Standup Comedy - Robert Wuhl – HBO 1990 World Tour
Okay, some notes about this one. This is a 1990 HBO comedy special from Robert Wuhl, of "Arli$$" and "Assume the Position" fame. Wuhl was also a longtime comedy writer for the Oscars, where he worked with Billy Crystal.
This sound recording is taken from a 19 year old VHS tape - I don't have the equipment to convert VHS to digital video - and the special has never been made available in commercial format. Unless HBO ever decides to show this on its comedy network, the only way the rest of you will ever see or hear it is if someone rips and torrents it. This is a shame, especially since so much of this one depends on some wonderful visuals. The special is wonderfully topical, relating to 1990. For those of you not old enough to remember pop culture references from that year, check out 1990 at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990
Introduced by the then red-hot Downtown Julie Brown, Wuhl takes potshots at many celebrities, several of whom appear in film clips in between segments in a mockumentary where they think they are praising a different Robert (De Niro, Reiner, Downey, etc), and when they discover the reference is to WUHL, they denounce him as an asshole. The best part of this is the final interview with Marlee Matlin (The deaf actress who won the 1986 Oscar and is hammered in the special by Wuhl) who goes off on a hysterical sign language rant about Robert, thinking it is about Robert GOULET. When she hears it’s about Wuhl, she backpedals and gushes about what a warm, sweet-hearted person he is; who never talks about others behind their backs. Since this bit is entirely visual, it has been cut from this sound recording.
Especially not to be missed are Wuhl's assault on Burt Reynold's deplorable film record, his story of a painting by Anatole (Anatole Krasnyansky?), and his send-up of the attempt of the New Jersey state Legislature to make Bruce Springsteen's BORN TO RUN the official state anthem. If you don't think THAT would be funny, check out the lyrics to THAT little patriotic ditty:
In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin’ out over the line – WOAAHHHH!!
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
Finally, a small apology for the minor glitches in sound quality and the hum. Not only do I not have the best equipment to record or clean this recording up, but the tape is very old. This is as good as it could be made to be, and I am releasing it in a higher KBPS rate than I normally would in order to ensure the best sound possible. If I can get better hardware - or if someone here can suggest better mixing software than my 7 year old copy of Sony Soundforge (which I am the first to admit I really haven't mastered - the instructions are shit), I will try to release a better recording. In the meantime, this is a serviceable copy of really rare HBO special. Sorry I couldn't make it better, but y’all should still really enjoy this.