The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, October 4, 1983
Franken and Davis,the horror ani
By Eli Cohen
W HEN AL FRANKEN and Tom
Davis come to the Power Center
Thursday night, Ann Arbor is in for a
treat. These two powerful comedians
form the writing talent behind much of
what is funny in the eighties. Franken
and Davis are the writers of much of
Saturday Night Live's material,
Trading Places, and the MTV parody
"Under My Thumb."
The duo from Minnesota are one of
the up and coming talents in the movie
industry. Yet before they become per-
manently placed in Hollywood,
Franken and Davis will retrace their
roots on college campuses across the
"We enjoy doing colleges," said Tom
Davis. "We do a combination of old and
new material; some new stuff, just
written, some stand-up type stuff, talk
shows, and slides and films," Davis
elaborated concerning the show.
Franken and Davis were the "back-
bone of Saturday Night Live" accor-
ding to Dan Ackroyd. They were the
creators of such famous skits as the
Coneheads, Weekend Update's "Point-
Counterpoint," and Steve Martin's
"Theodoric of York." They also wrote
the famous "Placenta Helper" com-
"It was great for five years," said
Davis about the original Saturday
Night Live. Both Franken and Davis
won Emmys as writers for SNL. But
Davis feels differently about the even-
tual fate of SNL, "I try not to think
about it," he says.
After Saturday Night Live Franken
and Davis went back on the road. But
this year they aired an hour-long cable
TV special "Franken and Davis in Con-
cert." Along with their TV career the
duo have a budding role in Hollywood.
They appeared in Trading Places with
Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd, and
are currently writing films for Warner
Brothers and Universal.
"We're writing two screenplays, one
for Trading Places director John Lan-
dis," said Davis. "We are also writing
for a, new TV show. What we write is
geared for ourselves. But we do aim for
the mark." Davis' view is that the team
writes "anything we want within the
realm of professionalism."
Franken and Davis got their start in
high school in Minnesota. Al Franken
went on to Harvard where he majored
in behavioral sciences. "What else you
gonna major in at a party school?" In
Franken's last year the duo began
playing the Improvisation in New York.
At the club they met Jimmy Walker,
Gabe Kaplan, Andy Kaufman, and
Freddie Prinze. In 1973 the two went to
Los Angeles and worked the Comedy
Store, Vegas, and Reno. In 1975 they
began writing for producer Lorne
Michaels and Saturday Night Live
thing," said Davis, "I like working with
Al. We make up for each other's
weaknesses," said Franken. "I'm
Jewish and have Jewish neuroses. He's
a WASP and has WASP neuroses. We
both grew up in suburbia and watched
the same TV shows."
The material upon which they draw
for comedy often has a political basis.
For SNL they created the Three Mile
Island takeoff, "The Pepsi Syndrome,"
and "Nixon's Final Days." "I'm real
interested in politics," said Franken.
"We have some pieces that are political
satire," agrees Davis, "it's a good sub-
ject for humor."
Other material is drawn from
"anywhere - all different places."
They found the best way to inspire
themselves is to listen to each other.
"We get most of our stuff from me and
Al spending time together," claimed
Their newest idea is one that has been
brewing for some time. The Rolling
Stones parody was thought up several
years ago. "Al put a billiard ball in his
mouth, and we saw what a big mouth he
had. That's when he started doing the
Mick Jagger mouth," explained Davis.
First they tried a parody called "White
Sugar," but decided on just doing it
straight. The "Under My Thumb"
video came about with a little guitar
work from Davis. "It's kind of like
The team is renowned for both
writing and performing. They feel that
as writers it helps to perform and to get
a feel for the audience. "As performers
we know the audience," said Davis.
"We both really write for how the
College crowds are favorites of the
team. "We gear most of our mnat ijal
for a college crowd," agreed Davis,
"We went to a dinner club in Min-
neapolis, and came out with the same
stuff we did for the colleges. But we
could see we were missing then,.sp we
adapted and picked different scenes."
In the Power Center they won't have
to do that. "We're really looking .for-
ward to Ann Arbor," said Franken.
