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Firesign Theater on CNN 9/24/98

CNN 9/24/98

SYDNEY: Kris Kristofferson finds sex appeal in his '60s, and the
counter-culture comedy group of the '60s, Firesign Theatre, findthat 
they're still bozos at the end
of the millennium.


SYDNEY: Comedy fans are fired up about the Firesign Theatre. The
ground-breaking troupe is out with its first album is almost two

Dennis Michael reports that even demented deejays are psyched aboutit.


BARRY HANSEN, "DR. DEMENTO": I've taken my traveling microphonetoday to 
the sumptuous
headquarters of Rhino Records in West LosAngeles, and here to meet me 
at Rhino are all four
members ofFiresign Theatre. Hi, guys.


DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The legendary radioand 
comedy group, the Firesign Theatre, is out spreading thenews. The 
group's first album together
in 17 years has beenreleased. It's a hilarious and terrifying look at 
the millennium,called "Give
Me Immortality Or Give Me Death."

PETER BERGMAN, FIRESIGN THEATRE: We've been all thinking about 
whatwe're going to do
for the millennium. For years we've been talkingabout this, 'cause 
obviously it's getting closer as
we speak,tick-tock, tick-tock.

And we decided that we had to somehow find a format that wouldallow us 
to deal with this
amazing phenomena. Half the countrythinks it's the end of the world, 
and half the country is not

HANSEN: And the other half really doesn't care.

MICHAEL: The group sold a record two million of the their classic
records in the 1970s and reinvented the comedy album in theprocess.

HANSON: They made albums that really had to be listened to asalbums. 
They were an
experience. You'd spend an evening listeningto the Firesign Theatre 
album, maybe three or four
times to geteverything that was going on.

MICHAEL: Re-formed for a live tour five years ago, the new album isthe 
best news yet for loyal
fans. The critics agree that thegroup's humor is as strange and sharp 
as ever.

PHIL AUSTIN, FIRESIGN THEATRE: What we desperately hope is aclassic. We 
want everyone
to feel that this is a classic Firesign Theatre album. We certainly do. 
We're just as confused and
happyabout it as we were with our great albums of the '70s. And it 
hasmuch the same feeling to
us, and the feeling of working with eachother is very much the same as 
we used to feel, and
we're like abunch of idiots.

MICHAEL: The Firesign Theatre carefully writes a formal script,then 
scribbles all over it and
ignores it.

PHIL PROCTOR, FIRESIGN THEATRE: These ideas are thrown out over andover 
again --
some of these are thrown out -- but most of the timethey hit fallow 
ground, you know, or
whatever. They get grounded insomebody's fertile ground. Wait a 
minute. I'm just not
thinkingclearly. There. Oh, I see now.

MICHAEL: "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death" is already sellingwell 
to the Firesign
Theatre's core audience -- fans over 40 whoare anxious to hear it.

BERGMAN: That's our core audience -- anxious people over 40 -- butI 
believe that this album is
going to find itself well received inthe colleges, 'cause they have the 
time to listen, they have
thewherewithal to listen, and I think it's going to explain the 
worldto them.

MICHAEL: With the millennium approaching, the explanation iswelcome, 
and so is the return of
the Firesign Theatre. DennisMichael, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.


PEACE, Ted Alvy FNJD74A@prodigy.com
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