Firesign Theater's Peter Bergman: 1939-2012


45 Responses to “Firesign Theater's Peter Bergman: 1939-2012”

  1. Christopher says:

    This makes me want to find a bunch of guys who dress alike and follow ‘em around. Or maybe just cut the soles off my shoes, sit in a tree, and learn to play the flute. 

  2. Cigarsam says:

    F*CK! There is no chaser to fix this total bummer. :-(

  3. uhclem1213 says:

    He helped give this country what it needed- A good $5 Joke.

    Was as personable in life as he was funny on audio. More sugar, compadre!

  4. solstone says:

    Aw man… I’d prefer the news-drought to continue rather than have news like this.

    Guess it’s time to dig out my old copy of ‘How can you be in 2 places at once when you’re not anywhere at all’…

  5. chaopoiesis says:

    Unhappy macnam.

  6. Sadly, one less Bozo on this bus.

  7. Stefan Jones says:

    Antelope Freeway. 1/2 Mile.

  8. dean jordan says:

    Ah Clem here, pretty bummed out by this.  One of the greats for sure.  These guys helped shape my young life at a time when it really needed shaping. I’ll just step left of the yellow rubber line, and see you all on the runway.

  9. JohnInDC says:

    Antelope Freeway, 1/4 mile.

  10. Kane Gruber says:

    Creepies, Mudhead.

  11. Alan Olsen says:

    Wow. This is sad.  I saw him just a few months ago when Firesign performed in Portland.  (And I was given a pair of very expensive tickets for free.) I had no idea he was ill. The performance was flawless.

  12. Uncle Geo says:

    I’m heavy on the 30 weight today. Random thoughts:

    Peter and Phil Proctor did a send up of MYST called PYST -a CDrom “game” that purportedly took place after a million visitors had traipsed over the island. Garbage pits, sea gulls, some guy camped in a trailer -great stuff.

    Firesign Theater records are only $1.98 on Amazon apparently because one side is one track. Hope they don’t figure this out.

    I saw Peter introducing new products on a stage at NAB in the Sony Broadcast booth some years back.

    I’m not sure what to do now: wait here in the sitting room, or sit here in the waiting room.

    Antelope Freeway 1/8 mile

  13. irksome says:

    For whatever it’s worth, I owe much of the person I am today to Monty Python, National Lampoon and these four or five crazy guys.

    “Morse Science High; its… disappeared”, along with most of today’s happy.

    One memory: Seeing the Firesign Reunion Tour in Boston with a woman who was unfamiliar with their oeuvre; she said she would have enjoyed it more if the rest of us hadn’t been reciting along, word for word.

    • Vanwall Green says:

       I loved the call and response moment in live shows when the Morse Science High principal gave his ‘talk’ and we all got to shout back. One show, some poor folk/rock singer opened for them, and the first two or three rows were all Bozos. The look on that guy’s face was a high moment in their live shows for me.

  14. gnp says:

    Just a second, Bergman, what about my pickle?

    “Stop singing you old fools, can’t you see someone’s been crushed under this car?! … Oh - oh my god, it’s me!  I don’t look at all well… I’m dead!  I’ve been killed!  Ooooh, this hasn’t happened to me since ‘M’!…”

  15. Stefan Jones says:

    Antelope Freeway. 1/16 mile.

    Waiting for the electrician, or somebody like him.

  16. Thorzdad says:

    I heard this sad news earlier today. Damn. I was turned-on the FS over 30 years ago and still love listening to their work. Just damned funny and damned smart writing. Thanks for everything, Peter!

    Serving Heater, Hellmouth, and the low desert area.

  17. Doran says:

    Sucks.  Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

    I’ve met him several times, and interviewed him at least once. Great, funny guy. He’ll be sorely missed.

  18. Tzuriel Kastel says:

    More sugar, indeed.  Back to the Shadows again.

  19. Antelope Freeway, 1/32 mile.

  20. Zyxomma says:

    Don’t crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers. I’m bummed :( and hope he didn’t suffer too badly.

  21. bsandpp says:

    My band, Benefit Street, had the rare privilege of opening for Firesign Theater live in Providence, RI, on the Ides of March, 1970. They were truly awesome. Sad to hear this news.

    Exit left to Funway….

  22. chrisspurgeon says:

    Son of a BITCH.

    Antelope Freeway 1/64th mile.

    Shadow Valley Condoms, if you lived here you’d be home by now.

  23. John Brooks says:

    Listened to him as a teenager,worked with him as a news broadcaster. A fine man and wit.

