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PDQ Returns! The Classical Music Humor Thread

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Initial post: Aug 22, 2009 3:29:50 PM PDT
There's a Petey Q in all of us, and this is the chance for you to display your humor skills.

Regarding the old thread (for those of you who remember): it was spurred by Alan Omer's hilarious opera synopsis on Vaughn Williams' "Five DEVIANTS of Dives and Lazarus." In all 41 pages of forum history, I couldn't find the old thread (drat Amazon! Drat them to heck!)

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 3:55:56 PM PDT
Some of you may remember Gene and John, the two brothers living to support their parents in a post-Social Security world. In our last episode, Gene went grocery shopping and got caught shop-lifting some Meyer's Beer. Our story picks up with Gene in prison, where he is serving time for his small crime (though it costs more to jail him than to let him have the beer...)

It was bedtime at Townville's County Jail, and Gene was roommate with Carlo "The Sneaker" Gesualdo, a convicted, uh, convict who had murdered his wife and her lover, and the kid too.

How did he end up like this? The truth was that he had no bail money, or money of any to kind with which to work the legal magic that so many other criminals had. So he had signed up for a program called "Fellow Roommate Ministry," in which his task was to room with a convicted murderer for a week and socialize with him in a positive way.

His roommate did most of the talking, anyhow.

"So," said Carlo, "I was tellin' the cops how it was, and how it was no business of theirs what I did with my life, you get me? 'Aho!' I said 'ya think you can Telemann what to do?' so one cops says, 'Yeah bozo, I do. We're the cops!' I Schutz him in the Legge and runs off, and I hide in a dumpster for three days."

Gene had heard this story before. He knew them all by heart now. After Carlo ran from the police, he ended up murdering the owner of Mo's Art, the local paint and sculpture joint. "No matter," Carlo had said. "He was dyin' of strep anyways."

Then Carlo had taken over the little business and sold the paintings all for $3,000 apiece. Then Carlo experienced an experience that made him question his past criminal life. His money was burglarized by two old ladies. He was mad with fury. He had held the Old Lady Crime Leader over a sewer hole. "Schostakowisch! (Show us the cove, witch!) or Rachmaninoff! (or I'll rip your arm off)."

Naturally the old woman died of fright and Carlo never found his money. And just as he was about to drop the woman's body in the sewer, the cops pulled up and arrested him. And now Gene was stuck in a cellar with him.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 8:28:59 AM PDT
MacDoom says:
For those who DON'T remember, or are new to the forum since then, a little explanation of rules (if any) and background might be in order...

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 9:24:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2009 9:26:02 AM PDT
Samuel -

Due to my great vanity I have saved that post of my synopsis of RVW's lost work and if you wish I will post it later today. I would only warn readers that it is cheap, tawdry, and shocking and not fit for the eyes of decent people. I'll be at church for the next few hours repenting in advance of my naked vanity.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 9:39:55 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:20:57 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 11:47:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2009 11:48:53 AM PDT
Okay, here's cheap and tawdry and tasteless riddle
It is the worst joke I've ever written.
I almost posted elsewhere earlier but I didn't.
i'm only posting it now because I have been rubuked by someone who thinks 1-1=2 and I don't really care.

Q:What do you call a man with no arms and no legs who hangs on a wall?
A: Art

Q: what do you call a man with no arms and no legs served on a bun?
A: Frank

Q:what do you call a man with no arms and no legs stuck in the ground?
A: Clay

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs who sings brahms lieder?
A: Thomas Quastoff

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 1:07:27 PM PDT

I would very much like to read your synopsis again (sin-opsis?). Just tell the heavenly host that I made you do it ;-)


No rules to this one, except the usual ones of simple decency.

Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?
Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?
Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?
Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?
Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?
Have you heard the one about Philip Glass?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 1:50:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:20:59 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 1:58:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:20:59 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 2:02:35 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:21:00 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 2:11:10 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:21:00 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 2:31:58 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:21:01 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 3:33:53 PM PDT
By request of Samuel I humbly submit my synopsis of Ralph Vaughan Williams' lost opera "THE PILGRIMS REGRESS". This was inspired by an unfortunate Freudian slip by one of our past cohorts who referred to the "Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus" as the Five Deviants.

