Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hey, it's my second thing for Splitsider!

My latest piece for Splitsider is about trucker tapes.

Just a little heads up, in case you somehow missed it. The website Splitsider, which is about the world of comedy, ran another one of my articles. This one is called "The Raunchy, Underground World of Trucker Tapes," and it's the fruition of a long-time obsession of mine. I've gotten some nice comments about it online through Twitter and Facebook, which is gratifying. I don't know how I became interested in trucker comedy, probably because of a few scattered references to "filthy trucker tapes" on MST3K. But I knew I wanted to turn it into an article when I started looking into the career of a comic named Gene Tracy, aka "Mr. Truckstop." There are hours and hours of this guy's stuff posted to YouTube, and I've spent way too many late nights listening to it -- not as comedy, really, more as sociology. I think one thing which fascinated me was the fact that Tracy's audiences were rowdier than what you'd normally expect on a comedy album. You get the sense that any one of his gigs could have turned into a knock-down, drag-out melee at a moment's notice if, say, somebody spilled his beer on somebody else's shoes. In other words, there's a danger to those performances. But I was also interested in the fact that truckers have their own little universe of comedy stars, performers virtually unknown to the rest of the world.