This is one of my all-time fave Albert Brooks sketches, "Rewriting the National Anthem." I'd only heard him perform it -- I believe it's from his great album, Comedy Minus One -- but this is from the Flip Wilson Show in the early '70s. It's slightly trimmed down and leaves out some funny material, but I suspect he had to cut cut things for time.
(The album itself is a gem, notably for one of the most creative things I've come across on a comedy LP. The flip side was a long 15-20 minute sketch on which Brooks performed one of the roles, and you, the listener, performed the other. A script was included, and you read your part. Hence the name of the album.)
By the way, at the very beginning of this clip, you hear Flip Wilson introduce him as "Mr. Al-baire Brooks." I suspect that this comes as sort of an homage to one of the funniest comedy bits I've seen on a talk show. It was The Tonight Show, and he was introduced as the famous French mime, "Al-baire Brooooks." He came onstage in the traditional black leotard and painted white face, and the whole time did mimes with great build-ups but were nothing more than the most simplistic things in the world, like, (said in a thick French accent), "And now, I weel do, 'Sitting in a chair.' Or 'Next, I weel perform, 'Walking across zee stage.'" The guest host that night was Sammy Davis, Jr., who they kept cutting to because he was falling out of his chair in laughter. Yes, I know he did that a lot, but given how the audience was roaring, it seemed pretty real.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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