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Firesign Theatre: Lexicon, Part 1/4

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Archive-name: firesign-theatre/lexicon/part1
Last-modified: 1994/8/30
Version: 2.0

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     1. Split int <32K parts!

  Side 4) The Firesign Theatre: Lexicon and Concordance File (1/4)


    Part 3:  HCYB-OZ
    Part 4:  PAPOON-ZIPS


ALVARADO: {PICO}'s sidekick, as in "It's Pico and Alvarado". From the 
streets Pico and Alvarado in Los Angeles. PICO and ALVARADO are both 
{BEANERS}. They are featured in the plays {BOZOS},{DWARF}, as well as 
others. {NICK DANGER} had to swim down Alvarado to his convertable
during a severe rain storm. Pico and Alvarado sometimes like to
yell, "{PARK} it and Lock it! Not Responsible!"

AMES: Harry Ames, Jr. A fictional actor who portrays Lieutenant
{BRADSHAW} on the {NICK DANGER} series. There is also a Gun
Salesman names Ed Ames, who runs the "Ames Guns" store in {DWARF}.

ANCHOVIES: Small fish with beady little eyes. We first encounter
anchovies in {DWARF}, when George Tirebiter calls a {PIZZA} parlor
(note the name of the pizza joint he calls):

   GEORGE [mumbling]: Let's see...Ocelots. Paupers. Pipe-nipples,
          Polombras, Pizzas! Armenian Gardens...Hank's Juggernaut...
          New Leviathan...Nick's Swell...
   < Broadcast deleted>
   GEORGE [phoning]: Uh, this is George Tirebiter, Camden N 200 R.
          [pause] Uh, I want to order a pizza to go, and no anchovies.
          [pause] What ? [clicks phone] Oh, man! Nobody will come
          up here at all!

Apparently, Tirebiter mistakenly called {NICK DANGER}, in the
episode, "Cut 'Em Off at the Past". On that album, we hear the
same conversation, but from the other side of the phone:

   ANNOUNCER: He walks in! He's ready for mystery...he's ready for
              excitement! He's ready for anything...he's...
   NICK:      Nick Danger, Third Eye!
   GEORGE:    (ON FILTER) Uh-I wanna order a pizza to go, and no 
   NICK:      No anchovies? You've got the wrong man. I spell
              my name...Danger!   [click]
   GEORGE:    (FILTER) What?

Note: This is a direct quote from the "Big Mystery" Joke book, and
so the attribution of "GEORGE" to the guy on the other side of the
phone is the FT's, not an inference (some people thought it was
the voice of the teenage Porgie that called Nick).

In another episode of Nick Danger, "The case of the Missing Yolks"
(Video), and the "Three faces of Al" (album), Rocky {ROCOCO} calls
up Nick at the start of the play, and turns everything around:

  ROCKY: I want to order an anchovy to go, and hold the pizza.
  NICK:  Anchovies?
  ROCKY: Yeah, those little black things, with eyes!
  NICK:  You've got the wrong man. I spell my name

ANTELOPE FREEWAY: A {LOS ANGELES} Freeway, north of the 
{SAN FERNANDINO} valley towards Palmdale. Used to demonstrate
{ZENO'S PARADOX} in the {TWO PLACES} album.

ARTIE CHOKE: A {HOLOGRAM} in the FT's {BOZO} play. Artie, the Lonesome 
Beet and the Whisperin' Squash were all once intended to be characters 
in an FT western radio show, featuring an all-vegetable cast.

AUSTIN: Philip Austin, one of the FT members. 


BABE: The name of {EVERYMAN} in the FT's play {TWO PLACES}. In the 
liner notes for the "Two Places" CD, Phil Austin writes:

  It has often been correctly note that the progress of Babe is linked
  with that of Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Epic poem, "The Odyssey".
  Although HCYB does not literally follow the form of "The Odyssey", 
  there are several key meetings between the two stories and certainly,
  like Joyce's "Ulysses", HCYB derives much inspiration from the age-old
  story of a man trying to return home. Odysseus (Ulysses) finds himself
  imprisoned, bound by the spell of the witch Calypso, when his outrages
  against the gods are forgiven and he is allowed to return home. All
  we will see of this on HCYB is Babe running across a street, nearly to
  be killed, and entering the emporium of one {RALPH SPOILSPORT}, who
  may or may not be the god Hermes, sent to sell Babe the instrument of
  his homecoming. (Some see HCYB as the musings of Ralph, that Ralph is
  the storyteller and Babe portrays him as a young man. Well...)

BALCONY: Whatever it is, Louise Wong's got one you can do {SHAKESPEARE}

BARNEY: Barney is a {BOZO}. The new "Bozo" CD gives a definition:

  "Barny or Barney: In the English circus, a fight. The closest
   American equivalent is {CLEM}."

