Karaoke is all about singing, right? That should be obvious, but what's a little less obvious is finding your voice. Do you sing like yourself, in your natural voice? Do you try to imitate the original artist? Ed makes the bold claim that he is "the voice of karaoke" (and that isn't about the quality of the singing), and Adam and Ed talk about taking songs originally performed by women, and why that's a great way to expand your karaoke repertoire. In terms of impersonation, Ed goes into trying to sound like the artist, and Adam talks about the Stanislavski method and embodying a character, if not a voice.
The trivia challenge is all over the place--it covers sampling, comedy songs, and iconic voices, and that's all inspired by this episode's guest: Bobby Hedglin-Taylor is a standup comedian and impressionist who integrates actual karaoke into his act and can sing in 50 different voices. He talks about that, how he finds the voices he does, and how doing singing impersonations made his own natural singing voice better. If you're listening on day one and are in the NYC area, you can catch his New York Queer Comedy Festival Highlight Show Thursday April 21st, 9:30PM at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club.
As always, you can find more info on the website (https://www.sungpoorly.com), and on social media--the show is @sungpoorly on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now even TikTok. You can reach Adam and Ed via email by sending a message to email@example.com. And if you want to support the podcast and snag yourself some great karaoke and podcast swag doing it, our store has all of that and more–www.sungpoorly.com/store.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor is standup comedian, a circus and aerial designer who has worked on and off Broadway, in summer stock and regional theater as well as rock concerts and cruise ships, and he’s just published his first book, a tribute to his late mother called #ShitMyMamaSays–a humorous look at life while dealing with dementia. Now available on Amazon. His next book, Escape to Ravioli Mountain- a Memoir in Food, is currently in the editing stage. Recipes and amusing anecdotes from growing up in a dysfunctional Italian family on a mountaintop in rural Pennsylvania.
All this and he can cook too!
Find him on social media:
Facebook-Escape to Ravioli Mountain
join his mailing list - EscapeToRavioliMountain@gmail.com
Instagram and TikTok @BobbyHedglinTaylor @EscapeToRavioliMountain
Adam Wainwright: Hello. And welcome back to "The Greatest Song Ever Sung (Poorly)," the podcast that takes karaoke exactly as seriously as it should be taken. I'm your deep timbred voiced Adam Wainwright.
Ed Cunard: Is that how you say that word?
Adam Wainwright: That's how I'm saying the word.
Ed Cunard: And I am your NPR monotone delivery co-host Ed Cunard,
Adam Wainwright: I want you to bring that energy to the rest of the episode. Now, ed, you
Ed Cunard: right?
Adam Wainwright: the standard. You've put yourself there. That is now the energy of this episode that you're going to have to bring, since we're gonna be talking about the voice today and impersonations and such
Ed Cunard: Well, like many things. I don't think I can maintain that the entire time.
Adam Wainwright: That's that's, that's fair on so many levels and we'll let our listeners define what those levels are. Real quick, before we dive in, cause we have a lot to cover today. We have a short period of time. I feel like we have a great interview that we're going to get to a little bit later. I want to talk to you about two things.
I have some karaoke alerts that came up recently in my pop culture spectrum. Okay. So I was at the Rangers game, this past weekend and they had a karaoke group sing along on the scoreboard, which I hadn't seen before, where they like, they call it like a karaoke break or something like that, where they threw the lyrics to a popular song on the board and had everybody in the crowd singing along and cut the jumbotron to different people.
So the quick question I have for you is this, Ed: the song was "Piano Man," cause Billy Joel played the night before, um, karaoke or not.
Ed Cunard: I'm gonna say that's karaoke. Yeah.
Adam Wainwright: I agree. It was fun, man. Like it was that it got everybody involved. It was cute. Everybody got on the jumbotron. Great. Loved it. Just wanting to throw that out there. So pop culture alert things you need to watch. Okay. "The After Party" on AppleTV has some great, great comedians in it. The concept of the show is really neat.
It's all a murder mystery, a pop star played by Dave Franco dies at a high school reunion party. He's throwing in the first episode and the person that's interviewing the different players that were there. Every episode is one of their stories told in a different genre. So the first one was a romcom and there's a musical episode and an action packed episode.
So that's the entire concept. And I think there's gonna be karaoke in every episode because karaoke was part of this high school reunion.
Ed Cunard: You texted me about it and I instantly subscribed to AppleTV just to watch it.
Adam Wainwright: Yeah, it's something everybody should check out. I'm going to, I'm looking forward to watching it.
more. I just wanted to put it on the radar as pop culture karaoke. Anytime karaoke pops up a pop culture. I'm like, yes, I have something to mention on the podcast now,
Ed Cunard: I have one too. We talked about in a previous episode that sad karaoke night, they're bringing it back at the end of this month. So I am going to go and do sad karaoke. It's a different charity. This time. It's a arts based charity, but you know, still great, still supporting a great cause. Still singing sad songs and being in my feelings,
Adam Wainwright: Ahh, Ed, that sounds just wonderful. I want to sing sad songs and be in my feeling. Oh, sometime soon, sometime soon, but for now I think we're just going to cut right to the chase. I want to get to the karaoke trivia bullpen for this week. Okay. Are you ready for this? Are you excited to be here?
Ed Cunard: I'm excited and nervous after how hard I went at you. Last time. little scared, Adam. I'm a little scared.
Adam Wainwright: I realized that maybe I went a little bit too hard on you last time. So I'm gonna let you choose your own level of punishment this time. So here's the basic concepts. It's five trivia questions. It's based on today's topic, which is the voice, impersonations, a little bit of the funny that's worked in there, varying degrees of difficulty in a very literal sense this time. Every single question of the first four questions that you choose, your difficulty level, you can choose easy or you can choose hard. If you choose easy, the most points you can earn in that question are 0.5 points. If you choose hard, you can earn the full point ,and in one instance, you can earn 1.5 points. If you get stuck, you have a hint, but remember, there's no hints on the impossible question. If you get that one, right, I will give you 5.5 points and sets technically the most that you can earn in this episode.
Remember you can't use that hint on the impossible question. Ed. Are you ready for some trivia about your voice impersonations parodies comedy? It's a little bit of everything. All mixed in there. Are you ready for what I have prepared for the stinger for this week?
Ed Cunard: I am as ready as I will ever be.
