George Bowser may have joined the ruling class as Westmount city councilman but he and long time collaborator Ricky Blue are still making beautiful music together as Bowser And Blue, the Lennon / McCartney of the funny song. It is probably no coincidence that most of their fans still cannot figure out which is Bowser (the tall skinny one) and which is Blue (the very tall rounder one), after all it is always hard to remember which was Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, or Smothers brother. We're All Here is an independent release comedy DVD containing two television specials featuring Bowser and Blue. The first, We're All Here, was filmed in September 2000 at Brome Lake and the other She Wants Me was filmed in January 2002 at the Hudson Village Theatre. If you like funny songs or, like me, are not great fans of the genre because you only like the stuff when it is solid, consistent, and intelligent stuff -and that is not as common as many think-We're All Here, the DVD, is simply great.
We're All Here, the show, is a 48-minute musical and lyrical tour de force. The show opens with Bowser and Blue walking in a Canada Day Parade singing their Anglo pride in the title song (‘cause we're not all there is the punch line). The original live version is available as a bonus track. They immediately get the audience in their corner, as if they even had to bother) with the very funny song Driving In Quebec which proves to the outside world that driving jokes are always the truth in this province. There is more local material in this particular show, including Playing At A Biker Wedding and Mr. Chretien! but this comic duo quickly moves to much less regional humor so the material travels very well both across the provinces and the states and through time. When Lawyers Take Viagra is an excellent musical lawyer joke with another lawyer joke thrown in in the middle (though the audience has to come to the punch line by itself because this was a television special). Paint The Town Beige features Ricky Blue at his vocal best in a song about growing old. Of course, this is a quiet little ballad. The canned laughter that was added on is a very questionable choice.
We Love Anesthetists picks up the medical tune tradition started with the classic Working Where The Sun Don't Shine (the Colorectal Surgeon's Song) it doesn't quite live up to the first one but is still pretty good. This song shows either Bowser or Blue's British roots and allows Bowser to throw in a few doctor and hospital jokes into the mix. Working Through My Mid-Life Crisis is a great country and western ditty while First The Hockey, Then The Beer is a bluesy rock number about garage league hockey and its traditions.
I Want That Stick is a supposedly improvised song about a couple famous jockey sticks. Not great, not bad either, and somewhat dated. Things You Won't Hear Your Wife Say is the only non-musical number in the show and is a David Letterman style bit. Space Love is a very different tune reminiscent of David Bowie's Major Tom but about a Russian astronaut. There is a lot of sexual innuendo in this one. Not great, not bad.
The show closes with Take Me Back Home, a rarity for Bowser and Blue as this is a serious, sentimental song. It is also quite beautiful and indicates these guys could probably write someone a top ten hit if they felt like it.
Some viewers may question the show was sweetened with added laughter and applause but that would be forgetting it was filmed in front of an older Anglo audience (is there any other kind?) and they are not known for great demonstrations of anything.
The second show on this Bowser and Blue independent release comedy DVD is She Wants Me, taped at the Hudson Village Station. Once again, this show is great fun, and once again the show opens with some Quebec audience oriented material before branching off to the kind of funny song and comedy people outside the province can really enjoy too. Once again, they are underserved by a coldish audience. She Wants Me also shows its videotaped for television roots in terms of picture quality but this is a very, very minor point.
She Wants Me finds Bowser and Blue in fine form indeed. They are known for using a variety of musical genres to support their funny songs and this show is no exception. The title track has Rick Blue singing how this girl wants him while Bowser provides the true story in punch lines he gleefully adds on. This is a really funny bit over a Spanish sounding tune. This comedy duo then does its take of a Presley classic with Heartbreak Nortel on the Nortel stock collapse. Bowser then reprises his dead on imitation of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien in a comedy only skit that works if you are Canadian.
The Merger, not listed on the liner, introduces a Guthrie-like sixties protest song style number about the forced municipal mergers. This also allows George to do a few one-liners about how small his town is. The PQ is a song about the PQ where the crowd was supposed to join in. Guess what?
Just Off The Top Of My Heart is the most serious song in this second show and shows the duo can really write a solid country western (or is it country Westmount?) love song. The audience comes alive for Things Your Husband Won't Say, a top ten list (Number 10 is There's something different about you. I noticed right away). Old Love sounds to me like a Rolf Harris style song for old lovers. Again, good stuff of course, while Following My Weiner Around sounds like a kid's ditty. This is followed by a love ballad dedicated to curling.
Pull My Finger is about Ricky's grandfather and you can figure out from the title what inheritance his grandpa left him. Little Bottle Of Wine is a Crosby, Stills and Nash tune which leads into a few jokes about Ricky Blue's drinking habits that segues nicely into Designated Driver which is more serious that it seems to be. The show closes with a very funny song titled Polka Dot Undies. Unfortunately, the editor decided to blow the surprise by showing George getting ready for the very special gag backstage. Oh, well. It is still fun to watch him get a boner and the audience came alive on this one.
Extra features on She Wants Me are two songs, Garmento, and the very dark Something To Watch about the movie that supposedly flashes before your eyes at your penultimate moment.
Bowser and Blue She Wants Me is an absolutely solid two show funny song (and more) independent release DVD and it comes highly recommended by someone who is not normally a big fan of the genre.
An interesting little factoid about this DVD from two Anglos: The title on the spine is positioned French Style (i.e. facing right) and not English style (i.e. facing left).
Other Bowser and Blue Reviews
The Illustrated Canadian Songbook: Listening to The Illustrated Canadian Songbook is something you never tire of (unlike many other funny song CDs)
Pull My Finger: Bowser and Blue are Canada's most famous performers of humorous songs. Proof is Pull My Finger