BBOP: Not Bee-bop, but the FT's "Big Book of Plays".

BEAR WHIZ BEER: A popular beverage in FT plays, heard in both
{EYKIW} and in {YOLKS}. "It's in the water! that's why it's yellow!"
Currently a company in Colorado has appropriated the Logo for tee-shirts
and posters [and the editor spotted a *Neon* sign of BWB in Manitou
Springs during a recent vacation!].

BWB has entered the mainstream (sorry) of american culture:
mathias thallmayer writes:

   I was looking at the current issue of the Narrow Gauge and 
   Shortline  Gazette (a magazine devoted to modeling narrow 
   gauge railroads, for you  fireheads) and what should I see:  a 
   review of a 1:22.5 scale Bear Wizz  Beer Refigerator car 
   (based on the bachman mechanism).  The logo looks  pretty 
   good: a bear standing human style, back to us but looking over  
   his shoulder, er, er...  I'd always pictured him with a rear 
   leg raised, but close enough....  The reviewer (Bob Brown) 
   said it was pretty  colorful. It comes from the "Feather River 
   Canyon Loco Works" in Pagosa  Springs, CO.

A recent entry from the Los Angeles Times, June 30, 1994, page E-2:

  The FDA alleges that the tobacco industry has been secretly
  adding twice the amount of nicotine to cigarettes to make them
  more addictive. "In a related story, Kraft has admitted that
  they've been adding twice as much whiz to their jars of cheese."
     --Morning Sickness, Premiere Radio Network

Cheese Whiz Beer?

BEDDOES: Dr. Beddoes, head of Dr. Beddoes Pneumatic Institute,
which in real life was a 19th century operation dedicated to
experimenting with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). See 

BERGMAN: Peter Bergman, one of the FT members. See also {LOVE IN}.

BOB BUNNY: A fifteen year-old kid, who is the side-kick of {MARK TIME} 
of the Circum-Solar Federation. He is also a fan of {YOUNG GUY}, Motor 
Detective, and asks him the {PORRIDGE BIRD} question, which he found 
carved on the Great Wall of Mars.

BOTTLES: {MUDHEAD}'s crazy hopped-up girlfriend, in Porgie {TIREBITER}
movies. She is played by Barbara Bobo. Her name is likely a  
play on the word "Jugs". 


BOZOS: A Bozo likes to {CLONE} and be with other Bozos. One of the 
{FIVE LIFESTYLES OF MAN}, according to the FT. Honk! Honk! See also 
{BEANERS}, {BOOGIES}, {ZIPS} and {BERZERKERS}. Featured in the FT 
play,"I Think Were All Bozos's on this Bus". The FT gives the following

   "BOZO: A man, fellow, guy; esp. a large, rough man or one with more
    brawn than brains. 1934: "Drive the heap, bozo" -- Chandler,
    _Finger Man_. From Sp. dial. "boso" (from "vosotros") - you (pl.)
    which resembles a direct address."

        --Dictionary of American Slang by Wentworth and Flexner, 1960.

B.O.Z.O is also referred to as an acronym for the "Brotherhood Of {ZIPS}
and Others".

BEANERS: A non-offensive term derived from the ethnically offensive 
one, referring to the lifestyle rather than the race. One of the 
{FIVE LIFESTYLES OF MAN}, according to the FT.

BEATLES: A 60's Rock-and-Roll group. A few Beatles references:

  Announcer: "Out of the Fog, into the smog"... 
  "There's a fog upon L.A. ..." (Blue Jay Way, Magical Mystery Tour)

  Rocky Rococo: A play on "Rocky Raccoon" 

  Catherwood:  says "Goo-goo-goo-joob" (ref: "I am the Walrus"),
     and then says "I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink"
     (cf "I'm So Tired", from the "White Album"). His references
     to {CELLOPHANE}, although a clear {SFX} device, could also
     be the line "Cellophane flowers of yellow and green" 
     (cf "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" -- Sgt. Pepper).

  Nick: says his story has more holes in it than the Albert Hall
     (cf "A Day in the Life" -- Sgt. Pepper).

      "It was {PIG NITE} at the {OM} mane padme Sigma House."
      is a reference to the mantra: "Om mani padme hum" (note
      the awful math pun: Sigma-->Sum-->Hum). This also possibly
      a reference to "Piggies" on the White Album, although 
      some Fraternities actually used to have a Pig Nite, where
      they would bring ugly women.

  Nancy: "<long list of names>, but everyone knew her as Nancy" 
        is from "Rocky Raccoon" (White Album, again!):

        Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil
        But everyone knew her as Nancy...