Adam Wainwright: Great ed. Get ready for my parody of a "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" song.
Trivia Audio: Stumping your best friend's little bits guessing. Trudy learning the country's guessing some sports for the very first time
Adam Wainwright: Whoa. That's that was my, my stinger for this weekend,
just for you.
Ed Cunard: legitimately surprised at some of the higher notes you hit.
Adam Wainwright: Thank you. Thank you. It's it's something I've been working on developing and I hope there's some high notes in the trivia today, too, and I don't want to take at least any more time. I want to hop right into this. Okay. So let's go in question. Number one, the topic for this one is samples. Samples is your topic.
Are you going easier? Heart. Great. We're going to go hard. Okay. I'm going to play a lute sample for you. You need to name the nickname of the sample, the original song it's from and the. And I'm going to give you 0.5 points for every part of this question that you can answer. Okay. So I'm just going to let the salute go on for just a little bit until you think you can name it or I'm just going to call it out of mercy.
Okay. Okay. Here we go. What do you got to have?
Ed Cunard: Is that " ashley's Roach Clip?"
Adam Wainwright: It is not. It is perhaps the most well-known sample in popular music. It is the "Amen Break."
And it comes from the 1969 track "Amen, Brother" by the soul group, the Winstons, which was released as a B-side of the 1969, single "Color Him Father.". The break itself is about seven seconds was performed by drummer Gregory Coleman.
It's been sampled on thousands of tracks. It was part of the ultimate breaks and beats compilation released in 1986. That is a collection of old funk and soul tracks with clean drum brakes.
Ed Cunard: I have that collection.
Adam Wainwright: good thing. I'm more disappointed that you didn't know it. Um, just so you know that the original question I was going to ask you the easy one here, and we won't do this for all the questions, but there's just this one in particular for more context.
So, Salt and Pepa's 1986 "I Desire" was one of the earliest uses of the amen break. In 1988 is when It really hit the mainstream courtesy of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's "Keep It Going Now" and this smash west coast rap single by MC Wren's crew. I was going to ask you the name of the single and the group. What would you say to that, Ed?
Ed Cunard: well, the group is NWA.
Adam Wainwright: Yeah, what's the single 1988 with the amen break "Straight Outta Compton." You would've taken a guess in there and Probably yeah. Okay. Second question. The topic for this one is " looking,"
Ed Cunard: looking.
Adam Wainwright: yes. looking.
Ed Cunard: let's do the easy one for this one.
Adam Wainwright: Great. In 1987, this group released a single that was inspired by their interest in American music. The second track off their 1987 album "Joshua Tree" exhibits influences from gospel music and its lyrics describe spiritual yearning. It's one of their biggest hits to date and gave them their second consecutive number one single on the U S a billboard hot 100. Name the artist and the track. And keep in mind, this is a free hint for you that the topic was "looking
Ed Cunard: Oh, okay. that's the answer then. It's U2. I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
Adam Wainwright: That is correct. You got that one, right? Congratulations. You got 0.5 points. That was the free hint that I built in there for you. Cause I was afraid of you guessing the wrong track. If you would have taken the hard question, you would have been guessing the other number one single off that album and the album itself. The third category is funny.
Ed Cunard: I'm going to go easy again, cause I'm not a funny guy.
Adam Wainwright: Great. So Weird Al Yankovic may be the most popular funny man in music history? He's had a career that has now spanned 46 years. 46. since first having a comedy song aired in 1976, since then he has recorded more than 150 parodies of original songs, performed more than a thousand live shows received five Grammy awards for gold records and six platinum records.
One of my personal favorites was his song. "It's All About the Pentiums," which focuses on the narrator's obsession with computer hardware and can be found on his "Running with Scissors" album for the half point named the song and the artists that "It's All About the Pentiums" parodies.
Ed Cunard: "It's All About the Benjamins," the LOX.
Adam Wainwright: No.
Ed Cunard: No.
Adam Wainwright: no. The, the direct parody for "It's All About the Pentiums" was "All About the Benjamins" by " puff. Daddy Combs.
Ed Cunard: group is the LOX.
Adam Wainwright: What do you mean? The LOX? It's Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs is who that song's credited to.
Ed Cunard: really?
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. Type in it's all about the Benjamins and just see what pops up,
Ed Cunard: I guess you're right. It did. The LOX are featured artists. I'm wrong. Okay.
Adam Wainwright: man. You, you just want a little too deep. I wish I could give you a half a point, but I can't,
So onto the next category, this is Adam's favorite funny. So we had funny now we have Adam's favorite funny.
So how well do you know me?
Ed Cunard: Do you want me to do easy or hard? You clearly have a thing you want.
Adam Wainwright: I do. I want you to do easy just because I think you'll get it. I just want to read this question
Ed Cunard: let's go.
Adam Wainwright: and I don't think there's any chance you get the second one. Okay. So easy. Not to discredit Weird Al, but my favorite comedy group of all Lonely Island. Together, band members Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone put together some of the most fascinating.
I think that's the perfect word, tracks featuring incredibly influential musicians and celebrities. Among my favorites are Norah Jones, singing about Chex Mix, Kendrick Lamar, dropping guest verse on Yolo and rapping about fiscal responsibility. Michael Bolton singing about the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, and Akon telling the world that he just had sex, but there is one singular moment that rises above the rest.
When this mega star dropped a stunning rap, that the world just wasn't ready for. That included the lyrics. "When I was in Harvard, I smoked weed every day. I cheated every test and the ye. I posse. and you got a bunch of dudes. I sit right, down on your face and take a shit" For 0.5 name the celebrity in the name of the track.
Ed Cunard: Natalie Portman.
Adam Wainwright: Yes, it is. What's
Ed Cunard: Yeah.
Adam Wainwright: track?
Ed Cunard: It was "Natalie's Rap."
Adam Wainwright: It was "Natalie's Rap." You got it. You got it. I figured you would get that one. so good work. So for the last question, we'll do something a little bit different. They're going to earn fractional points area that you can earn anywhere from 0.1 to one point.
Okay. So back in 2008, "Rolling Stone" did a list of the top 100 best voices of all time. Okay. I'm going to give you a track from the top 10 singers of all time, according to this rolling stone list, and you just see the name of the artist, all of the tracks that I'm going to say were listed on the key tracks of the list.
