On Sklar Maps, a new CD from Aspecialthing Records, the tag-team of Randy and Jason Sklar wrestles with, among other things, this critical pop-cultural question: What sort of birdbrain adman thinks he can help sell Kentucky Fried Chicken using the melody to “Sweet Home Alabama”?
At the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, the identical twins bat around other amusing theories onstage while imagining that pitch meeting and others, at, say,
Al Jazeera II, the MTV II of the Middle East, at least in the Sklars’s fused imaginations.
In all, the brothers, perhaps best known as the mocking hosts of the acclaimed comedy series Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic, time-travel for almost an hour between St. Louis (their childhood hometown) and LA (their home and office since 1994).
The siblings take 13 laps around the laugh track, alternately reminiscing about returning to Missouri and running into “aggressively complimentary” local comedians and comically commenting on LA landmarks or phenomena (like those passive-aggressive Prius drivers — misanthropic motorists who love the planet but hate all Earthlings).
The one negative: About half the material, while always entertaining, sounds too parochial, too you-really-had-to-be-there for non-Midwesterners and non-Californians to appreciate.
In the most inclusive bits, the Sklars pan-fry their employer: the entertainment industry. The two, whose credits range from starring in their own MTV show (Apartment 2F) to guest-starring in the movie Wild Hogs and in the HBO hits Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm, torch the showbiz apparatchiks who sometimes entertain themselves, but not the audience, with nitwit notions.
The guys also unload on a pair of pop-culture dinosaurs, exhuming the memory of extinct bad-boy comic Andrew “Dice” Clay and skewering good-old-boy country singer Charlie Daniels with the “first draft” of Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a witty “hidden track.”