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Don Adams Meets the Roving Reporter

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Album Review

Years before Don Adams became TV's favorite bungling detective, he had a career as a writer and standup comedian. These 13 pieces were recorded live in front of an audience, and Adams plays a different role in each, often a historical figure; sometimes he even plays the Roving Reporter, generally played by another uncredited actor. The way that the pieces have been set up is more than vaguely reminiscent of the one-sided phone conversation made popular by both Shelley Berman and Bob Newhart, except here you can hear both sides. Also, to be blunt, the quality of material here isn't quite up to the standards of Berman and Newhart, trading innovation for shtick. Many of these pieces begin the same way, with Don Adams yelling his head off, being hailed by the Roving Reporter, then Adams turning around and calmly answering, "Yesss?" There's also an over-reliance on the name "Freebish," and some of the gags are reused several times. That's not to say that Don Adams Meets the Roving Reporter is a bad record: there are definitely some great moments, like the interview with the football player and the Transylvanian folk song...there's even a tribute to Vaughn Meader in the cut "P.T. Boat." No, it's not bad — it just doesn't quite measure up to the standards set by the comedians who did this first.

Don Adams Meets the Roving Reporter, Don Adams
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