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The comedy stylings of Bob Dylan!

by burlesquepunk




“Does Harry Belafonte come from around here? He ought to – it rhymes with Belo Horizonte”

Belo Horizonte, Brazil show, August 19, 1991

“Here’s my ex-wife, my next wife, my girlfriend, and my fiancee.”

Bob introducing the back-up singers; Tucson, 1975

A little like the situation with Leonard Cohen, most people consider Dylan to be morose and humourless, when the opposite is in fact the case.

In fact, Bob’s been practicing for years for a future Vegas Comedy Stage act!

Anyone who’s listened to the great Theme Time Radio Hour would be very familiar with Dylan’s fondness for one-liners!

Well he did write “Jokerman” as an autobiography!

Here are a few samples from Dylan shows and other scenarios down the years! Some classics here!

Bob finished a song and said “I forgot the words there for a minute……..I think I hypnotized myself.”

Portland, Maine 11/23/2001

From the great www.expectingrain.com

Somewhere in 1997:
From: Tom Burstein tburstein email.msn.com

I saw Dylan at Western Connecticut State University in 1997, I believe.
When he introduced Bucky Baxter he said,
“When I first met Bucky, he didn’t have a penny to his name. I told him to
get another name.”

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 15:35:56 -0700
From: Brian b8kdnapi pacbell.net
Subject: bob funny

I don’t know if you have heard this funny thing bob said or not but when I
saw bob, I think was in was 95 in san diego, he introduced the drummer with
a big afro and said something like, “Some people say he looks like Ice T”,
then after a pause he said, “I don’t”

February 13, 1999, in Normal, Illinois (Illinois State University campus),
From dono919:

“They said I’d never make it to Normal. (PAUSE) They were wrong.”

December 8 1997, Irving Plaza
From HALBERT fordham.edu:

the best joke i have heard dylan mumble at a concert was in new york city at
irvingplaza december 8th 1997, where the opening act was joan osborne who sang
the man in the long black coat, after singing her set she was at the bar
drinking, and it is a small place…maybe two thousand…dylan had just finished
his first seven, eight, songs and was introducing the band and thanking the
opening act…all of a sudden he says: “and i’d also like to thank joan osborne;
joan and i is gonna sing a song…” and joan in the back stands up to come to
the stage, when dylan says: “but not tonight.”

Richard Shaffer posted the first collection on July 9, 1999.

June 19, 1999, Mountain View, CA
Marc Blaker reported:

At Shoreline after the best Lovesick I’ve heard Bob says,
“(sarcascm dripping) that was a LOVE song. They’re all
love songs. The band loves to play them.”

June 22, 1999, Hollywood, CA
CovWoman61 wrote:

He apologized, saying that “I almost didn’t make it tonight.
…….. had a flat tire.
…………………………………….
there was a fork in the road…….”

June 25, 1999, Chula Vista, CA
Brian posted:

He made reference to how tired he and his band were
“We slept in a trailer park and didn’t want to wake the sleeping bags”

Jun 18, 1999, Concord, CA
From: Linda Povey

After playing “Lay Lady Lay,” Bob said, “I don’t have that brass bed
anymore….I never did have one.”

June 26, 1999, Las Vegas, NV
Spflpete wrote:

Last Sat. we saw his show in Vegas and he seems very friendly.
He was laughing a lot and even told a little joke.

BobLinks wrote:
“This is a song I wrote for my ex-wife.
She was so conceited I used to call her Mimi”

June 27, 1999, Phoenix, AZ
Jordan wrote:

“Thanks everybody, you’re too kind…
You know, I was talking to Neil Young yesterday (audience cheers
at the mention of Young) and he said to me, he said ‘Bob, you
just can’t hear cool music on the radio anymore…’ and I says
to Neil, I says ‘sure you just… (a decent pause) you just need
to stick your radio in the refrigerator.”

July 2, 1999, Skakopee, MN
kara50 MY-DEJA.COM wrote:

he said he had to ‘get a hammer and hit the sack’.

July 3, 1999, Duluth, MN
kara50 MY-DEJA.COM wrote:

“I was born on the hill over there. Glad to see it’s still there.
My first girlfriend came from here. She was so conceited I used to call her Mimi.”

July 4, 1999, Milwaukee, WI
stuart levitan wrote:

“Nice to be here. One of my early girlfriends was from
Milwaukee. She was an artist. She gave me the brush-off.”

July 6, 1999, Detroit, MI
MSGLBJ wrote:

Here he paused and caught his breath, then stepped to the mic and said
“Thank you very much Ladies and Gentlemen.”
He paused and then leaned back in.
“I went to the Motown museum today.” (Cheers)
“I was looking for the Smokey Robinson stuff….
I couldn’t find it. This guy came up to me though
and he said What did Clark Kent turn into when he
got hungry?’ I said What?’ He said Supperman’.
I never did find the Smokey Robinson stuff though..”