  24. Henry Pootel says:

    Perhaps he’s in the aviary, studying trees?

  25. Kathryn Routliffe says:

    Dimmed my day considerably to see this. So many memories, so much fun with language, and culture, so much joy … Deputy Dan is not your friend … Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead … and I won’t forget my entrenching tool. Condolences to those who loved him; his memory is already a blessing.

  26. Deborah Culmer says:

    on to the great Pop’s Sodium Shop in the sky! 

  27. Ian W. Hill says:

    Antelope  Freeway 1/128th mile.

    I’ve been listening to FT and Proctor & Bergman’s TV OR NOT TV album about as long as I understood speech.  Their language is my language, and almost anything I say or create has a bit of them in it.  Peter was the Mouth and the Engine, and I’ll miss his passion and polyglot brilliance as much as his humor.

  28. edthehippie says:

    ( sniff )  ( looks around ) i , ah , i think we’re all bozos on THIS bus ( sniff )
    antelope freeway , 1/256 mile
    dr memory ??  roll up your sleeve and bend over !! no anchovies  ??
    etc for miles

  29. Over the River says:

    In the late 60s and early 70s my friends and I would get stoned and listen to the albums for hours. We got so good we could recite the words along with the TFT. I saw them in the (late 80s?) in Washington, DC for my birthday, I could remember every line. RIP old man, you brought me joy.

  30. Firesign made my life back then. They should have been as popular as Monty Python at the time, but they did outlast them. I can’t imagine how many comics they influenced – oh, wait, I can: all of them. I first started listening when Radio Free Oz had 4 hours a night on KPFK, and the Oz Firesign Theater was a half-hour segment. I didn’t have a tape recorder then so never got to capture those shows, but I did have one later and got all the Dear Friends weeklies. Back in the ’90s I digitized my collection and posted it to Usenet and then sent the guys my tapes. Some of them were the only copies and they are now on

    “And now the government has asked me please to sign my name to papers just to siphon off a little of my cash.
    “To fight a war, support a whore, or close a park, or build an ark in space – or buy the President some hash…”

    Antelope freeway, 1/512

  31. 4d3fect says:

    He still lives in my head. Along with the bees.

  32. j9c says:

    Um, excuse me don’t excuse you’re making not making The Doctor unhappy happy.

    On to the next bardo, Peter Bergman, thanks for incarnating in our space-time node for this round. Your wit and work sure helped a lot of us through hard times.

    … oh maaaan… he broke the President….

  33. Sparg says:

    Bummer.  These guys introduced me to humor that had a nice, long flow and recursion.  I guess Pete didn’t beat the reaper!

  34. chupsahey says:

    He’s no fun, he fell right over.

  35. Vanwall Green says:

    I saw them live many times, watched all their films, listened to their records endlessly. An amazing trip. A couple of off-the-cuff brilliances from them: the David Susskind interview in 1974 was a genius moment in any interview, ever. Their pre-show interviews on local radio were also surreal and clever – they renamed the local radio station, KDKB, to “KrazyDog, Krazy Boy- that’s 93.3 fffmmm, and 1510 if you am; and we am.” I’ve never thought of those call letters any other way.

  36. BonzoDog1 says:

    Fudd’s First Law of Opposition catches up with all of us in the end. Sad day…

  37. Is this really the first internet broadcast?

    “I stumbled upon what was to become a revolution in ommunication that would simultaneously both liberate and isolate humanity.”

  38. The inventor of the word “love-in” and how to speak gibberish to authority–and win.  Firesign’s huge legacy is difficult to evaluate because their material operates below the rational mind, in the subconscious, exposing the connections we make sub- and unconsciously yet seldom acknowledge consciously. When expose a true connection,
    Firesign is close to therapy, as others have often intuitied. This is why many of us have listened to their pieces dozens of times.

  39. Shay Guy says:

    Antelope Freeway, 5.15625 feet.

    My dad is a huge Firesign Theater fan and has pretty much the entire Nick Danger sketch memorized. Or should that be regnaD kciN?

  40. urbanspaceman says:

    I knew this day was coming. I just didn’t expect it so soon.

    I remember hearing Waiting For The Electrician… for the first time ever on the radio and thinking “Who are these crazy guys? It didn’t take me long to realize there were actually 4 or 5 of them!

    But seriously, doesn’t it absolutely suck that great folks like Peter Bergman have to die slowly from cancer while some genuinely evil folks get to live long and at least by their own definition, happy lives?

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