Vinyl Vlog 174

Vinyl Vlog 174

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Friday, 04 November 2016
COLUMN

Scharpling & Wurster Live at Third Man Records

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.

But lo and behold Scharpling and Wurster decided to take their show on the road, and we now have a wonderful document of it in the Third Man Records Live Series: our first but hopefully not last one for this column. Bringing back old characters and even introducing some new bits (and some songs!), the Scharpling and Wurster live show are full of the elements we’ve come to love from the Best Show and play off without missing a beat in the live setting. Except this time, we have an audience who’s in on the jokes. It’s truly great to have this recording because these bits fit right into the Best Show catalog and stand out as some of the stronger skits in the show’s history. Hey, we even get Tom Scharpling rapping! It’s truly remarkable how they were able to take the show from the radio to the stage and never miss a beat.

My only gripe with this recording is how short it is, and how it’s hard to really get immersed into their comedy like you can with the Numero box set they released last year. Clearly, their live shows weren’t that short right? I guess this just means we’re looking forward to some more Best Show to come!

Get your vinyl from the source.

 

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