        Also, her boyfriend's name is "Dan" in the Song
        (Dan Catherwood):

        Now she and her man who called himself Dan
        Were in the next room at the hoe down

In {HEMLOCK STONES}, they sing "Get Back" at the end. Also, Stones
tells Flotsom to meet him in  the Pub in disguise, and Flotsom asks 
"In the pub in the skys?", which is a reference to "Lucy In the Skys,
with Diamonds,". This tune was denied by the Beatles to be an LSD
reference, and apparently is also tied to a John Fredd and the Playboy
Band tune called "Judy in Disguise, With Glasses". So, we have come
full circle.

In {HCYB}, one of the {RALPH SPOILSPORT} motors commercials begins,
"Don't we do it in the road here at Ralph's Spoilsport Motors..."
(cf "Why Dont We Do it In the Road" from the "White Album").

One of the kids in "Le Trent Huit Cunegonde" (Returned for Regrooving)
was named "Malcom X.John Lennon"

In the "Dear Friends" album, one of the skits ends with a politician
singing, "Those Moscow girls really knock me out" (a mis-quote from
"Back in the USSR" -- the girls were Ukrainian).


BERZERKERS: One of the {FIVE LIFESTYLES OF MAN}, according to the FT.

BMJB: The FT's "Big Mystery Joke Book", containing the transcripts
of {HEMLOCK STONES} Sumatran Rat play, {NICK DANGER}'s "Cut 'Em Off
at the Past" play, "Temporarily Humboldt County", "{MARK TIME}" from
the "Dear Friends" album, "{YOUNG GUY}", motor detective, and others.

BOOGIES:A non-offensive term derived from the ethnically offensive one, 
referring to the lifestyle rather than the race. One of the 
{FIVE LIFESTYLES OF MAN}, according to the FT.

BRADSHAW: Lieutenant Alvin Bradshaw, in the FT police forces. Loosely 
based on the Officer Bradshaw from the old Highway Patrol episodes, 
Bradshaw is constantly pestering the private investigators 
{NICK DANGER} and his Javanese counterpart {YOUNG GUY}, Motor Detective. 
{YOUNG GUY} once discovered that "BRAD" stands for "Bernard", 
indicating that Bradshaw is actually "George Bernard Shaw, famous 
author and riterary smart-guy".  Bradshaw is played by the fictional
character Harry Ames, Jr.

BUNCHE: Ralph Bunche, was a black American official of the United 
Nations who won the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation of the 
1948-49 Arab-Israeli War. Rumored in {DWARF} to have been the
honorary Aquarium parent (along with Ida Lupino) of the first
man-made baby Adam one-three.

BUS: What I think We're all {BOZO}'s on. The "Bozo" CD liner notes
quote the following definition:

  "BUS: A circuit in a mixing board which carries signals from one
   or more inputs to any output or set of outputs."

The {PRESIDENT} is referred to as the "Terminal Bus -- the output".


CELLOPHANE: An {SFX} tool, used to simulate fire on radio. In 
{NICK DANGER}, Catherwood asks if he Nick wants to pull his "cues" out
of the cellophane before they scorch. See also {CORNSTARCH}. In the
Fall 93 Reunion tour update, Catherwood asks Nick to pull his cues out 
of the "bubble wrap".

CHEESE: Many types of CHEESE appear in FT skits: {GORGONZOLA} the 
Cheese-monster, Cheese-Logs, Cheese-Log-Throws, not to mention {RAT}S. 
On the album cover of {ITNWYOYO}, on the wall (below the billboards for 
'Dead Cat Soap" and "Billy Jack Dogfood") there are signs for 'Bowel 
{OIL}' and'{SWELL} Cheese'. See also {PIZZA}.


CHROMIUM: It's just this little CHROMIUM switch, here! The first lines
of {DWARF}.

CLEM: The {EVERYMAN} of the FT play {BOZOS}. Also known as "UhClem" to 
the main computer in the {FUTURE FAIR}. The liner notes for "Bozos"
quotes the following definition from "The Language of American Popular

  "Clem: Its most common meaning is that of a general fight or riot
   between town hoodlums who attack shows and the circus or carnival
   employees. As an interjection, clem has replaces 'hey rube' as a
   battle cry for a forthcoming fight.

In this case, Clem attacks the Future Fair main computer by inserting
a gypsy program to confuse {DOCTOR MEMORY}, bringing the whole operation
down. The FT in later skits apparently developed Clems motivation
and story as follows (David {OSSMAN} writes):

  "Clem, a shoeless computer programmer for the Fair, was fired after
   he re-programmed the {RALPH SPOILSPORT} Speedway ride to 'Smoke Dope'
   ie, slow down, free-associate, play. He has now re-entered the Fair
   and broken into the maintenance circuits of {DOCTOR MEMORY} in order
   to re-program it to 'forget the past'. As on the album, he succeeds
   in confusing the good Dr. into contradictory on/off instructions
   which sabotage the machine and destroy the fantastic illusions we
   had taken for Reality.

