By Dennis Hartley
R.I.P. Bob Elliott (on the right) 1923-2016
This blog is starting to look more and more like an obituary column. It’s either that, or I’m getting old (keep your opinions to yourself).
Bob Elliott, the last surviving half of the comedy duo “Bob & Ray”, has “gone dark” (as we say in broadcasting when you sign off for good).
I grew up listening to (and watching) Bob and Ray, from the early 60s through the late 80s. They were one of my main inspirations for going into radio (along with the Firesign Theater, who were surely influenced by them). They invented what I call “stealth comedy”. Their delivery was so low-key, their satire so subtle that many people didn’t realize that they were…comedians (they perfected the “fake news” shtick decades before SNL or The Daily Show). They were also masters of the time-released zinger, as perfectly illustrated in this classic bit:
Another one of my faves-an interview with History’s worst historian:
…and fade to commercial…(cue announcer)…