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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How Do You Do?

There's an old-time radio comic named Bert Gordon, better known as The Mad Russian, who would show up and say his tag line, "How do you do?," which seems like the lamest tagline in history if you only read it, but it works on the air; you can practically see his googly eyes popping wildly out of his skull as he says it. I dunno if Gordon had googly eyes, but he certainly sounds as if he did.

I have a dabbler's interest in old-time radio (or OTR as the hardcore fans call it) and I found out about the guy because The Mad Russian is a frequent guest on other comics' shows. It's obvious that he was familiar to audiences, cuz whenever they hear that "How do you do?" they go bananas, cheering and applauding. And rightly so, cuz The Mad Russian is one of the funniest comics I've ever heard. He livens up dull shows and takes good ones into the stratosphere. He's anarchic, surreal and frantic in a way many comics aspire to be.

Today he seems to be all but forgotten. He doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. Every porn star who ever lived has a Wikipedia entry, but not The Mad Russian.

Today there's a celebrity hypnotherapist who bills himself as The Mad Russian, and Google finds him all over the place, but Bert Gordon languishes. Too bad. Try to find some Mad Russian recordings; his rediscovery is overdue.

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