Song Of The Day 7/30/2015: Dan Martin – “King Kluck”

Dead Horse Radio: Pop Song News Bulletins – It’s about a giant chicken. Try to suspend your disbelief. Now, I admit I demoted this recording – about which, say it together, there’s very little info on the web – from Tuesday until today before I realized that the narrator, “David Twinkie,” was doing an imitation of the late David Brinkley, newscaster for NBC and ABC whose career spanned over fifty years. That didn’t register until late in the screening process. Until I realized that Brinkley was the object of Martin’s parody (as was Dan Rather, aka “Dan Blabber”) I just thought the artist’s cadence was annoying and thudding, derailing any notion of comic timing he might have still had bottled up. A tiny, airplane-liquor bottle, but a bottle nonetheless.

But now that I know it was meant as parody of real people, “King Kluck” is a wee bit better, but there are still problems with this recording. Like the reverse engineering of some of the jokes. “Why are you flapping your arms, Mayor?” (Steve Miller:) “I want to fly like an eagle…” See that? The arm-flapping is totally asynchronous with the rest of the work; it’s just wedged in there for a momentarily amusing mental image and the payoff of the break-in. Not to mention that chickens are very limited fliers. Comedy doesn’t work unless it’s grounded in context, man. Even the chicken in The Hangover was there for a reason, we just didn’t know what it was. In this piece there’s no reason for a man to be flapping his arms. God, artistic irresponsibility like this is what keeps me up at night.

There are other snippets about “King Kluck” that bother me immensely. “By the way, sir, where is the Vice President?” (Eagles:) "Living it up at the Hotel California!" Makes no sense. It’s a loose-ended joke. And the final sequence, which ends predictably for the disco era, might be a surreal piece of avant-garde displacement a la Ionesco if we could see it, but it just falls flat. Goddamn it, why don’t these guys listen to my notes?

(However, this is probably worse.)

(By the way, this is the best explanation I’ve ever seen regarding the chicken in The Hangover.)

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