July 9, 1999, Tinley Park, IL
BobLinks wrote:

“David Kemper is playing on the drums.
One of David’s first jobs was here in Chicago.
He had a job as a waiter but he never took any tips.
He was a dumb waiter.”

July 10, 1999, Maryland Heights, Missouri
Joy wrote:

“Larry almost wrote a song today. He wrote a song about his bed, but it
hasn’t been made up yet.”

July 11, 1999, Cincinnati
Joe Cox wrote:

“Charlie went to see his cousin today at the Hamilton County Jail. He
brought him a cell phone… He almost made it to the show.”

July 13, 1999, Va Beach
Joy wrote:

“We were all woken up very early this morning here at the hotel. They
had a robbery there – yeah – we were woken up by the burglar alarm.”

July 14, 1999, Raleigh
BBowser868 wrote:

“Larry was talkin’ to Neil Young, and he asked him how can you listen to rock and roll
– Neil told him “You put a stone up to one ear and a hamburger bun to the other” (rimshot).
Then a few moments later he stops before introducing Charlie and says
“No, it wasn’t Neil Young, it was Elvis Costello”.

July 16, 1999, Bristow
Joy wrote:

“My ex-wife left me again. She’s a tennis player. Love means nothing to her.”

July 17, 1999, Camden
BobLinks wrote:

“This is a love song. We love to play it.”

“My ex-wife left me again tonight.She’s a tennis player. Love means nothing to her.”

July 20, 1999, Albany
Brian Perry wrote:

“Larry almost wrote a song today. He wrote a song about his bed, but it
hasn’t been made up yet.”

July 25, 1999, Hartford
BobLinks wrote:

When introducing the drummer, David Kemper, Dylan said:
“David and I drove here tonight in a car singing songs on the way.
We were singing cartoons.”

November 13, 1999, E. Rutherford, New Jersey
J. Robert Fisher sent in this one, adjusted by Johanna McCarthy:

When introducing his band: “David Kemper on the drums.
David’s turning 21 tonight. David never lies unless he’s in bed.”

Late show, Park West last fall
Brooks sent this:

Bob introduced Kemper by saying:
“David Kemper on drums. David grew up on a farm and on Saturday
nights he used to take the cows to the moooooovies.”

Subject: Anaheim Late Show Joke…
From: LoveMinusZero
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 01:54:28 GMT

Anyone catch the first half of Dylan’s joke last night? Told it as he was
introducing Kemper. Something about a roll of film (I think) & “seeing what
develops”?

Subject: Re: Chicago joke
From: JMof523817 jmof523817 aol.com
Date: 24 Mar 2000 18:42:04 GMT

Bob said “Dave is the only drummer that tried to make a slow horse fast, but he
stopped feeding him.”

(at the Park west late show 10-26-1999 Chicago IL)

Fargo March 30, 2000,
From Jennifer Schneider schn0257 tc.umn.edu

Bob made the following joke while introducing the band:

“Tony was here once before. He got a bicycle for his wife.
Tony said it was a pretty good trade. Didn’t you, Tony?” (or something like that)
This really cracked him up. He and Tony couldn’t stop laughing.

Rochester, MN. (March31, 2000)
From: Joey Morris Grand Rapids, Mich. huttojb216 netscape.net

Last night in Bob was in a great mood.
He introduced Larry and said “He hurt his foot today, we had to call a toe
truck!” He couldn’t stop laughing while introducing the rest of the band.

Irvine, CA June 29, 2000

He told a joke last night at Irvine. when he intro’ed the band he
intro’ed David as a someone who “was going to be a doctor but he didn’t
have any patients.”

peace and love,
erik

Del Mar, 7/1/00
From: JHeistUpCa aol.com

Introducing the drummer at Del Mar, Bob said,
“We went out for some seafood, and he asked them ‘Do you serve crabs?’
‘Sure do, sit right down,’ they told him.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 3, 2000
From: blindjoedeath

I’d like to say hello to Miss Linda Lu – president of our
regional fan club down here. She was down here just a minute
ago, but they hustled her outta here — I wish she’d come back —
I’d like to see her.

Oklahoma City, July 6, 2000
From: “Mark A. Fergeson”

Last night in Oklahoma City, while introducing the drummer…..
“He must have thought he was playing golf today because he wore two shirts,
in case he gets a hole in one.”

From: tim romantim mr.net
Minneapolis , July 14, 2000

David Kemper on drums, ladies and gentlemen……David and I were in the
Pickled Parrot* this afternoon and David asked the waitress if they
served crabs…..She said “Buddy, we’ll serve just about anybody….”

