Search - Lily Tomlin :: This Is a Recording

This Is a Recording
Lily Tomlin
This Is a Recording
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

The chart-topping debut album from quite possibly the greatest female standup comic of all time! Lily was fresh from her Laugh-In success when Polydor released this record in 1971, and rest assured her beloved character Er...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lily Tomlin
Title: This Is a Recording
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Laugh.Com/Fontana
Release Date: 1/21/2003
Album Type: Soundtrack, Import
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks
Style: Comedy & Spoken Word
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 766481789123, 801291111426


Album Description
The chart-topping debut album from quite possibly the greatest female standup comic of all time! Lily was fresh from her Laugh-In success when Polydor released this record in 1971, and rest assured her beloved character Ernestine ('One ringy-dingy...two r

CD Reviews

This album is hilarious!
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 07/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All you need to do is look at the cover to this album, which features Lily Tomlin doing what she does best: playing Ernestine, the telephone operator who loves to insult her callers, and that's what you get here. This is a Recording was originally released in 1971 on Polydor (a label I usually associate with music), at the same time when she was still a member of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Recorded live at the Icehouse in Pasadena, this album proves that she can do 40 minutes of Ernestine and do it successfully (where on Laugh-In, Ernestine only appeared two or three times each show, each lasting a couple minutes). Some of my favorites include her calling Joan Crawford in which Ernestine demanded her dime back because the Pepsi machine didn't dispense her pop (Crawford was once head of the Pepsi company, that explains why). Another, of course, is the classic "Mr. Veedle" (which is a mispronunciation of "Vidal", as in Gore Vidal). My favorite line is "When shall we expect payment? What? When what freezes over? Oh, [snort] Mr. Veedle, that is so cute". There's also "The Pope and the Mafia", which totally cracks me up, for Ernestine mistakes a mafia boss for the pope (she says things like, "Do you believe in brotherhood?", "Do you believe in large families?", "Do you drive a large black car?"). And then there's "Peeved" which is Lily Tomlin playing not Ernestine, but herself as an incoherant talker (she often done that on Laugh-In). Some of the material presented on this album might be dated, and of course, there's a lot of references relevant to the time, but might be over the heads of some who hadn't lived through that era, or hadn't studied up on that era. Regardless, I had the time of my life listening to this album, it's hard to believe a 30+ year old record got me laughing so hard (except, perhaps, a Frank Zappa album, but that's another story). This album is all the proof you need to understand how Lily Tomlin became one of the biggest names in comedy. So if you're a Tomlin fan, especially her Ernestine character, this album is a total must."
Is this the telephone operator to whom you are listening?
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 02/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lily Tomlin's "This Is a Recording" explores the wacky world of her comic creation Ernestine, the world's most obnoxious telephone operator, who first began counting ringie dingies on the NBC top ranked comedy Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Tomlin's one-woman show was recorded at the famous Ice House in Pasadena (I still have my "Pat Paulsen at the Ice House" album around here someplace) in 1971. Most of the album has Tomlin in character as Ernestine, dealing with problems from an "Obscene Phone Call" to the Pepsi C.E.O. and sometime actress "Joan Crawford." However, there are some moments when Tomlin steps out of character, which I happen to think are the best part of the album which begins with her hysterical biographical background on Ernestine and the impact of the telephone on the operator's life ("Alexander Graham Bell"). If you remember that "This Is a Recording" was originally a record, then you should appreciate that at the end of both sides of the record Tomlin does a couple of wicked takes on dealing with Ma Bell as a poor consumer in "Peeved" and "I.B.M." Of course, most of the time we have Ernestine in her full glory, dealing with not only unfortunate ordinary folks in "Mr. Veedle," "Strike," and "The Bordello," but also more well known types in "The Mafia and the Pope" and the best track on the album where she butts head with J. Edgar Hoover of the "F.B.I." The Fickled Finger of Fate Award goes to for reissuing not only "This Is a Recording," but other great comedy albums from the past (including finally getting the first Smothers Brothers album out). I am much more a fan of Lily Tomlin in general than Ernestine in particular, but what is impressive is how she could take this fairly limited character and make a sustained evening of comic inventiveness out of her."
A Side Splitter!
W. Pender | Cathedral City, CA United States | 08/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After all these years, this comedy routine ranks as my all time favorite. Though dated, it easily stands the test of time, with Tomlin at her very best. My personal favorite is her dialogue with "Miss J as in Joan, Joan Crawford". It never fails to get me going. If you like good, old fashioned, non-vulgar comedy, this is a must have item. Tomlin never disappoints."