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Joe Bauer

Just Played My Newly Acquired Vaughn Meader "First Family" LP.

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Posted (edited)

I recently acquired this 1962 comedy album of JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader.

My wife joined me in this first time listening.

Doing so was fun yet strangely sad and thought provoking at the same time considering the incredibly sudden and shocking end of JFK's life just one year to the month of this record's release.

Of course we laughed.  Meader had JFK down so well in almost every manner, tone and inflection way that one could believe they were actually listening to JFK himself!

And Meader even "looked" like JFK.

We were surprised at how short in playing time the LP was. It's been so long since we played an LP record. We are used to longer playing CDs.

I would like to share more about this record ( really interesting in so many ways ) and will,  but must break for our weekend breakfast while it's hot off the stove.

I really think that Vaughn Meader's adult career life, culminating in his amazing impersonations of JFK and the impossible ending scenario of this would be a fascinating film.

Too bad it never was along with any major film on the life of Dorothy Kilgallen.

And sadly, maybe it's been so long ago, younger generations wouldn't get the importance of such films now-a-days.

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

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32 minutes ago, Stephanie Goldberg said:

I am not familiar with this person.  I look forward to hearing more about this!

 

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Not to be an unsympathetic churl, but we should probably re-evaluate how the national calamity became the "tragedy" that closed Meader's career.  A Kennedy dynasty in the Executive was never guaranteed, and Meader should have planned a second act for 1964. 

One could argue as much that the Johnson years became the harbinger of ruin for Lenny Bruce's career as well.

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Posted (edited)

I think Meader was really just getting started with his JFK performance.

This album of his reflected the lightest and at times even silly humor take on JFK and Jackie which was probably intentional to keep the content clean and in good graces regarding PG ratings ( and not to mention the Kennedy's themselves ) and safe for sales to a very broad audience versus a more narrow sharper edged one.

Still funny and entertaining for sure though.

I could imagine Meader developing his JFK impersonation act into a more polished, thoughtful and interesting multi-level humor content the longer JFK was in office.

Looking back to those times, I think it was wonderful that our society could have available and experience such light humor about JFK and Jackie and even Robert Kennedy in the national mind-set and discourse, if for any other reason than to provide some brevity balance to counter all the heavy seriousness and at times anger, angst and anxiety that JFK's presidency and policies so often initiated domestically and internationally.

I wonder what JFK thought of Vaughn Meador's impersonation act?

My guess is he liked it because it was very light and even respectful towards him and his family.

The kind of light family humor parents could relate to and even let their younger kids hear.

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

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Other presidential impersonators who deserve mention.

David Frye's LBJ was classic.hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEZCNACELwBSFXyq4

 
0:39
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CHECK OUT THESE OTHER CHANNELS: CLASSIC COMEDY CLIPS: http://www.dailymotion.com/ClassicComedyClips ...

 

And his Nixon impersonation was just slightly below Rich Little's in my opinion.

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Meader should have bided his time for a couple years, hired some dramatic writers, and polished his act to a different hue - bouncing back with a memorial one-man show on JFK.  Tony Award, maybe Emmy Award.  Meader certainly had the looks to pull it off.

That this couldn't happen in the meta-culture that was developing might be a mark of how traumatic the assassination was, or of how feared the Kennedy family influence was.

 

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6 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

I wonder what JFK thought of Vaughn Meador's impersonation act?

My guess is he liked it because it was very light and even respectful towards him and his family.

 

I'm not sure about that. The only thing I remember from the Meador album after all these years is someone asking Jackie to point out the pictures in the White House. So Jackie says, "Of course. There's this one here, and there's that one over there...."
 

 

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Mark, the JFK assassination was too traumatic for any portrayal of him in a comedic light.

And wasn't it several years before we even had movies about him specifically?

I think anyone old enough to have lived through that day ( 11,22,1963) and was older than 12 or so...will always carry a trauma memory of that event.

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Vaughn Meader said on the TV show "What's My Line"...that his First Family record sold over 4 million copies.

Wow!

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Mark, the JFK assassination was too traumatic for any portrayal of him in a comedic light.

And wasn't it several years before we even had movies about him specifically?

I think anyone old enough to have lived through that day ( 11,22,1963) and was older than 12 or so...will always carry a trauma memory of that event.

Meader could have pulled off a dramatic one-man stage show on JFK by 1970, if he'd kept his finances and his head together.  It wasn't long after that James Whitmore was collecting awards for Give 'em Hell, Harry.  And that was a show that succeeded in reaction to the assassination/Vietnam culture.

Better then than now for JFK.  We're all too jaded today, and the rest are (shudder)...millennials.

Edited by David Andrews

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