I believe Mr. Rich's reference to Vaughan-Williams "Five Deviants" is a Freudian slip. He probably owns a rare black market copy of the unpublished Vaughan-Williams 4 part opera, "The Pilgrim's Regress", a tale about the ruin of a good Anglican orphan. Part 1 is titled "A Belly Dancer Unmasked at Job's", Part 2 "The Pilgrims Journey to the House of the Rising Sun", Part 3 "Sir John's Love Affairs", and finally Part 4 the shocking "Five Deviants". This early 20th century opera cycle was banned in England due to salacious and shocking content and was never published by the composer but he did manage to make a few black market recordings and they were occasionally shown to British Troops when things were all quiet on the western front in World War I. I understand the underground record company Forbidden Fruit Records has made a fine digital recording using their studio orchestra and opera company. The composer later used some of the music from this early opera cycle in his compositions; "Job, A Masque For Dancing", "The Pilgrims Progress", "Sir John In Love", and "Five Variants On Dives And Lazarus".

A brief summary of the plots follow:
Part I: "A Belly Dancer Unmasked at Job's"
Twin brothers John and Paul Bunion are separated at birth. Their mother, who gives birth to them in a Liverpool slum is dying a penniless pauper, and gives up Paul and John to a band of Gypsies. As soon as the mother dies the Gypsies abandon Paul at the door of an Anglican church. The Anglican Priest places Paul in an orphanage. John is taken to London by the Gypsies and placed in a watertight woven basket and is sent afloat on the River Thames where he is discovered by an impotent nobleman who takes him into his home and raises him in luxury as his son. Paul becomes a good Anglican boy at the Anglican orphanage but his life comes unraveled at the age of 18 when he wanders into a Liverpool pub called Job's Spirits where he witnesses more than the unmasking of an amorous belly dancer named Delilah. Paul becomes so distraught that he seeks out a travelling American revival preacher named Billy Sunrise. Billy convinces Paul that he has been called to help him bring sinners to repentance in New Orleans. This opera ends with the aria "House of the Rising Sun". Billy tells Paul that there is a house in New Orleans called the Rising Sun and that it has been the ruin of many a poor boy. Paul agrees to accompany Billy on a journey to the House of The Rising Sun to rescue poor sinners like he.

Part II: "The Pilgrim's Journey to the House of the Rising Sun"
Billy & Paul hustle up some money at tent revivals and hop aboard the Titanic to begin their journey to New Orleans. Paul falls for a ship passenger, the ship sinks, and the attractive female passenger drowns but Paul and Billy are swallowed by a whale and eventually end up in Boston. They make their way to New Orleans and Billy reveals to Paul that he owns The House of The Rising Sun but needs somebody to manage it while he is out on the circuit preaching. Paul is shocked and advises Billy that he is going to the Falkland Islands to aid his fellow countrymen in the first Falkland Islands' War (also known as the Bore War).

Part III: "Sir John's Love Affairs"
Things really pick up in part 3. Paul goes to the Falklands and meets his twin brother John who is now a British nobleman looking for some excitement in a foreign war. The war is fairly routine and becomes known as "The Bore War", it seems the British troops' only opposition was some Argentine Gauchos armed only with bolas. Paul never joins the army but impersonates a journalist so he can travel with the troops and get to know his long lost brother. John became the only British casualty in the war when he was bitten by a rabid penguin and dies in the arms of Paul. Paul takes John's uniform and fakes a wound, gets discharged, and is knighted upon his return to England. Paul, now posing as Sir John, becomes the toast of British society women and engages in a number of affairs too shocking to describe at a public internet forum.

Part IV: "The Five Deviants"
Paul, now tiring of British society women, joins a group of four other young aristocrats. I'll skip the exploits of the deviants because I don't want anybody to feel psychologically violated as a result of the sordid details. Paul dies on the steps of the Anglican Church in Liverpool where he was originally abandoned by the gypsies. It seems he contracted septicemia after attending a Scriabin concert where he was bit by on the lip by an overly amorous Liverpool tramp.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 9:30:49 PM PDT
Dmitri says:
My EXgirlfriend and I were hungry and I asked her if she would like some bagatelles? She said sure what kind do you have? I said either Beethoven's or Webern's. She said that she had tried the Webern's and had found them too spicy and gave her gas so she settled for the Beethoven's.

My grandfather when I was young living up in Michigan told me to Stockhausen because we would be in for a cold winter and might be snowbound.

Hall and Oates have been asked many times about why a certain song was so popular with classical people. It was a song about Clara Schumann's lipstick on a the Sonata in b by Lizst. The song was better know as "Your Kiss is on My Liszt."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2009 7:43:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2009 8:20:08 AM PDT
Dmitri says:
I'll be right back I have to take the dog for Die Walkure.

