Coyle and Sharpe
February 5, 2003 9:52 AM   Subscribe

From the always excellent Sharpeworld comes a true gem: her father's comedy duo's site, Coyle and Sharpe. Harking back to another era (1960's San Francisco), the site features images, articles, and videos, but the hidden audio tracks of man-on-the-street bits are not to be missed. They have all the innocence of Candid Camera, but are quite a bit funnier.
posted by mathowie (8 comments total)
I'm so glad you posted this - I'm officially obsessed with this site. It interests me that you used the word innocence, as I found that very compelling, although at the time they were considered "radio anarchists". What fascinates me most about them (besides how great they look in suits) is how much they seemed to actually care about the people they were spoofing.

According to the site, they invented the hidden microphone interview. Very cool. I downloaded an mp3 last week called Maniacs in Living Hell. I can't find it currently on the site, but it is a must have. Seriously great stuff.
posted by iconomy at 10:28 AM on February 5, 2003

I used the word "innocence" because I assume that messing with people in the 1960s was still new and people would tend to believe anything you told them more readily than now. Today, people are so jaded and cynical that if you wanted to do the wonderful "druggist" bit today, you'd probably have to venture to the midwest and try several times before you found someone who would believe you and not just call security after 30 seconds of it. After a couple decades of comedy on tv, years of reality shows and jackass, I think most people can recognize a put-on easily today.

I do like the way they treated their subjects, as there doesn't seem to be any malice that you sometimes see in things like Jackass or Tom Green's bits. You laugh with the person being duped, not at them. It's a delicate balance when you're doing comedy like this that I believe most current practitioners do poorly.
posted by mathowie at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2003

What amazes me is their incredible ability to keep a straight face. “we’re going to do it in a station wagon and just get the thing over with.” And I agree on the innocence. I think they would've been horrified if the druggist had agreed to find a back alley surgeon for them. The joke was on the side of reason.
posted by snez at 11:16 AM on February 5, 2003

"I haven't had a heart attack....oh, since I was a child."

Classic. Great link.
posted by ssmith at 12:16 PM on February 5, 2003

These old tapes are played quite often on the morning radio show at the University of Texas' student radio show. I always wondered if the "victims" were in on the act. The audio tracks are truly surprising and delightful.
posted by pomegranate at 1:18 PM on February 5, 2003

I used to hear this stuff late at night on college radio. I'd forgotten all about it. Thanks.
posted by Fabulon7 at 2:58 PM on February 5, 2003

I'd never heard of these merry pranksters, but I'm glad we've finally been introduced. Good fun.

The Coyle and Sharpe site is excellent, and filled with great links as well.
posted by hama7 at 5:12 PM on February 5, 2003

Thanks Matt! I didn't get a chance to listen to these til late last night, but they are a fabulous find - hilarious! And I agree that the strength of the humor is their innocence, there are no hard edges to the prank, nothing malicious. The "marks" seem alternately exasperated and bemused - you can just feel them jumping out of their skin to tell their wives and friends about these characters.

Ah, we have gotten jaded.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:38 AM on February 6, 2003

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