"We both have a passion for comedy.,"
The Office of Major"Events is selling
tickets at the Michigan Union Ticket
Office and all CTC outlets. The.price is
$8.50 and the show is at 8 p.m. Thursday,
October 6. So come on down and see
everything from placenta helper tothe
Mick Jagger mouth. Come revel in
what Tom Davis calls, "The horror and
Al Franklin and Tom Davis make merry this Thursday night at Power Center.
"The partnership is the
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Set in two time spans, it tells the'
story of a modern young English
woman and her great "aunt's shocking
love in India in the 1920's.
THUR. 7:00, 9:15
TUES. WED. 2:30, 4:45, 7:00; 9:15
By Mike Drongowski
D ESPITE AN unresponsive audience, Isaac
Stern, accompanied by pianist Andrew Wolf,
gave Ann Arbor a rare musical treat last Satur-
Performing together since the Fall of 1980,
these distinguished artists paired to open the
University Musical Society's 105th Annual
Choral Union Series.
The recital began with Mozart's Sonata in C
minor. Andrew Wolf's delicate piano accom-
paniment balanced and highlighted the pizzicat-
to notes from Stern's bow. An early intonation
problem was adjusted and the Stern-Wolf duet
skillfully carried this sonata to its gentle con-
Stern then moved into more modern territory,
playing Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25, com-
posed by Enesco. Written in 1926, this piece re-
enforces Stern's role as champion of modern
music. Although highly dissonant and seemingly
without meter, Stern played this modern
sounding sonata with tremendous expression. An-
drew Wolf's piano advanced and parried Stern's
barbed arpeggiation, but never over-powered it;
While the interplay of the piano and the violin
parts was exquisitely timed, it never appeared to
be calculated or over-rehearsed.
Stern followed with a rich, full-phrased inter-
pretation of J.S. Bach's Sonata No. 3 in E major,
then moved to the concert's climax, Claude
Debussy's beautiful Sonata in G minor. This
piece seemed almost alive as Stern caressed
each note - each phrase blossomed and rose like
a gentle swell and then receded again. Andrew
Wolf complemented Isaac Stern's playing with
his own wonderfully expressive accompaniment,
and lush, colorful musical plateaus were reached
as Wolf and Stern blended to provide the
evening's finest listening.
After a truly fine performance of a com-
position such as Debussy's G minor sonata, one
might expect the next number to be anticlimac-
tic. Not so. Isaac Stern completed the program
with the marvelously alive Introduction and
Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28, by Camile Saint-
Saens. The full, expressive measures were in ex-
.cellent contrast to the light, delicate passages,
and Stern played this opposition to the fullest,
bringing the performance to a close.
GERARD DE PARDIEU
TUES. THURS. 7:25, 9:30
WED. 1:10, 3:15, 5:20, 7:25, 9:30
ASMALLISH SAFARI PARTY. In-
timate, yet full of the vastness we
associate with the great unexplored
passages of mountains, plains, and
various rain forests. Unexplored,
however, only on our part, for Jerome
Cooper seemed to, on Saturday night,
hold within him the long (I mean cen-
turies) accepted proposition that it is
ridiculous to attempt (here, in art) to
portray, reflect, or capture Nature
':, without first becoming one with it; that
pis, unless you know what Nature is, how
can you play it.
b .. .And
b then again
A By C. E. KRELL
a ° Art, unless it happens to be the name
of your next door neighbor, can be a
pretentious and oblique word to
! Idescribe. Again, if one equates Nature
*with art, or perhaps more ap-
y propriately, Art with nature, one must
'know what Art is (if he is a neighbor,
shake his hand), define it themselves,
before that great Art can be reflected in
their particular field. But fields, even
hosts awesome s
produced by Jerome Cooper was Art (to
me, a given), nor will I make the
assumption that because he performed
solo, that Jerome Cooper touched no
one near him. To put it more simply, we
will let Nature take its course, even
Try to imagine global geography, the
different areas of climate and
topography; the flats, the mountains,
the dry, the wet....