So it's not like I'm digging or trying to trick you. There were three key tracks listed for each artist, and this is one of those key tracks. You're going to 0.1 point for every singer. You successfully name, are you ready?
I'm naming a song. You give me the artist. That's simple.
Ed Cunard: Oh boy. Okay.
Adam Wainwright: Ready?
Ed Cunard: Sure.
Adam Wainwright: The song is "The Payback."
Ed Cunard: Uh, James Brown.
Adam Wainwright: Got it. "Superstition."
Ed Cunard: Oh, Stevie Wonder.
Adam Wainwright: " These Arms of Mine."
Ed Cunard: Otis Redding.
Adam Wainwright: "Visions of Johanna."
Ed Cunard: Bob Dylan.
Adam Wainwright: " What's Going On."
Ed Cunard: Marvin Gaye,
Adam Wainwright: "Instant Karma."
Ed Cunard: John Lennon,
Adam Wainwright: "A Change is Gonna Come."
Ed Cunard: Sam Cooke.
Adam Wainwright: " Suspicious Minds.".
Ed Cunard: Elvis Presley,
Adam Wainwright: " You Don't Know Me."
Ed Cunard: Ray Charles.
Adam Wainwright: "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You."
Ed Cunard: Aretha Franklin.
Adam Wainwright: Ding, ding, ding, great job, ed. You got the full point right there. That is the top 10 right there. That wasn't too bad right
No, no, no.
now. Quickly to okay. Yeah, that, that all worked out. So let's get into the impossible about S you can't use a hand here. Uh, you get 5.5 points. We'll say if you get this one, right.
Well, I feel like these have been over complicated recently, so I'll keep this short. So some people, when they find their voice, either speak very little or long-winded. Perhaps the most long-winded song of all time is the "Rise and Fall of Bossa Nova" by P C III, which according to the Guinness book of world records in 2019 is the longest officially released song of all time to the exact second,
how long has that song?
Ed Cunard: Oh God. exact
Adam Wainwright: Yep.
Ed Cunard: it'd be amazing if I got this right. But I, I won't, but I, I feel like, I feel like it's like, uh, I feel like we're in the hours, I'm going to say 11 hours, seven minutes and 14 seconds.
Adam Wainwright: Ooh, ed. So close. It was 13 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds.
Ed Cunard: God
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. If you, you go, you almost got there. I think if I'm counting correctly, then you have two points today. Ed, that's better.
That's better. Hopefully, hopefully that format was something. We tried something different there. I wanted to like create something where you can have some fun with it.
So hopefully you had a good time today with the trivia.
Ed Cunard: That was fun. Thank you.
Adam Wainwright: Anytime, man. I'm just trying to find my voice with this trivia, you know what I'm saying?
Ed Cunard: I think I do know what you're saying, Adam. So speaking of that, how did, how did you find your voice at karaoke?
Adam Wainwright: by just trying different shit. Honestly, I kind of stumbled upon it. I guess it was exploring, different tracks and seeing what I was good at, what I was subsequently bad at, because I don't think you can really understand, where you comfortably sit until you throw a bunch of nonsense at the wall and see what's good and what's bad.
And you find you're bad at some things that you thought you'd be good at and good at some things you thought you'd be bad at, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So when finding just my, my voice and what I enjoy doing at karaoke, it just started duets, I think was the quickest way to learn it. I started just getting up there and singing with people, hopping on when they asked me to sing something with them, whether it was a duet or not And through that, you know, I started opening myself up to different kinds of music, different kinds of voices. I never listened to Johnny Cash before I started karaoke. That was something that I discovered when I started doing karaoke that all of a sudden like, oh man, I have that register that I can just sit comfortably in and sing, comfortably in.
Ed Cunard: Now, let me ask you this specifically about you and Johnny Cash.
When you do it, are you impersonating Johnny Cash or you just singing those songs because they are in your range.
Adam Wainwright: I think I'm singing the songs because they're in my range.
I wouldn't say I'm impersonating Johnny Cash. I think impersonation goes beyond what you do with the voice to a certain extent. I think it starts tying into actions and intentions and stuff like that. And I'm not purposely doing that.
It's just, they sit comfortably in my range. I think there's a little bit of an aspect. Like, I mean, if you're singing "Cocaine Blues" like you want to kind of get into the character. If you're singing "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down", there's a character associated with that. If you're singing "Highway Patrolman," like he gives you a character's name in the first time "my name is Joe Roberts, I work for the state." you already have background and then you can create a character from there. So I think sometimes it flips into that. I just think it cause it's in my range and I know it's, that's one thing. If I do it at karaoke, I absolutely positively know that it sounds great. Without a doubt, every crowd I've gone to. Sounds great. Ed, what would you consider your voice to be at karaoke? If we're going to be, we're going to speak abstractly here. Like what do you, how do you, would you define your voice at karaoke?
Ed Cunard: If we're talking in a philosophical sense. I might actually just be the voice of karaoke. I am not great. I am not bad. But one of the things that I tend to do at karaoke nights is bring people together and get people to sing. I'm almost like Robin to the KJ's if that makes sense.
Adam Wainwright: It kinda makes sense. Yeah.
Ed Cunard: My actual voice, my singing voice, I mean, ours are fairly similar. We have some different tones and some different things that we'll do, but I mean, we're both in that lower range. So my actual voice, you know, terms of what I can sing and not be horrible at, we're kind of working with the same material.
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. We are working with the same material.
a lot of times. but that's good though. I mean, it's, we each have our different flare to you and I think that ties into. the way we interpret songs and the way we approach them. And I think that's an important thing with karaoke too. Do you feel like when you're watching a karaoke night, do you think more people try to sing it in their own voice?
And they tried to impersonate an artist.
Ed Cunard: I think it goes both ways like me. I have seen people do pitch perfect renditions of artists songs. And I think a lot of us kind of start with that. And that's, that's kind of where you find your comfort. I mean, all know that the only impression that I really do at karaoke is either Shaggy or Louis Armstrong.
But by and large, I think the longer you do it, the more you start finding your own voice and the less that you fall back on having to try to sound like someone else.
