by Charmie Gholson
Stand-up comic and song parodist Heywood Banks is a study in contrasts. He wears a plum sports coat, safety glasses, and a crazed mop of graying hair with matching goatee. If he himself is aware of how silly he looks, he doesn't let on. He's as relaxed as if he were standing in his own kitchen rather than onstage in front of an all-ages, sold-out Thanksgiving weekend audience. One good way of defining this veteran comic would be by what he is not. He is not vulgar or arrogant, racist, sexist, or obnoxious. He is neither well dressed nor self conscious. And he is not an amateur musician. His songs draw on a wide range of styles, carefully sculpting covert yet brilliant relationships between the lyric and its music. For instance, "Smoking" is set to a cool jazz riff, as cool as ever backed any satin-draped lounge singer:
| I'm thinking 'bout taking up smoking |
looking pretty good to me
All the guys look so hip with a cigarette lip
and the chicks seem to agree.
In the paper I read the news flash:
Oprah Winfrey likes taking hot baths;
Catherine Zeta-Jones likes being pregnant;
Britney Spears admires Madonna,
The metric system, and blunt force trauma,
And they say Wayne Newton is finally eating solid foods.
Who gives a rat's lower digestive tract?
Who gives a purple possum duodenum?
Who gives a swollen rodent colon?
Not I. Not I. Not I, my friend, not I.
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