A shrill animal, perhaps a bird,
awakens the day with its cry. As the sun
begins to rise over the long, dry grassy
fields, another morning rhythm drips
out, setting the pace for another 24
hours, or even better, sunrise sunset
period of experiencing, challenging,
trial, error, and most of all, another
learned practice or attitude. Survival
on the plain means taking those things
from the environment and using them
to their best advantage, in order to
reach some sort of higher plain.
Now it is moist. Leaves clinging,
dripping, dewy carpet. Everywhere
there is the smell, of fur, blood, and
ripening fruit. Animals roar with
Ayleresque moan tones, under a hear-
tbeat rhythm that propels the
inhabitants toward life's discourse. As
the pace of the day quickens (night has
fallen), more life seems to assert itself;
there are many births and deaths. The
omnipresent pressure sinks like a lead
zeppelin, and the stink grows, but...
The Wind rustling over the tops of
reeds calms the air, and slowly the
shape of a temple discerns itself,
surrounded in a sort of opium induced
mist. In order to release the Earth of its
passivity, great bells and gongs break
the air into swirling entropy. Shining
and gleaming, in some sort of twisted
celebratory gesture, statues come to
life and revel in the noise. Overtones
reverberate, cracking domes and in-
fluencing friends and family...
This is no place for a family to be.
Leave the kids home. The sound now is
the clinking of glasses, the tying off of
veins, and the smoke of cheap tobacco.
The dress is sophisticated, and the band
on the stage blows and bops. Couples
can dance, others throw dice and feel
up the cheap whores lying abut. As the
alcohol flows (cheap bourbon and
cheaper scotch), the orchestra swings
to the tune of the asphalt and neon
choking the buildings outside...
A missed recital is often a missed op-
portunity at the game of existence.
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So, then, to avoid pretention, I will not
even attempt to prove that the music
If you have the language fluency, the
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The Style Council - 'In-
0 troducing the Style Council'
After the Jam broke up last year,
their guitarist/singer/songwriter Paul
Weller made the first attempt at a dif-
ferent musical project. He teamed up
with keyboardist Mick Talbot and, with
a group of session musicians, the Style
Council was born. After a few import 12
inch EP's, the group have finally come
0out with their first album, Introducing
the Style Council.
All of the material on this album (or
mini-record, as it states on the cover)
has already been released on vinyl via
the 12-inch EP's. So this album's pur-
pose is to expose the band with the best
that they have to offer. The best in-
cludes variations between hot dance
cuts and flowing ballads.
Side one starts off with "Long Hot
Summer," which became a hit in
England. Its slow, melodic rhythm and
hand clap beat, mixed with Talbot's
lush keyboard treatments, make this
song a laid-back highlight of the album.
The club mix version of this song on
side two was a bad excuse to fill up
space. But that is about the only fault in
"Headstart for Happiness" is a won-
derful, but short ballad featuring
Weller on acoustic guitar and Talbot's
rollicking organ. The two liveliest songs
on the album, "Speak Like a Child" and
"Money-Go-Round," are two energetic
"Speak Like a Child," the first
English single y the group, is fronted
with Talbot's bright organ and syn-
thesizer work, a heavy bass, and op-
timistic lyrics to form a sassy and
bouncy tune. On the other hand,
"Money-Go-Round" combines Weller's
politically-minded lyrics with a fierce
bass lick and Talbot's driving keyboar-
ds for a funky and wild song. Both songs
feature the powerful horn blasts of the
The music on Introducing the Style
Council is quite a departure and has
more of a sense of maturity from
Weller's punk/mod days in the Jam.
The classification of the musical style
of the band is hard to pinpoint to one
certain type. It is not electronic-dance
music nor adult-contemporary pop. The
Style Council is a blend of many dif-
ferent musical types: White-boy funk,
European pop, pinches of folk and jazz,
and a little bit of soul - there is a lot of
style in this council. - Bill Orlove
NURSES .. .
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and gain valuable career experience. Ask them why Peace
Corps is the toughest job you'll ever love.
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