*the pickled parrot is a popular restaurant/bar in downtown Minneapolis,
about a 1/4 mile from the Target Center.

Camden, July 28, 2000
From: Brian J. Chase thechases worldnet.att.net

Also loved Bob’s joke of the night: “David got a hammer last night and
hit the sack” and then later about Tony: “He hit the sack too, and he
wasn’t even going to bed”. No one seemed to notice this second one, but
I simply couldn’t stop laughing.

From: J R Beresford-Howe jrbh pacbell.net

The funniest thing I ever saw Dylan do on stage was in San Diego, at
Golden Hall during his first mixed born again/secular tour…. he told a
story about a honeymooning couple next door to him at the hotel, and
announced that he wanted to dedicate the next song to them. Then he
played “Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Nobody.”

Belo Horizonte, Brazil show, August 19, 1991
The Telegraph, Winter 1991, Issue #41
Michele Simpson sent it to me Jan 15, 2001

“Does Harry Belafonte come from around here?” Bob asked.
“He ought to, it rhymes with Belo Horizonte”.

From Matt Wilson mwilson citizensconferencing.com

When Bob shared the bill with Joni Mitchell in Chicago, 1999, he
introduced “Make You Feel My Love” by saying, “This is a song I wrote for
Garth Brooks. Regrets, I’ve had a few… but then again, too few too
mention.”

From John Domini jdomini northwestern.edu

Bob D played a club show at Park West in Chicago, late ’99, & among the
standees along the stage was someone madly scribbling notes of some
kind. Dylan, in great spirits all night, finally grinned down at the
fan & asked: “You writing a check for me?”

From Bo:
Brescia, Italy, Piazza Duomo, July 10, 2001 show

During Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again Bob introduced the band:

He said something like that:
“I would like to introduce the band:
On the guitarÊ – Larry Cambell,
On the other guitar – Charlie Sexton,
David Kemper on the drums, and
on the bass – I’m not going to tell you !!! “

From: “Donald Winters” winte030 qwest.net

When I saw Dylan perform at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the
early sixties, he responded to a heckler in the audience with:
“Hey man, I think there’s a phone call for you.”

From: “Bill McGirr” billmcgirr hotmail.com

Saturday night in San Francisco (Oct. 13, 2001)
During the band intros Bob introduced David Kemper as
“one of the few drummers around better than no drummer at all”

Syracuse, NY Tuesday Nov 13, 2001:

“I want to introduce my band. The best band in the land,”
Dylan said.

Veteran guitarist Sexton, he proclaimed, is “the meanest man
in the band. When we played the Middle East, Charlie killed
the Dead Sea,” Dylan said.

All this historic music and a joke from the deadpan man,
too!

From wvjon charter.net

Morgantown Nov 15, 2001:
“On the drums, the meanest drummer in the world. When we played in the
Middle East, he killed the Dead Sea. David Kemper!”

From Leah Warshah

Detroit:
“You might be wondering what’s written on his shoes;
those are foot notes! David Kemper!”

From Kevin Thomson Kevtf1 btinternet.com

A 2000 show:
“On drums, David Kemper, he once swallowed a roll of film,
we’ll see what develops.”

From Pamela Zilavy

During the band introductions at the Greek in Berkeley in October (’02),
Tony stepped up to Bob and said something or other. Then Bob turns and tells
us that “Tony says he actually went school here at UC Berkeley.” Then, after
that Bob grins and says, Well, he must be in graduate school now.”

From timebandit15 hotmail.com

after that he said, “I don’t know what he majored in though… maybe gourmet cooking…”

From Tim Tankard, Kansas City
When Dylan played in Kansas City at the Sandstone Amphitheatre in the summer of 2001,
he said this joke about his drummer: “We went golfing this afternoon, and he wore two shirts.
In case he got a hole in one.”

Posted to rec.music.dylan by Debra Lind
At Jackson (July 15, 2003 and at Costa Mesa July 27) he told this joke on Larry:

Larry bought a pig the other day. I asked Larry where he was gonna keep
his pig, he said, under his bed. I said, what about the smell? Larry
said, He’ll just have to get used to it.

And about George:

George is the… probably the best drummer…on the stage..

From: Matt Wilson, Nov 13 2003

In Wallingford, CT Bob introduced his drummer as “George Recile from
Hartford, CT.” When no one in the audience seemed to care that his drummer
was from Hartford Bob pointed at George and repeated “George Recile from
Hartford, CT.” When no one still seemed to care Bob looked at George with a
big grin on his face and said “You’re from Hartford, right?”

From Chester A. Smith III, Dec 5 2003

Bob in Athens Georgia, University of Georgia, Early 90’s,
says…”Hey it’s nice to play for a college crowd…..did you
know that Billy Joel never graduated high school….(laughing
with the band, maybe a little drunk?…) I swear it’s true!”

