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Professor Schnitzel - As I Was Saying (45) 1962

On: Saturday, October 13, 2012

Professor  Schnitzel
Theodore L Rickenbach
aka Ted Rickenbach
aka Professor Herman F Schnitzel
Turkey Hollow, Pennsylvania, USA
~1903 - Jul 29 1969 age 66
Official Site

DD's parents had a record collection, one which demonstrated how much they hated music. The stuff they were into: Assorted records by piano hacks Ferrante & Teicher, a duo who turned popular tunes into muzak; a collection of the Ray Coniff Singers, a vocal group which turned pop hits into muzak, the complete works of Robert Goulet and crap from Mitch Miller's Sing Along With Mitch show.
When it came to 45's, their taste was almost as dire. Think novelties like Rolf Harris's "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto and the absolute pinnacle of elevator music, "The Girl from Ipanema." However, the neighbors -- who were Pennsylvania Dutch -- were another matter.
The Musselmans introduced me to Professor Schnitzel's records. Schnitzel was a stand-up comedian from Lancaster who traded on humorous foibles particular to the Pennsylvania Dutch country, which my hometown, Pine Grove, was smack dab in the middle of.
The Pennsylvania Dutch were good at three things: beer, potato chips and sausage. The chip companies in Lebanon and Lancaster counties were the best in the world. By way of example, nothing made in California, or by the food giant Lay's, compared or compares favorably with Utz.
Interestingly, it took the Pennsylvania Dutch a bit to get sausage right. The natives tended to undercook their pork, the result being that the PA Dutch country had the highest rates of trichinosis infection in the country well into the Eighties. Tastes good, though!
But back to Professor Schnitzel, who issued his jokes on 45's, of which DD believes there are four: "As I Was Saying...", "Schussel Along with Schnitzel," "Imagine That" and his first, "Pennsylvania Dutch Spoken Hereabouts" -- all on Buch Records of Lancaster, PA.
"As I Was Saying... is another in a series of records giving you a taste of Pennsylvania Dutch flavored humor and stories," reads the jacket copy from 1962. "Ingredients: a bit of spice, logic and tall stories of the gay Dutch, served to you platter style by none other than the famous Professor Schnitzel, one of Pennsylvania's outstanding humorists for more than three decades. He bubbles with humor and friendliness, and dispenses corn, comedy and nonsense in a thick Pennsylvania Dutch accent ... [Professor Schnitzel] has become our local ambassador of goodwill to millions of people throughout the nation." The last sentence may overstate the case somewhat.
For "As I Was Saying...", Schnitzel expounds on his "courting days" as well as his Uncle Louie, who seemed either to be always having sex or knocking on doors answered by nude women. [See also What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? by Alan Funt.]
Another prominent feature of Pennsylvania Dutch humor is the shit joke.
A good Pennsylvania Dutchman thinks there is nothing quite so funny as a mess in someone else's pants. Indeed, the love of brown humor was and is so ingrained, copy editors at the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown used to have to regularly purge it from columns contributed by a local pastor, prior to publication.
Professor Schnitzel contributes his own gentle version of the shit joke, one containing absolutely no four letter words. The fifty second routine, from an old copy of "As I Was Saying..." is here. The astute listener will immediately notice the crowd laughter appears to be from a women's social event.
[Big thanks and a tip o' the hat to Rick Noll of Bona Fide Records in Pennsyltucky for reuniting DD with the old professor.] -Dick Destiny

01 Side 1
02 Side 2

Buch Records Inc BR-2

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