8:55am Friday 31st August 2012 in What's On
IN THE latter part of the 1950s rock 'n' roll was changing popular music forever. At the same time satirist Tom Lehrer and comedian Bob Newhart were competing with the music revolution and causing their own kind of mayhem both sides of the Atlantic (Bob Newhart's first album 'The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart' actually outsold Elvis Presley to reach the top of the charts in 1960).
Their humour, though different from each other, was uniquely original, illustrating to the teenage rebellion that change had come in all forms of the art world. Lehrer sang of Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, doing The Masochism Tango and getting IT (VD) from Agnes. It was wickedly funny satire that forced an even bigger gap between teenagers and their uncomprehending parents. Bob Newhart was gentler with his comedy routines, embracing communities and families as a whole. His monologues as a Driving Instructor, Captain of The U.S.S. Codfish and the importer for Sir Walter Raleigh (Bringing Tobacco to Civilisation) made all ages laugh - so much that his albums, television series and films made him one of the most popular comedians of all time.
Sixty years later, just as rock 'n' roll is still filling theatres with countless nostalgia shows, the comedy of these two iconic figures is doing the same.
Peter Gill (The Jerry Lee Lewis Story, Let The Good Times Roll, The Golden Age of Musical Satire) and Andrew Meller (Talbot House, An Audience with Sherlock Holmes) are touring the country reminding those teenagers of the late 1950s and 1960s of the music and routines that brought laughter and colour into their lives with the show Another Evening with the humour of Bob Newhart and Tom Lehrer. Andrew's portrayal of a journalist going 'undercover' at a nudist camp touches the funny bones of any age group.
Another Evening with the humour of Bob Newhart & Tom Lehrer, The Playhouse, Cheltenham, Saturday, September 8, 7.30pm.