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. And that's, I think this ties into when, like I discovered that I could lower the key on a lot of female songs because of just the range that exists within them and how they can sound good in a lower key, . And that's something that I picked up long after I started doing karaoke. I mean, that took a while to really just kind of abandoned, trying to find something that sits comfortably with me, where I kind of sound like the artist a little bit and just completely go off of my own.
Do you remember the first time you did that Ed, where you were like, you know what, fuck this I'm going to go off of my own. I'm going to try something completely different. I know it doesn't fit my range, but I think I can do well. And you were successful.
Ed Cunard: No, not specifically. I mean, it's something I've been doing for a while. So,
Adam Wainwright: But you w what are some examples of songs? So you do, cause I know you
Ed Cunard: yeah, I mean, the thing for me is stupid. Drunk me will think that he can sing like Sam cook or Al green and he cannot, I cannot hit those notes. I never try to do the same thing if I'm singing Norah Jones or Rihanna.
I've been able to do "Love on the Brain" or "Turn Me On," just put them in my voice and go with it. And I usually don't even have them change the key signature, the song I just shift down and use the original backing.
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think I've ever asked the karaoke DJ to, uh, adjust the key signature. I dropped my voice to match and go with the original backing. And I think there's something to that though. There's it's a challenge. I like the challenge.
Ed Cunard: I love the challenge.
Adam Wainwright: Love the Ed so much. So what do you impersonate? How do you do it? Let's say let's hear it.
Ed Cunard: How do I do it? The only voice that I do, I would say significantly well is I do a pretty mean Shaggy. And the reason I do a pretty mean Shaggy is I do a pretty mean Wall-E from the Disney Pixar movie because they sit in the exact same point in your mouth. you can say "Wall-E,"
Adam Wainwright: Um,
Ed Cunard: you can do shaggy.
It's all on the back top of your mouth. So one "you're a queen and so you should be treated / though you never get the lovin' that you needed"...
It's literally just the same part of your mouth. And I know that's one that you do as well. What's a different one that you do.
Adam Wainwright: well, it's "Lilo and Stitch" too is what I want to add there for an older reference to Wally. If we're going to go way back in the day, I used to do it like birthday parties. I worked at the movie theater I worked at, cause it was endlessly entertaining to see my goofy six foot five tall ass, um, impersonating like, "Lilo and Stitch" during the "blue punch buggy" and that entire thing.
Ed Cunard: Exact same voice.
Adam Wainwright: Exact same voice sits there right there. It's like, I feel like they just have a voice actor. It's a specifically that in the Disney Pixar universe and that's probably the same voice, or maybe just everybody can do that voice.
I don't know. I don't really do impersonations a ton, a karaoke.
Like I described before. It's kind of part of it. Sometimes you settle into a character, you learn, and I think that's more, what I end up doing where my personal life is like assembling a character and doing, , sometimes emotional memory I get into like a little bit of like Stanislavski is the method just naturally what I'm doing.
Some of these things where like, I'll impersonate the emotional resonance of a song, more than I'll necessarily impersonate the artists. So if the song's about a breakup, like I will start to feel whatever that tone is of that song And that kind of. If you're, if I'm singing, like someone like you by Adele, like I start, I can, I have, I feel that, and that's why I'm impersonating is the feeling that's associated with it more than like trying to recreate something. I'm trying to recreate a feeling that maybe was the intention behind the song. And I think that's where I find myself on the entire spectrum.
Ed Cunard: And then I have an accidental impersonation.
Adam Wainwright: What's that
Ed Cunard: Anytime I do any of the Tim Curry songs from "Rocky Horror,", just because his voice and my singing voice are pretty much the exact same thing.
Adam Wainwright: they are very close
Ed Cunard: Yeah.
Adam Wainwright: always entertaining. Like I, Yeah.
" Rocky Horror" is one of my favorite things to hear you do it just really is,
Ed Cunard: I finally got to do "I'm Going Home" not too long ago
Adam Wainwright: Ooh.
Ed Cunard: seen a karaoke before. And that one was a lot of fun for me cause I had never sang it before.
Adam Wainwright: It's taking those chances. Sometimes finding your voice Ed. you know what? We have an expert this week, right on impersonations, finding your voice, an expert on a lot of things, actually like this dude is a trip. I loved it. I loved this interview so much. Ed, did you love this interview as much as I did?
Ed Cunard: Of course I did. We had a blast with him.
Adam Wainwright: Okay. How about we just stop talking then and elevate another. So let's cue the guitar and make that happen.
Adam Wainwright: We spent the top half talking about voices and finding your voice for a very specific reason. Our guest today is a comedian and impressionist who can talk and sing in 50 different voices and who uses karaoke as part of his act. On top of that, he has been a singer, a dancer, a trapeze artist. And now we can add author to his bio. His second book, will be out soon. Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, welcome to "The Greatest Song Ever Sung (Poorly)".
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Adam Wainwright: We're very excited to speak to you today. As we were learning a little bit more about you. I was just kind of blown away by the breadth of things that you do, and that karaoke is such a vital part of them. Give us your karaoke, origin story. How did your karaoke journey begin?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: So everybody has their, you know, their late night at the bar karaoke and you know, there's a sign up, you go up, you do your thing. I was never like that into it. I used to always just sit there and I would have to be really drunk. And then I would end up doing, uh, usually a ballad , and then it would have to be something like journey or Ozzy, Osborne, those rock songs from the eighties.
But I never had that big voice because my voice is just like my speaking voice. So it was never really. Ooh, you can sing karaoke, because I always went for the entertainment value of the people that were doing poorly. How it ended up standup wise? About four years ago, a student of mine was getting married and she had asked me to officiate her wedding. she had some provisos that previews, those were, I had to share the officiating duties with her friend, Tanya. We had to dress as Sonny and Cher. (I was Sonny) () and sing
"I Got You, Babe", live as Sonny and Cher and open her wedding as if it was the Sonny and Cher show. So we, we went to a coach, got the, one of the best coaches in the country, Christina Bianco. And I fell in love with it. I fell in love with singing in other people's voices. I also found that I had a better singing voice in other people's voices than my own singing voice.
And so when it came to throwing it into stand up, it was a no brainer. I have to combine this. Now what I love to do is to go to karaoke. And not tell them what I'm going to do, and then just throw the voices in there and then they lose it because they're thinking, oh God, here comes.
