From the Vault...


National Lampoon
"Gold Turkey"

© Epic/Legacy Records
Year of Release: 1975

track listing
  • Front Row Center
  • Public Disservice/
    Alternative Child
  • We'll Be Back/
    Mother Goose's
  • My Husband
  • Megaphone Newsreel
  • The Trial/
    Terminal Football/
    Flash Bazbo
  • Jimmy Dugan Story
  • Well-Intentioned Blues
  • A Laugh From The Past
  • Stand Up/
    Flash Bazbo
  • Hockey
  • Prison Farm
  • Mr. Veal Chop/
  • The Immigrants

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    National Lampoon related sites:
    National Lampoon Website
    Previous Review: #1440
    Liza Minnelli--The Complete Capitol Collection
    Next Review: #1442
    Bonnie Guitar--Dark Moon
    National Lampoon
    "Gold Turkey"

    From the 1960s to the 1970s, Comedy had been a regular topic in the everyday media of music. Comedians and comedy troupes were many, Bill Cosby and George Carlin were the most favorites. Comedy troupes were also in demand, with the likes of Monty Python, Firesign Theater, Credibility Gap, and National Lampoon. National Lampoon would be the beginnings of what would become Saturday Night Live and Second City Television. National Lampoon began a radio hour show of skits of the upcoming comedians. The following names were pictured on the back cover: Brian McConnachine, Ben Fried, John Wall, Windy Craig, Doug Kenney, Ed Subitsky, Richard Belzer, Emily Prager, Bob Michelson, Sidney Davis, Anne Beatts, Janis Hirsch, John Hechtman, Sean Kelly, Gilda Radner, George Coe, Tom Leopold, Bill Murray, Paul Jacobs, Harold Ramis, Vernon Taft, Judy Jacklin, Brian-Doyle Murray, Bob Tischer, John Belushi, Polly Bier, Christopher Guest, Bruce McCall. One name not pictured was Chevy Chase. Gold Turkey was a greatest hits compilation, from their various Radio Hour programs.

    After listening to this album, I can honestly say, that this albums is NOT funny. Some of the skits are way too short, and for the longer ones, they just aren't funny to start with. Reviews have stated there are other albums that are better. (This is why I don't like "Greatest Hits" compilations, where having the original albums these skits were from would be the better sources.) Also, being not funny, they just don't catch your attention to listen more. And, some skits were just too depressing. Like, "Terminal Football" -- a player has a terminal disease. Another misleading skit was "Mr. Veal Chop/Rosenburgs" -- when the announcer tells Mothers out there if they're too tired to make dinner, to take them to Mr. Veal Chop. The announcer says "And now, here's Mr. Veal Chop to tell you more about it..." it then goes into the Rosenburgs skit. Huh? Where is Mr. Veal Chop? Another misleading one is "Hockey" -- And now here it is slow motion... Excuse me, this is a Radio skit? And it was also 21 seconds in length.

    Maybe the best highlight was how they incorporate "commercials" -- as they are styled just as they were back in the heyday of old-time radio, and evefsn the early rock and roll years of radio commercials. Two music songs are here, as they both sound like boring folk songs: "Mother Goose's Wine" and "Well-Intentioned Blues."

    It's nice to hear how National Lampoon incorporated the old-time radio format here. Yet as "old-fashioned" as it sounds, the skits just doesn't keep your interest. What's great to know is that future stars would be the result from National Lampoon: John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray would all become famous on the future show Saturday Night Live Harold Ramis would become famous on Second City Television. Brian Doyle-Murray (Bill's brother) would also become famous, as he would guest on SNL. All the names mentioned would later make movies, some were successful.

    But like the old saying "You have to start somewhere..." National Lampoon were the stepping stones of something big forthcoming. Reviews have mentioned there were much better albums, one in particular, a box set of their Radio Hour skits. I'm not sure if I'd want to purchase that yet, after listening to Gold Turkey. The one that is interesting is their album Lemmings, a parody of the Woodstock concert. They also did their own White Album Those two alone would probably spark my interest, enjoying music, and The Beatles' White Album being my favorite album of all-time.

    They say Gold Turkey is just a sampling of "funny" skits from National Lampoon. As mentioned, Greatest Hits compilations are not for everyone, at least not for me. Sure, there are the familiar and popular titles everyone knows of. But when it comes to comedy best of's, they just have to perk your listening, to decide whether or not to get the original albums, or just stick with the greatest hits/best of's. In all fairness, if you're not familiar with an artist's work at all, the greatest hits/best of's is the first pick. Then decide whether to pursue more. In National Lampoon's case, Gold Turkey may just be a small sampling, and this where I'll stop for now.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic/Legacy Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1440
    Liza Minnelli--The Complete Capitol Collection
    Next Review: #1442
    Bonnie Guitar--Dark Moon