"However," as Irwin himself would begin, Win With Irwin, the
name of this album, is derived from The Professor's ill-fated presidential
campaign which was launched during the political season of 1960. Listening
to the album, one will realize the monumental insignificance of the
Corey presidential movement as a political footnote. There really ain't
very much about his campaign that's political. There's lots of Iaughs
stemming from Corey's rambling diatribes about everything from "The
Piltdown Man and the Built-Up Woman" to "Shakespeare on Virginiry."
But all in all, it's a helluva way to run a political campaign!
Today's popular comics are apt to find themselves enrolled in one of
two main schools of humor: (1) The Joke-Telling school. Bob Hope, Jack
Benny and Danny Thomas are tops in this gallery of jesters, and each
has his own personal style. But when rhe professional chips are down,
they're as good as their material and writers can make them. (2) The
Hip School of Satirists. Some refer to these wits as "sick"
comics or the "new school"--but, whatever you call them, their
specialty is satirizing the contemporary sceen and smashing the shop-worn
idols of our generation. This school, of course, includes Mort Sahl,
Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman, Mike and Elaine, Bob Newhart and Jonathan
What with humorisr classifying being one of the favorite conversational
sports of our time, it's interesting to note that one group is continually
left out of the game, perhaps because it is really quite simple to group
them. These are the genuine Funnymen. With very few exceptions, they
have mostly left the night club scene. Red Skelton is one exception,
and another is Irwin Corey. Their comical ancestors include Charlie
Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and W. C. Fields. These men all
created one or more comic characters and then established the characters
in the public mind to the point that it was impossible for them to be
unfunny. Corey's insane professor is as much a part of the Funnyman
school of humor as Chaplin's magnificent little tramp. Corey's outlandish
pedant, who rants and raves and confuses all, derives his comedy value
from the same source as the caricature of "teacher" that the
class' prize--delinquent scribbled on the blackboard a few minutes before
the bell rang.
For it is authority that is being ribbed by the Corey creation and there
is nothing that we all delight in quite so much as seeing our "experts"
cut down to size. When Corey was appearing at our Playboy Club in Chicago,
it dawned on us that it might be a wild idea to run him for President.
What we were doing, in effect, was channeling the famed Corey bombast
from its main purpose of being "The World's Foremost Aurhority"
onto a very logical sidetrack by suggesting that Corey would make an
excellent "World's Foremost Executive." We carried the campaign
to its logical extreme, including campaign buttons ("Irwin will
run for any party and he'll bring his own bottle") and posters
("Corey is the only candidate named Irwin") and we even hired
a sound truck to prowl the North Side of Chicago blaring martial music
and booming out the good message tp the voting public ("Relief
is just a ballot away--elect Corey--then go on relief").
But as you will hear, our candidate let us down. He just simply wouldn't
stick with the issues abd insisted, instead, on delighting his audience
with the famed Corey zaniness, and only occasionally did this even touch
on the Corey-Plan-for-Saving-the- Nation .
It's just as well, for what we are left with is one of the funniest
"talk records" assembled to date; but I can't help thinking
that we lost a great Chief Executive when Corey insisted that he'd rather
be funny than President.
Victor Lownes III