and we immediately found ourselves working constantly.
The problem was that we couldn't write comedy fast enough, so we would take from whoever we could - usually people we admired: Don Rickles, Martin Mull, Dan Hicks, The Fabulous Farhquar, and Albert Brooks among them.
We had seen Albert live at Paul's Mall in Boston. He did Danny and Dave. He also took on hecklers with an enormous flashlight shining in their faces. The guy was a genius, in our minds.
Paul's performance of Dirty Dan and Dave was absolutely brilliant. It was pure pandemonium as he tried to get control of the dummy. After pouring water (more often beer)all over the dummy, he would then beat the dummy, trying to get him to sing correctly, sometimes ripping his arms off! Needless to say, we went through many water(beer)logged, limbless Dannys.
One night as I was in the audience watching, I stood beside two big drunk galoots. They felt bad for poor Danny and were going to go up and beat the shit out of Dave. It wasn't to be and Paul went on to live and perform another day.
I really wish we had footage of those performances. He really took the Brooks bit to another level - I'm just not quite sure what level that was.

John Riley said...

I remember Dirty Dan and Dave at Barrister's Great job, Paul. How about one comeback with the Booby Darling Show?

Christine said...

IN the begining of this video, it noted Hempty. Is this in reference to John Hemenway?