STEPHEN KING TALKS ABOUT
had to travel a lot over the last fifteen or twenty
years of my life, and because I like comedy, I've had
a chance to sample regional humor and regional humorists
in much the same way gourmets sample various regional
dishes. I've heard everyone from the southern good old
boys to the Swedish 'Yoopers' of Michigan's upper peninsula.
I think Maine's Tim Sample is probably the best of them,
and this fine funny album does nothing but confirm the
judgement. Too often, all regional humor amounts to
are the same jokes ( usually about some grouchy farmer's
privy ) told in different accents and set in different
locales, or anecdotes whose appeal is so narrow that
those outside a very small region--the Ozarks or the
Smokey or perhaps Tornado Alley in Arkansas--are all
totally mystified. Like some wines, this sort of humor
does not travel well.
Sample, however, is different. He's
funny if you come from Augusta, Maine; he's just as
funny if you come from Augusta, Georgia.
Like Mark Twain--who started, believe it or not,
as a regional humorist himself--Sample's humor is sweet
on the tongue...but kicks like a spirited mule going
down. And, like Twain, his stories of Maine life and
Maine people don't show that we are different from you,
but rather that we are all the same.
also has the great humorist's gift of telling stories
within stories; he doesn't tell jokes but creates
cunning nests of chinese boxes. Anyone can tell a tale
about how a city fella mistook unc's horse for a hornless
cow, but it takes Tim Sample to inject a rap about how
Japanese cars sound ( sorta like one cylinder
of a '77 Buick Electra ) into the middle of the story.
doesn't bear over-analysis, so I'm going to call a halt
right here. This is a funny, funny set--I think that
says it all. If you've ever leaped happily from your
motel bed on the first day of your vacation and rushed
to the window to drink in the view and saw only another
motel room facing yours across the courtyard, you'll
relate to Tim Sample's wry, comic view of life.
Appetit ...or, as we say in Maine, 'Dig in Chummy!'"