As it comes. As this queer guy was going to come up and sing, let it go. And then they all lose it because the first voice is Eric Cartman from south park. So when you, as soon as you hear that, it just, you know, it, it, it lightens up the audience. They're like, what is going on? And then it, it brings the house down, you know?
Cause there it's totally unexpected, you know, they really think that they're going to hear something, you know, musical theater and that kind of thing. And then some people are like, what, what does happen? You know. I still have a great respect for the people who do karaoke really well.
And those are the, mostly the hosts, like the hosts and the karaoke bar scene here in New York, the hosts are like, they can go from any genre. They can go into any. Any, any, any part of that book of music and sing? I can't do that anymore. And it's also my, my, you know, the next piece I'm working on, I don't want to give it away, but I will give it away.
Is Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Why? Because when you're doing different voices, you find other voices. So like, when I was working on Kermit, I found Cher. When I was working on Cher, I found Elvis. When I worked on Elvis, I found Rick Astley. It's all about placements, all about where you place the voice in your mouth.
So I'm working on Rick Astley dueting with Eric Cartman, so that's like my next thing I just got booked for. I'm throwing those together so that's my approach to it now. Now it's all about fun now. It's all about, well, I can sing in these other voices better than my regular voice.
So it's about entertaining people. I there's nothing more addictive to me than making people laugh about something I said or did.
Ed Cunard: That's that sounds fantastic. Making people laugh is great. And you mentioned doing "Let It Go" at actual karaoke, but that's one of the things that you do in your act. Can you tell us a little bit about how karaoke plays into your actual comedy?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: First of all, you need to be spot on. If the impressions are not spot on, you lose the audience. You also need to have the supporting track. Give you the tools to be able to follow. Cause there's nothing worse than watching somebody who has never done a karaoke before and not understand that they're not getting the melody, that they're melody is not supported in a lot of the tracks.
The other thing is really important to me too. You know, they don't give you a soundcheck in karaoke, but in stand up, if you're doing this kind of thing, you need a soundcheck. Having the volume of the track be loud enough that you can hear yourself and the track at the same time is really important.
Also the size of the room. I just did a show on Sunday where the room was a cavern and it, the track had to be bumped up because the, the monitors are not facing you. Like normally on stage, you get a monitor on facing you and then the audience hears both of them mixed together.
I'm trying to now find more pop culture references and more current voices, because I'm great with the people that are my age, because they know who droopy dog is. They know who Eric Cartman is, but they also know who Elvis Presley is, who Carol Channing is. And then a lot of people know who Eartha Kitt is because of her filmwork, but also because she was in "Emperor's New Groove."
So a lot of people who know that cartoon know that voice. There are different voices that straddle decades. And of course, Cher has been around since the beginning of time. So everybody knows her. I'll never do Katy Perry. But I, I am working on Britney Spears' voice. And also like my comedy is more about storytelling. So I open up usually with the story of how I started this and why I love singing in other people's voices. My approach to karaoke first is the track. It's gotta be a good track.
It also can not sound like a 1970s, Yamaha home organ. I'm sorry. That's, that's one of the hardest parts and finding that and finding, also finding the support in the track. And if you can manipulate the track, that's even better. If you throw it in garage band, you can extend the spots for breathing. But also because I don't have an assistant, I have to introduce each voice as it comes through.
So I do a little bit of an extension of the track or slow it down a certain way. Just enough. I can throw out this is the voice you're going to hear. This is the voice you're going to hear. You know, people have suggested doing cards with pictures on and things like that, which is great.
But the minute your, your cards fall over your act is over. And you know, there's no putting it back together. So God forbid a wind picks up if you're doing an outside show or if you're, you know, you just mistakenly knock it over with the mic cord it's done. So I sort of built it in so that it's self-sufficient as one person.
Adam Wainwright: The first thing that popped in my mind is you have all these voices that you continually worked on. I actually have two questions. What's the differences between doing a regular impersonation and a singing impersonation. And the second question I would have is you talked about how, like, the voice has progressed.
You find voices as you're learning other voices, has this path ever led you to somebody that you thought you could nail, you thought you could eventually get there, but after working on it and working on it and work on it, you just realized you were never going to get it in. Who was that? And what happened?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: It's very interesting. It was in fact Ariana Grande, because she, she, she doesn't have a lot of diction. She's a mush mouth. So you have that, you know, that, that kind of, that you don't understand the lyrics unless you're reading them. And she has such a high ping in her sound and it's very soprano and I don't have that, that range.
However, I will say my regular voice has improved by doing those voices. That stretch me. So, like I said, even working on Ariana. It was nice to sort of get my voice to stretch, but it was never close and it was embarrassing. I never performed it because what I do is I record every single rehearsal, both audio and video, so that I can see and hear what it sounds like on different things plus, if I have access to a microphone and then I will try it through an actual microphone with the track and hear what the audience would be hearing.
When I'm working on some of them, they do progress. Some just pop in to my head and it's like, Ooh, that would be a good voice to know. Or let's add this Swedish Chef into the show this week. I was watching the Muppet Christmas, Carol, and all of a sudden [Swedish Chef impression], and I was like, what the hell?
I need this voice in my act right now. And then, and then Tasmanian devil, I throw in as well, you know, the ones that don't actually sing And like Paula Dean doesn't sing. She talks sings in the thing. So what I do with those, the ones that are more talky, they follow the melody, they follow what's going on, but you know, Paula Dean doesn't sing.
So I don't sing deliberately, don't sing in her voice, but it's an impression. So that kind of a thing works in. I also try to imagine what these people would say , if I were throwing it into my regular standup, like, what would Paula Dean say in this situation or what would Carol Channing say in this situation?
You sprinkle them throughout. The other one I was working on the other day and I it's, it's one of the reasons why we need good karaoke track creators is Lizzo's "Good as Hell." And the problem is it's it's a rap. there's no break to breathe. And I started with Kermit Kermit, the frog singing Lizzo, and, it flows nicely and it's funny, but there's no place to breathe.
I literally have to adjust the shape of my mouth when I do certain things. Like when I'm doing Droopy Dog, I have to pull my cheek up to get away to find his voice. So those kinds of tricks help me. You have to lift your palate for Kermit the frog because he's up behind the nose.
