Sunday, February 19, 2006

you con't get they-ah from he-ah

man do i love bert and i. i discovered the recordings as a young teen. i liked them then, and they've not lost a thing for me now.

marshall dodge and robert bryan (and who knew they met and recorded in a new haven dorm???). maine humor ay-up

50 years after 'Bert and I,' Maine humor retains its appeal
By Jerry Harkavy, Associated Press Writer February 18, 2006
PORTLAND, Maine --Nearly 50 years have passed since two Yale students created "Bert and I" and ushered in a golden age of Maine humor, but the "set her again" story that they helped popularize still resonates with audiences today.
It's often told with variations and embellishments that extend its length to 10 or 15 minutes, but the gist of the tale is simple:
A lobsterman's wife -- in some versions his mother-in-law -- falls overboard from his boat in rough seas and her body washes up on shore weeks later with a dozen lobsters attached. In discussing disposition of the remains, a fellow fisherman says that in view of the high price of lobster and the poor state of the economy, he'd "set her again."
The story no doubt originated along the Maine coast, but where, when and by whom is anyone's guess. To Tim Sample, the most successful Maine humorist and one who gained a national audience through the "Postcards from Maine" segment of CBS' "Sunday Morning," it is part of the oral tradition carried on by storytellers.
Incorporating the requisite colloquialisms and dialect, Sample has made good use of the story during a 30-year career.
So, too, has John McDonald, a Maine storyteller who includes it in his book, "A Moose and a Lobster Walk Into a Bar," now in its sixth printing.
As increased mobility and the influence of television whittle away at America's regional distinctions, Maine -- along with sections of the South -- are among a handful of places with a critical mass of humorists and storytellers to carry on the comic tradition and style that make them unique.
A historic moment came in 1957 when Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan recorded the Maine stories that they practiced in their dormitory in New Haven, Conn. Neither was from Maine, but they had a keen ear for dialect and Dodge had a knack for making sound effects that enhanced their stories.
"They made this on a lark, just for fun," said Sample, who performed with Dodge before his death in a hit-and-run accident while bicycling in Hawaii in 1982....................

No comments: