Jonathan Winters
Wings It!
Comedy CD
Originally Released 1969
Laugh 2001
41 minutes

None of the really good Jonathan Winters comedy albums, Here’s Jonathan, Down To Earth, or even Great Moments have been re-released on CD yet. A few years ago Laugh Records released three Jonathan Winters CDs including Wings It! Though it is not the best of this improv and stand-up comedy great Wings It!  is rather enjoyable.

The highlight of Jonathan Winters Wings It is the thirteen minute improv the comic launches into based on reasonable audience suggestions. These include Maude Frickert on the freeway, the traffic cop, the used car salesman, man on the phone, the health club, the student and the professor, the wedding night, and the hippie haircut. Much like the CD, these bits are not bad but not the greatest Winters material.

Wings It also includes a more risqué (for its time of course and clean stuff nonetheless) Necking in a ‘38 Ford. The Deer Hunter, where a party of hunters gets a little trigger happy on the first day of the season is a little more violent than most material by Jonathan Winters. There is nothing really original or outstanding about The Shy Guy Returns a Toaster. King Kwazi is not bad, not great, not really original.

Maude Frickert Explains The Birds And The Bees is lame. Sound Improvisations, the penultimate track on this comedy CD is where Winters does something he has rarely done on a recording; react to pre-recorded sounds as suggestions from improvisation. It is not bad/

A major weakness of Jonathan Winters Wings It is the sound. Not that you get a lot of recorded hiss and pop but the sound levels are unreliable and I find it hard to believe a sound engineer could not have tweaked this, especially since anybody with any version of Nero could do it at home.

Whatever you do, avoid at all cost very recent so-called comedy CDs by Jonathan Winters: Crank Calls is just messages left on Gary Owens’ answering machine by Winters and sound exactly like an answering machine tape. Outpatients, again with Gary Winters is a waste of time but a good coaster. Finally, why bother with the less than three minutes long, yes, less than three minutes Old Folks.

I only hope Jonathan Winters fans do not have to wait for this great comic to die before we get the really good albums on CD.


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