Those little moments you have to sort of adjust your, your mouth very quickly. And, because Lizzo "Good as Hell" you don't get a break. You don't get a break, but if you go to Lizzo concert, she's got breaks in those songs. Trying to figure out where to put like a moment for Kermit to chill.
Miss Piggy is also a real hard one because, she's very soprano. She's very up there. I can sing her small parts, never before and never again, you know, but I can't get the other stuff. She's harder than people think, but I'm working on it, I'm working on her.
I was talking to Ed about political humor. I prefer not to do political humor. There are people that do it well, and I'd rather them do it, but also like, I don't think political humor is funny anymore. I think it's dangerous.
And I think it's normalizing craziness. And so I stay away from it, but one of the political figures I was working on was Mitch McConnell. And I want to do something so ridiculous in his voice that's that it throws everybody off, but he's very, very interesting because you see him he's back here and I got, that deep voice and it's really deep, but it's hard to find, you know, there's goddamn Democrats.
It's hard to find, but I literally have to pull my whole jaw back to make that sound. I do find some that I have to take out that don't work. Like Droopy Dog, nobody recognized Droopy Dog except the people over 50.
So I may have to, you know, he only has one. He only has one, one line, which is fine. And he's funny, but, um, you know, you have to, you have to know your audience. My next gig is the queer comedy festival. You have to know your crowd. So my setup for that is a little different than my regular setup.
And the worst part about all of this is getting into a show and having kids be in the show or having kids in the audience and you are sitting there dropping F bombs as Kermit and Cartman. There's stuff you just can't do.
I try very hard to locate the best possible scenario for the vocals. Cher, Elvis, um, Kermit and Rick all are in a very similar placement in your voice. And in the way that I lift my pallet up and put the sound behind my nose for Kermit is the same way that I do.
But Elvis is deeper and lower in the back of my throat. So you have to make adjustments, but then in the middle of the adjustment, you find someone else. Like I was trying to do Idina Menzel who sings "Let It Go" in the Disney film. And that's how I found Cartman because she's very nasal and Cartman's right behind the nose.
They lead you to different voices. Each person that I get really good at there's somebody that's behind them or that, that comes next.
Ed Cunard: Something I'm curious about is that people get nervous their first time on a stage, whether it's karaoke or I imagine stand up comedy. How does that compare to the nerves you get when you're starting on the trapeze? How did you get into that?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: I had moved to New York in the eighties and became an actor. I got a full scholarship to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Before that I lived in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and, uh, I was on full scholarship at the Stroudsburg Ballet Theater, because they needed men for a ballroom dance piece that they were working on.
All through, you know, late high school, early, early college, that's what I was doing. And when I moved here, I became friends with somebody who was writing a circus musical, and it was based on an old Disney film called "The Circus Adventures of Toby Tyler." And that he wanted me to play Toby.
He had heard me sing. He heard my regular singing voice, which at that time, I had this very tinny tenor sound that was perfect for a kid's voice or someone playing a kid. And I didn't understand vocalizations or singing that much back then.
I just knew that. This is what I wanted to do, and I needed to be able to sing just to save my life in order to get into the chorus of most musicals. And so I'm moving to New York, got into that show and then they were like, oh, so what circus skills do you have? And I'm like, none. So they found the only circus coach, the only trapeze coach in New York city at the time, her name was Irena Gold.
she was a Ukrainian Olympian from the 1960s. She taught me everything about solo, trapeze. And then before you know it, within six months, I started working in nightclubs. I started getting gigs out of town, working in Las Vegas. And as an actor in New York, you don't make a lot of money.
And even back then. The only people making good money were working on Broadway or were working in national tours. And I was doing my best to just get noticed on summer stock and regional Shawnee Playhouse and Playhouse By the River, just try to get recognition from those people was even hard.
I really was, was hoping to just sort of make it, but every time you get a summer stock gig... union summer stock for me in 1990, I was getting paid $250 a week in the chorus of "Peter Pan, "Singin' in the Rain," and "Gypsy" at Candlewood Playhouse $250 a week. First of all, it did not pay my rent.
I basically, you know, just said, fuck it. I'm taking this job for the summer and I'll pay my rent when I get back. Maybe my mom helped me. I knew I survived that summer. In the middle of the run of "Gypsy," we weren't getting paid because the theater was going under and the director, Steven Schwartz was paying us out of his own pocket.
And so I got this offer to work in Las Vegas and it was like $250 a week in summer stock in the chorus or $1,500 a week working in Las Vegas, working seven minutes a day. And that made a big difference because it was like all of a sudden, the people that were hiring for theater saw the bottom of my resume, special skills trapeze.
Before, you know, it, it Just became a calling card and it became the way to make money in the nineties was performing in the nightclubs in New York City, Limelight, Palladium, uh, Shine, all of those, Webster Hall. There were six performers. There are six aerialists in New York City in that time period.
It's now like 6,000, but, six of us, me and five women. And of those five women, they each had their nightclubs. They each had their theaters and things that they did. And a lot of those producers would only hire women or I would have to wait until there was nobody for the spot. And then I would go in and then they would, and I would ingratiate myself to them, Hey, the only guy doing this right now, can I get some work?
That's how we made money. We used to make our rent in two nights. You can make $1,500 rent in two nights, working at Webster Hall. Those same positions now are like a hundred bucks for the night.
When it boils down to it times have changed. Impresarios and nightclub producers have found a way around that because they noticed that the audience doesn't need a super trained professional. They just need tits and ass in, in a, in, you know, in a fun, fancy leotard.
And then they also found out that they could get more people and have more rotations by not ingratiating to one performer, which is what they used to do. And that's how we all cut our teeth. We're all still in the business.
I think one is no longer in the business. We do different things, we do design and sequencing work and things like that. I had a hip replacement a year ago, so for me . I've been going up in the air and things like that, small steps, but I'll never be at the intensity of the performances that I used to do, you know?
Cause that was just part of it. The excitement of, you know, you're 30 feet in the air and you're hanging by your toes. It morphed into so many different venues and careers and things like that.
Adam Wainwright: That's really is amazing. The first thing that popped into my head, as you said about what producers are looking for nowadays, just tits and ass is "A Chorus Line." That's I, I'm not gonna be able to get in my head now, like "tits and ass won't get you jobs unless they're your's"
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: that's a picture of chorus line right behind me right
Adam Wainwright: Yeah. That's the first thing that popped into my head, right.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: And this one of my, my first Broadway show, one of my first Broadway shows chaplain.
