Mort Sahl had a unique style for
the times. Back in the late 50s, nightclub comics told jokes with
punchlines. They wore suits. They kept things light and inoffensive. Mort
wore V-neck sweaters and had a sort of conversational delivery. He got
up on stage and free-associateddigressing right and left about
relationships, current events and politics. And he wrapped up his shows
with that catch-phrase: Is there any group I havent offended?
Lenny Bruce watched Mort work, and he made the decision
to abandon comic impressions and set routines, and try for a more natural
style. Woody Allen, too, got into stand-up after he saw how Mort was able
to be observational and confessional. And when George Carlin began appearing
in nightclubs, he even included a tribute impersonation of Mort Sahl as
part of the act.
Theres a saying in comedy: A comic says funny things,
but a comedian says things funny. Mort Sahl says things funny, and you
dont have to be a politics junkie to think so.
The Future Lies Ahead, Verve Records, LP.
Look Forward in Anger: Mort Sahl 1960, Verve Records, LP.
Anyway...Onward, Mercury Records, LP.