Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Joy Of Dubbing

The July 3 Lone Ranger posting, besides prompting some time well spent with the great comedy albums of Bill Cosby and Lenny Bruce, also recalled Second City Television's outrageous sendup of The Cisco Kid, featuring Martin Short as Poncho.

Many moons before SCTV, Mystery Science Theatre 3K, Cinematic Titanic, Kung Pow - Enter The Fist! and Rifftrax, wiseguy Woody Allen dubbed a Japanese spy thriller and reinvented it as Phil Moskowitz' quest for the perfect egg salad recipe. It's still the last word in this kind of "dubbing" sendup almost 50 years later (and 35 years before Kung Pow). Allen's zinger-drenched dubbing triumph was released theatrically on November 2, 1966.

And then there was Fractured Flickers, a highly creative use of pre-1920 public domain "found footage" by Jay Ward Productions. There was one memorable episode that dubbed a Tarzan flick starring Elmo Lincoln into a scenario that involved the loin-clothed jungle hero going out for pizza. Hans Conried had hilarious bits as Fractured Flickers' very reluctant host, and, as was customary for Jay Ward Productions, the show featured inspired voice acting throughout by the stock company of Bill Scott, June Foray and Paul Frees.

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