CLONE: To either replicate yourself into a {HOLOGRAM}, or to act like 
all the other {BOZO}S.

CONFIDENCE IN THE SYSTEM: A timely drug. Here's an advertisement
for it by the FT on Ben Bland's All Day Matinee on the "Just Folks"

You know, this is the midst of the disillusionment and heartbreak season 
and,with the recent outbreak of that suicidal strain of despair up in 
Boston,well, you'd better keep a close watch on your emotions.  So 
remember the seven danger signals of depression; that's a general and 
lasting feeling of hope-lessness, inability to concentrate, loss of 
self-esteem, fear of rejection, feelings of guilt, misdirected anger, 
and extreme dependency on others.  At the first sign of these symptoms, 
friends, follow these simple rules:  keep working, drink as much as 
possible, and... take your television's advice. And y'know more TV's 
recommend an amazing new psychic breakthrough than any other, and 
that's... Confidence in the System.  Fast, safe, and guaranteed through 
constant Federal control, Confidence in the System will keep THEM in 
power longer, longer, longer, and tend to calm and obscure the miseries 
of disillusionment and despair.  In easy-to-swallow Propaganda form or  
new fast-acting Thought Control, that's Confidence in the System. So 
have some... today.

CORNSTARCH: Used to simulate snow in {NICK DANGER}. Catherwood asks
Nick to come in out of the Cornstarch and dry his mucklucks by the
fire. Cornstarch is a prop widely used by foley artists (a/k/a "Sound 
Effects Guys" -- "thanks Rocky!") to simulate walking through snow.  You 
don't walk in it.  You leave it in its handy box.  Squeezing and 
massaging the box near a mike gives that squeaky sound, not unlike 
walking on packed snow on a cold day.  It also expels a fine dusting of 
cornstarch, which settles nicely onto scripts, mikes, tape reels, etc.  
Experienced foley artists leave the cornstarch box inside a plastic bag.
See also {CELLOPHANE}.

CUNEGONDE: As in "Le Trent Huit Cunegonde" (The 38th Cunegonde). 
This is referred to in {DWARF}, and is the title of another FT piece.
Cunegonde has generated quite a discussion amongst the FT irregulars...

A number of fans noted that Cunegonde is the daughter of the Baron 
Thunder-ten-tronckh, a central character in Voltaire's "Candide".

Jeff Bulf notes the use of this name elsewhere in the arts:

  Cunegonde and its variants in other languages seems to be a standard
  name for what we would now call "bimbo" characters in European film.
  And presumably in stage before that. I cannot remember the title of a
  black-and-white scandinavian movie with tease/tart named Kunigunda.
  I saw it when I was in high school anyway, which puts it before the
  first Firesign performances. (Was it a {BERGMAN}? Doesn't sound like
  his sort of character.)

The name seems to be used as if it were a month; several fans have tried 
to link it with the French Revolution and its renaming of the calendar 
months; E.g., July became "Thermidor" -- best recalled by the 
"Thermidorean reaction" that followed some brutality as the revolution 
took its course. 

As for the origin of the name Cunegonde, Evan M Corcoran was kind enough 
to track this down with the help of his brother in France:

  ...Here's what he came up with, from the five volume Grand Larousse    
  dictionary, translated free for your personal libation:

  Cunegonde - (saint), Germanic imperatrice (v. 978 - abbey of 
  Kaufungen, Hesse, 1033 or 1040 [I'm not exactly sure what this means,
  I'll ask my brother]) Spouse of Henri II the Saint, canonised in 1200.

later he has continued:

   One more historical note:  I checked out Sainte Cunegonde, and as far
   as I could determine, she is not the patroness of anything.  There is 
   ANOTHER Sainte Cunegonde who is patroness of Poland and Lithuania, 
   but she's not the one parodied in Candide.  Or is she...  Both 
   Cunegondes are also spelled Kunigonda in some places.  And St. Vitus 
   is the patron of comedians.

So, Cunegonde might be saint of something (perhaps, Cows?)

CURFEW: Gezundheit! Offers are usually not good after curfew in
sectors R or N, and you should never go into forbidden sectors
after curfew (see {DWARF}). In the TV comedy  "Space Ghost - Coast
 To Coast" there was a parody of a children's advertisement with
the fine-print disclaimer:

   Produced by the Cogswell Cogs Co. Offer not good after curfew in
   sectors R or N.

User Contributions:

according to FT, what were the 6 types of people, by how they responded in a crisis?
(bozos, berserkers, ...)

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