Vinyl Vlog 492

Vinyl Vlog 492

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Wednesday, 24 March 2021
COLUMN

Scharpling & Wurster
Rock, Rot, and Rule

I mean it when I say that Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster will go down in history as one of the great comedic duos of our time. Maybe the greatest. For those of you who are uninitiated, don’t feel bad because I didn’t know who they were a year ago either. But one thing is certain, if you get what they’re doing, you won’t be able to get enough.

What these guys are good at is radio sketch comedy. As hosts of the Best Show on WFMU, Scharpling and Wurster have introduced us to a host of characters over the years, played by Wurster, who call in and basically disturb Scharpling’s life. The list of colorful characters range from the hometown favorite Philly Boy Roy to the racist Timmy Von Trimble, to even Marky Ramone, and all of them are essentially baked in a pop-culture oven. Through all the years of The Best Show’s existence, they’ve created their own hilarious world which borders on Tolkien-esque complexity. And as long as those characters stayed on the radio and we only heard their voices, the illusion would remain intact.

And here we have the great grandfather of them all, the very first Wurster call to the Best Show and maybe the most infamous: Robert Thomas Clontle calling to promote his new book Rock, Rot, and Rule; a book that was written to be the ultimate argument settler for who rocks, rots, and rules in music. It only takes a few minutes to get the unsuspecting audience of the Best Show riled up and start calling in to complain about the absurdity of this book. What ensues is 45 minutes of pure comedic heaven as Scharpling and Wurster further detail the back story behind this book and outraged callers keep calling in.

A radio call needn’t be collected in any formal format let alone vinyl, but here it is, preserved in beautiful wax, a true testament and record of the beginning of one of the great friendships and comedic duos of the past several decades. The wonderful folks at Flannelgraph Records have taken it upon themselves to press this on wax and they will go down in history as one of the chosen few who truly get it. This record is a must-have for fans of music, comedy, and the Best Show. It’s a marvel to behold and is every bit as funny as when it first occurred more than 20 years ago.

Get it from the fine folks at Flannelgraph.

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