If you pine for the days of the original National Lampoon Radio Hour, you will certainly enjoy The Credibility Gap. The Bronze Age of Radio is a sixties sketch comedy radio compilation best enjoyed, as Harry Shearer suggests in the liner notes “while driving five mpg past a fender bender”. The Credibility Gap was a group of newsmen who decided the news needed a bit of a boost.

My favorite bit on The Credibility Gap The Golden Age of Radio is the opening Who’s On First?, a rock and roll version of the classic Abbott and Costello baseball routine. This had been tried before and was tried after but this version really works.

The sixties were a time when politically correct meant a politician wore bow tie. The Spots bit would probably not even make it on Saturday Night Comatose these days with its ads for Dago Men’s Wear (at the Mafia Shopping Mall), Jigaboo Car Wash where the men with the do rag do (Coon Plaza Shopping Center), and Mr. Spic Tacos. This kind of material would now be considered edgy but it is still quite funny.

Other bits on The Credibility Gap sketch comedy CD are definitely geared towards an audience very aware of the sixties -i.e. people who were around but didn’t smoke up too much. These include Tricia’s Honeymoon, about Nixon’s daughter, Senator Kennedy’s Next Speech with its many references to Chappaquiddick.

I am not quite sure what to make of The Mark Steel Hollywood Auction -not because I smoked up too much but because I was smoking Popeye candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars-while the Electro-Clip fake commercial is just bizarre. The World’s Greatest Man Pageant (Neil Armstrong, Dick Nixon, John Wayne, Howard Hughes, Marshall McLuhan) is simply bizarre and includes a rather strange commercial.

The great advantage of The Bronze Age of Radio over the golden age of radio comedy is the sound quality has not been affected by time so everything still sounds fresh and new. Those who like sketch comedy and can remember the sixties -and if you can you must be a Republican-will enjoy The Credibility Gap The Bronze Age of Radio

The Credibility Gap – The Bronze Age of Radio
Harry Shearer, David L. Lander
Michael McKean, Richard Beebe, Albert Brooks
Comedy CD
Produced by Cary E. Mansfield
Varese Sarabande 2007
58 minutes

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