Out of Cheerios this morning so I tried these new fancy French Berlioz.

My EXgirlfriend asked me who that was with Martha Argerich the other night I told her "Mischa Dichter." She said she didn't ask if she slept with him.

After a hot day yesterday I sat with my friend Billy from Britten and told him "This Budd's for you!"

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 8:35:31 AM PDT
Herb Reeves says:
Q: How can you tell if an accordian player has perfect pitch?

A: He can toss his instrument in the dumpster without hitting the sides.

The French pianist Helene Grimaud (no joke) runs a wildlife preserve in upstate New York where she raises wolves for re-introduction into the wild. There's a picture of her surrounded by a pack of friendly "exhibition" wolves, their teeth, to me, alarmingly close to her hands.

(Now the joke) Asked if she was worried about her hands, she said no. "My Bach is stronger than their bite."

I'll go outside and play by myself now.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 3:54:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2009 3:55:27 PM PDT
I once knew a clarinet player in college who was going to perform Bartok's "Contrasts" on a senior recital. Knowing full well that the people in the music office, where the programs were typed up, were not particularly well-versed in music, he listed the composer of "Contrasts" as Bela Tavernchatter. And that's how it came out in the printed program.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 6:09:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2009 6:10:23 PM PDT
Did you guys hear the one about Ted Kennedy and Tom Coburn? One night they were talking and discussing what should be included in a newly proposed bill.

"The bill should by crystal clear, like a glass of cold spring water," said Coburn. "No!" declared Kennedy. "The bill must be like the world. It must contain everything."

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 6:36:26 PM PDT
<<were not particularly well-versed in music, he listed the composer of "Contrasts" as Bela Tavernchatter. >>
before naming myself after Jacky the Ripper('pal Jacky' as in 'your pal Jacky' as from a discredited ripper note)
I went through several other names including 'Lord Crenshaw' , 'ducklord' , 'BilBao' and the reason I even bring it up
'Bela Bar Talk'.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 10:28:51 PM PDT
The American composer Gail Kubik was never an avant-garde composer; as a student of Nadia Boulanger, his music tended to be more Copland-y (although quite individual). When composers of the avant-garde persuasion started writing pieces with names like "Points, Lines, Circles", "4'33"", and other titles that had mathematical measurements of one sort of other, someone suggested that he write a work entitled "Centimeters" so that the listing might appear:

Kubik: Centimeters

He is said to have laughed, but he never went in that direction.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 9:14:03 AM PDT
I've just learned that Senator Kennedy has passed away. May he rest in peace.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2009 6:36:32 PM PDT
Dmitri says:
Samuel Stephens

You are forgiven about making jokes about Ted Kennedy's politics. I voted Democrat in every election since I was able to vote until this last election. Massachusetts still has this John Kerry guy I guess he once ran for president or something....Oops I voted for him! People are really wanting me to make up my mind whether I am a Democrat or Republican. I am staying Independant. Of politics I know nothing. I proposed that the Federal Budget should be no more than 10% of GNP. How foolish of me it is already in excess of 20%. This would mean that everything that the goverment is involved in would be slashed in half! Politically I am dead except for my one vote on election day. And I withhold who I am voting for until then.

More than you ever wanted to know.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2009 6:51:22 PM PDT
A minimalist at work.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 6:54:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2009 7:03:03 PM PDT
What would Poulenc's DIALOGUE OF THE CARMELITES be called after the first soprano went off to the French national razor? A monologue.

I know it's sick, but the original thread bearer asked for humor.

JS Bach had twenty children by two different wives: I believe that the split was Maria Barbara bore him Carl Phillip Emanuel among others. Anna Magdelena some fourteen children. The Cantor used his organ with no stops.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 5:41:51 PM PDT
New exercise in humor, everbody: taking Peter Schickele's PDQ Bach parodies as inspiration, parody the name of a famous piece to reflect PDQ's own style.

Some examples:

-Symphony No.4 "The Indistinguishable"

-"Tapioca," tone poem for orchestra

-Symphony No.6 "The Really Pathetic"


Whoever comes up with the best one gets a free (and used) CD of PDQ's Liebeslieder Polkas.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  32
Total posts:  148
Initial post:  Aug 22, 2009
Latest post:  Dec 3, 2012

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