Yes, Edith Ann. Yes, Lily Tomlin. Yes, 1971.
This was possibly my first exposure to any kind of audio theater, aside from the story records/tapes I had as a kid. I don’t know how old I was (surely no older than ten) when I was repeatedly playing my mom’s 8-track of this but so much of it has stayed in my mind over 30 years later. I had to revisit it. I remember that, as a child, I started paying more attention to the Edith Ann segments on The Electric Company (uh, or was it Sesame Street?) and wasn’t entertained by them yet I loved this. And I still know nothing of those bits other than they were made for kids.
This album is not made for kids.
But, she nails what it is to be a kid, think like a kid, talk like a kid. I didn’t realize it so profoundly at the time, of course – she was a peer, more or less. Now, I hear many jokes I don’t recall, presumably because I didn’t know it was funny to be that way. Sure, it’s basically a live stand up comedy string of one liners but the writing is great. I’m not much for comedy but I don’t know that there’s much in the way of uproariously funny moments anyway. This is Edith Ann, a kinda darkly imaginative child learning to be philosophical. It’s just well written, funny enough, and even a little poignant at times. This is all about the great character and performance. With added subtle sound effects that work really well. It’s the sound of audience laughter that annoys. But, meh, it counts as audio theater – albeit live audio theater which is something I usually turn my nose up at.
I give it a B on its own merits, rather than compare it to most of what I prefer to listen to. And, I’ll probably keep a copy. I want to try to get Wesley to listen to it, too.
I found it downloadable with a write-up on it here…