Adam Wainwright: That's amazing. You drop that in like it. Now it's going to be in my head all day.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Definitely a song that needs to be taken out of every karaoke playbook.
Adam Wainwright: We're going to get there real soon, but at first, at first I want to ask, so you have all this going on. And with all his English degrees. My co-host Ed I'm sure has considered writing a book. And you have a second book coming out soon. So can you just tell us a little bit about them and give Ed some advice on finally getting started on writing a book.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Well, first of all, the first book is called "Shit My Momma Says" and it's a humorous look at life while dealing with dementia. That started as her eulogy and I really, you know, put it on and off the shelf.
And then a year ago on the anniversary of her death, I really put the cookbook aside and finished that. I self-published, self publishing is a thing and it is worth investigating. Hundreds of YouTube, tutorials. You literally just need to have your final PDF edited. You need to make sure that it is exactly what you wanted to put out there. Needs to be edited and formatted, you need an ISBN number, and you need to be copyrighted. And then in 72 hours, your book can be available on Amazon. Second book is called "Escape To Ravioli Mountain: a Memoir in Food." it is recipes and amusing anecdotes from growing up in a dysfunctional Italian family on a mountain top in rural Pennsylvania.
So my great-grandfather and grandfather, bought plots of land on a top mountain in Pennsylvania, and my great-grandfather had 13 children and he sold lots of land to his children for $1. I still have some of the deeds. It was this bubble on top of a mountain, all relatives, all surrounding each other, and then their extended families grew into those, plots of land and then their extended family.
So before you know it,. It's the Italian, Hyannis Port on the top of a hill. Now we weren't the Kennedy's for sure. We were, we were highly dysfunctional Italians. It's all the stories and recipes from growing up in that, that little insular bubble. My mom's death inspired me and also, you know, we were kind of stuck in the pandemic, so I had nothing else to do with my time.
And you can't teach trapeze from your living room. So I started to write and I started to write those stories and I started to just remembering my mom and remembering my grandmother and the time I lived with my grandmother in the 1970s, and I got the image of the two movies "Moonstruck" and "A Christmas Story," but the ridiculousness in the way that those two stories are told.
Mushed together in my story, like my first words were "fucking reindeer." Like absolutely God's honest truth. My mother told me the story. And she had to tell me that I was conceived on a beaver dam while on a camping trip. So I was like, this has to be written down somewhere.
I have to make sure that this happens. So the, and so it was like these little stories, little, like little slices of life were flooding back. And I was talking to my cousin. I was like, did mom ever tell you? Oh yeah. She told me the beaver dam story. And I was like, oh my God. And then, you know, "fucking reindeer" is my favorite because when I was younger, they thought I had a speech impediment.
They thought I was deaf. I wouldn't speak for the first year and a half of my life as a toddler. I would not say anything. I would grunt the point, but would not speak. I was just in painfully shy. Now you can't shut me up. I have an older brother, so my mom would buy two of everything.
So at Christmas time she bought two inflatable reindeer and put them beside the Christmas tree. Grandma was coming over for dinner and we started playing with the reindeer. Apparently one of them popped and then we started fighting over the other reindeer. And my mother, of course, like a ninja with a wooden spoon, comes racing into the living room and separates us and puts us in our thinking chairs.
And then she said, "give me that fucking reindeer" and throws it into the closet. So fast-forward, grandma's coming home. We hear the door, we hear the car door slam. We hear the front door grandma's that we run to the door. I grabbed her skirt and I'm tugging her skirt, "Nana, Nana fucking reindeer, fucking reindeer" pointing to the closet. And my mother just like drops the spoon and yells "he can talk!". That's part of the comedy, how I set up my stories and things like that. I'm working on a one man, 45 minutes show with voices, but also with stories and things like that. But that's kind of like the way that I approached standup as well. I like to write it out. I like to have an outline, but , I also like to get feedback from the audience. I always like to get a little bit of not interactivity because I don't like hecklers. If somebody is really fucking with my act, I will go into the jugular and it's just because like I work alone. That's the first thing, second of all, like, it's not your time drunk person, and there are people that just come to comedy clubs to fuck with the comedians and they sit in the front row, you know?
And I'm like, dude, why are you here? , the door is there. We're all here to have a good time and you're fucking with everybody. And there are people who literally just that's their thing. They get off on it. I just don't feed into it. I try not to at least, but if somebody really fucks me up, the scorpion tail comes out and I'm like, you're dead.
Ed Cunard: Thank you for sharing all that. It's been so much fun talking to you, but now I guess it's our turn to fuck with a comedian and put you through the ringer with our quickfire game. Hit me with your best shot. So we're going to ask you five questions. We ask the same five questions to every guest. You don't have to explain your answer.
You don't have to rationalize it. Your answer is your answer, and we can't argue it. You can be as in-depth or as brief with it as you'd like afterwards, it's only fair that you get the chance to fire away and hit Adam and I with a question also karaoke related or otherwise. And we solomnly swear that we will be 100% truthful. So are you ready to play our quick fire game?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: I am ready.
Ed Cunard: So first question, what is the best thing you have seen at karaoke?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: there was one woman who came out with a lollipop. And she did a sultry, sexy version of "Uninvited" and it brought the house down. I wish I could remember that singer because she sang the shit out of it. it wasn't the fact that she was using the lollipop as even kind of a suggestive prop. I found out that she does it in her act all the time or in her singing all the time, because it helps her throat.
It's a very specific type of lollipop. But in that it was just like raw and hardcore and, you know, it's Alanis Morissette, so you want that angry rock chick. And it really just like, you know, completely like, it just was one of the best performances I've ever seen.
Adam Wainwright: Those are the moments that like, when you go out and you see or hear or something like that, that's why you go see things live and why you should support anybody, performing things live. Cause moments like that. Yes. Yes. I love that story. So I have to be the other half of this. What's the worst thing you've seen at karaoke.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Just when people bomb so bad that they can't, they're not singers. They're not meant to be singers. There was one really, really, really drunk guy and they put him up to it. It was his football buddies. He was super drunk and he sang, "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston, which should have been funny to see a big football player, you know, singing, singing how well, I don't know if he really loves me, but it was just so bad.
