This is just the best.
Imagine a jaded comedy writer who, as part of his job writing for David Letterman, was responsible for a recurring bit called “Dave’s Record Collection.” This writer, Steve Young, spent a fair amount of time in vinyl shops in search of the weirdest records he could find, so that Dave could riff on them.
In the course of laying hands on Eddie Albert Sings and Narrates America, Steve discovered LPs with mysterious titles like The Bathrooms Are Coming!—a recording produced by American Standard Plumbing Co.
It was the start of an obsession with the hidden world of industrial musicals, and the stuff of a truly delightful movie that just started streaming online.
Hubbo and I met Steve Young last year, when this movie, Bathtubs over Broadway, was brand new. Since then, this feature-length documentary, directed by Dava Whisenant, has been collecting Writer’s Guild awards and making the rounds of film festivals.
Roger Ebert’s review lays it all out for you. But I encourage you to watch this movie before reading the review. It is so odd and funny and surprising and moving that I don’t want to spoil it for you. Sometimes it’s the best fun to watch a movie with no idea what you’re going to see.
It’s also still appearing in theaters across the country—which is the best way to see this crowd-pleasing movie. Here’s the list of upcoming screenings.
PS You can hear “An Exxon Dealer’s Wife” from 1979 right here—just scroll down. It is completely insane. “This dealer’s wife is a full-service island.” WUT?