From Hamp Nettles, April 11, 2004

In Columbia: On the guitar, a man that comes from a broken home.
His kids break everything in the house. Fuzzy Kozzela (thats how he says the name).

From Deborah Woods June 4 , 2004

In Portland, Maine 11/23/2001
Bob finished a song and said “I forgot the words there for a minute……..I think I hypnotized myself.”

From Juergen Beselt:

The Bonn (Germany) show, June 29, 2004:
Introducing the band:
“On drums, George Recile. He’s the best drummer – on stage.”

From Cori Jones:

In Jackson TN on August 20 2004:
Bob Dylan introduced his drummer as a guy who there wasn’t nothing he wouldn’t do for me and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him, and we’ve been going through our whole life doing nothing for each other.

From Dave:

October 31, 2004 – De Kalb, Illinois:
We got a Halloween joke during the intros. The joke went something like this:
“Larry was a skeleton for Halloween, but he didn’t go trick-or-treating. No
body would go with him.

From Geoff Stacks:

November 3, 2004 – West Lafayette, Indiana:
He’s from Louisiana. They got a lot of snakes down there. When it rains, he puts them on his
windshield and calls them ‘windshield vipers’.

Kingston, Nov 17, 2004:
‘On guitar: Stu Kimball. Stu’s from around here. He runs a farm just outside
town. Got cows there. He put one on a scale because he wanted to see how much
milky way….’

From Kailin Clarke:
Atlanta (April 12, 13, or 14th 2004, I don’t know which):
“Larry was writing to his girlfriend in the hotel the other night.
I said, ‘Larry, you can’t write on an empty stomach, you gotta use paper!’ “

From Leonard Varvaro (2009):
I saw Bob in Omaha a few years ago. At one point he introduced
his friend Doctor ‘somebody or other’ sitting in the audience.
“Stand up and take a bow, doc” he said. “okay, maybe later” All
of the audience was on its feet at the time.

From tonygps (2009):
In Orlando one night Bob said, “I haven’t made it to Disneyland yet.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get there.”

From: Jeremy Heist JHeistUpCa aol.com
I’ve always remembered and quoted this line from a Dylan concert a long
time ago–it was in Tucson, & might have been Rolling Thunder. He introduced
the back-up singers as “My ex-wife, my next wife, my girlfriend, and my
fiancee.” I’m trying to remember if there were even four different women, or
just three.

Mail us: stupidand@gmail.com

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January 15, 2009 - Posted by | _ART, _BOB DYLAN, _COMEDY, _MUSIC, _PHOTOGRAPHY

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for this collection!
    As a non english speaker I didn’t get all the jokes, but the ones I did really made me laugh!!!
    I check your blog quite often because I like the cartoons, the stories you choose appeal my interest, and I hate Bono too!!!
    I must say I’ve never particularly liked Dylan, I’m more into Leonard Cohen, maybe it’s a generational thing, or maybe as a non english speaker and amateur musician, I focus more on music, or whatever, but I have listened to the Theme Time Radio Hour programs and find them entertaining and interesting, the facts and anecdotes stuff is really my thing! His music choice sound to me quite all-american, but still is not the usual stuff. Anyway, big respect for the man has grown in me!
    Thank you very much for posting the shows, for the tracklisting and the quotes (I don’t understand 100% so a lot of times I check these!)

    Comment by Purpleorchid | January 15, 2009

  2. Thanks very much Purpleorchid for your very nice and very interesting comment! Kudos mate!!

    It sure makes a nice change from the usual BS comments we get!

    We too love Leonard Cohen! You may have noticed!

    We also love Bob Dylan! You may have noticed!

    Bob’s TTRH is really a seminal moment in modern culture, one which will be looked back upon for countless generations to come! We are so lucky to have one of the greatest artists of modern times share with us his taste and influences and also speak about the music and other things he loves!!

    Imagine,say, having the opportunity to have JS Bach share with us his taste and influences and also speak about the music and other things he loves!! It would be fucking priceless and cherished!!!

    Surprisingly, Bob’s contribution to Art and indeed Humanity via TTRH is not treated as being so priceless as it ought to be!!

    OK, you have a quibble … there are a lot of American acts … but, remember, also a hell of a lot of acts from UK and other Englsh speaking countries. But Bob has also played quite a few foreign language songs.

    However, Bob is understandably very restricted by the fact that his audience on XFM are inevitably American!

    Anyway, we think both Bob and Leonard are the finest songwriters of recent times. No doubt.

    You obviously have great taste so you should continue to explore both of these supreme artists out!

    Keep in touch mate!

    Comment by stupid and contagious | January 20, 2009


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