Picks and Pans Review: The Best of Spike Jones Vol. 1

updated 07/01/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

If there had never been a Spike Jones, there probably would never have been a Weird Al. Not everyone would regard that as a catastrophe of course, but Jones, who combined parodies of Big Bandera music and wild slapstick, was often very funny. This tape contains highlights of his TV show from 1952-54. Included are Doodles Weaver's horserace call to the tune of the William Tell Overture ("Cabbage is third by a head") and Billy Barty, the dean of "little person" actors, doing his right-on imitation of Liberace, right down to the miniature candelabra. Jones and his band also do their version of Cocktails for Two, complete with whistles, starter's pistol, cowbells, sirens, shattering glasses and car horns—standard instrumentation for them. Jones' send-ups, originally created for records, got a little frantic at times on TV. This tape is just about the right length—51 minutes—to provide a lifetime supply of Jones' humor. Spare us volume 2. (Best of Spike Jones Video, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90046, $42.45)

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