I think he threw up after the song. And then there was another one where this guy just changed the words to a song. And it just, I can't remember the exact song, but it was very, it was a, it was like, uh, uh, Doobie brothers or something like that, but he changed all the words and that's one of the things I hate. they feel like it's okay for them to go up and sing, like the song, "Sanctify Yourself" by Simple Minds, one guy sang something about gentrification and gentrify. And it wasn't clever. It wasn't funny. It was just like, oh, I just saw, it sounds like gentrify.
And I was like that kind of stuff, unless it is like fucking hysterical and clear, don't do it. It's just like, you're wasting our time. And you know, it's, it's not coming across at all. And gimmicks like stop with the gimmicks. We don't need props and things like that. Just do do the song.
You know, there are people that have like costume changes in the middle of their karaoke or, you know, some people take off a shirt, you know, or some, you know, like just, you don't need the gimmicks. If you can sing, sing, if you're not a singer, don't pick a song that's gonna show off that you're not a singer. The tone, deaf people too, like, you know, God, what did they say in the south? Bless your heart. You know, she did that. She's sang, "Hit Me with your Best Shot" off key. Bless her heart.
Ed Cunard: Solid advice. Now, as someone who's done karaoke for a while, what is the one song you would love to do at karaoke that you have never been able to find or find a good version of?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: There's a lot because a lot of the tracks just don't exist. I wanted to find a male version of "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass. And I know that's a sixties kind of thing, but it's just a great, uplifting kind of a song. There's also A lot of the, like I was saying, like a lot of the eighties rock, pop songs, those tracks don't sound good or don't exist.
Especially things like Journey, REO Speedwagon, you know, oh, someone's singing. I can't fight this feeling anymore by REO Speedwagon with the worst karaoke track I've ever heard in my life sounded like it was being played on a child's piano by a chicken, you know, like, you know, like, like, like just like a chicken is like, you know, it sounded so bad.
Also, like there are obscure Broadway songs that play well because they have a pop angle to them. And of course I'm in New York, a lot of the karaoke, some of them are Broadway karaoke, you don't get to choose sometimes who's in the audience and who's signing up.
Um, also there, the one thing I will say I do, there are some, uh, uh, hosts that are phenomenal that give you the mic that trusts you. And then there are others that like, totally fuck with you and make you look worse. And I'm like, no, I, you know, if you're not here, you know, and it's like, they, they, they, they put everybody down in a way that makes them look like the best singer of the night.
And they're just, you know, I, my suggestion is if you want to do karaoke and you've never done it before, go to a place that has it and just watch and just listen, listen to the host, talk to the host after and say, "Hey, I was really nervous. I didn't want to do tonight, but you really made me feel comfortable.
Maybe I'll come back. When are you here again?" Then. They remember you, you were nice to them. You tip them, always dip them, Venmo it's there. Because that's somebody's job as well. But, they remember that. And that's one of the things that I, that I have seen in different parts of the country too, where I'll just kind of sneak in and show up and I'll talk to the host before and be like, Hey, do this kind of cool thing.
It's funny. I don't, I don't, I want it to be a surprise. So is it okay if I do that? And most of the time I'll, and I'll be like, here's my video, you can watch it on YouTube, most of the time, they're like, you've got to do this. You got to do this. And it's really, and then they give you a little bit of a spotlight. Especially if you're from out of town, they love that.
Adam Wainwright: They do, the karaoke, hosts, love meeting new people. And most of the time they are, if they're creating a poisonous environment, just don't get back to that place. You, your time is so important to your emotional wellbeing is so important that you don't need to deal with abusive karaoke. Host
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Right. And why do we, why do we do it? We do it for ourselves. You know, we do it for ourselves. We want to sing, we want to sing like those people that we remember, and, or we want to just remember those songs or those songs that you sing in the car, you know, or that you sing in the shower. my playlist on my phone is like everything from Journey to Whitney Houston to Rick Astley, because of course that's my next act.
But, you know, Lady Gaga, those kinds of things that are there that people want to emulate. They want to feel special by using that by, by being that person's sound or having their own sound like that person.
Adam Wainwright: They do. It's true, but let's put you in a scenario. Okay. Now we're going to create a scenario, question four. So imagine that someone has kidnapped your family and the only way to release them
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Most are dead.
Adam Wainwright: oh, no. Okay. They've kidnapped people that are very important to you.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Okay.
Adam Wainwright: Okay. And the only way to release them as to wow the kidnappers with a karaoke performance, and you only get one song.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Okay.
Adam Wainwright: So what's the song.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: It would have to be my standard. Go-to "Let It Go" because I know it's funny and I know it will disarm anybody because I know it's really like, it's a funny performance. It gets them off guard. As soon as you hear Eric Cartman start to sing. as soon as they hear that they disarmed it, disarms them and it immediately makes them breathe. It makes them relax and they know they're in for something fun. Okay. You don't just hit them with Cartman. You go into the next voice and keep keeping building so that each time it's like opening a present,
Ed Cunard: so then finally, if you could magically strike one song from every karaoke playlist forever, which song would you choose?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: "Tits and Ass / Dance: 10, Looks: 3" also chorus line and from Broadway is "What I Did for Love." Done. And anything if the track sounds like a Yamaha home organ, trash it get rid of it because that shit don't work for me. , it's like a chicken pecking on a kid's piano. That's going to be on my t-shirt .
Adam Wainwright: I would buy that t-shirt by the way , because that is the best analogy I've ever heard for a bad karaoke track. And it's something I'm going to carry with me for a very long time. But Bobby, that was great. You survived our quick fire round. You gave insightful answers, told great stories and we just sincerely like that was great.
So now's your chance to fire away. So if you have a question for Ed and I go ahead.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: I do. Okay. So if you had to sing one karaoke song, at the most important event of your life, whether it be a wedding, a bar mitzvah, a, a funeral, or maybe you're being elevated at work, and it's a big party, what would you sing?
Adam Wainwright: But I think that would vary for me based on the location,
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: let's say wedding.
Adam Wainwright: for a wedding. I, I did get an opportunity to do this, but I, I did some karaoke in Japan and a friend of mine. Like I made Japan and after we left, um, I kind of drifted apart from a little bit, but he was convinced that I need to sing Elvis Presley at his wedding. So this was, uh, so my, my brain is not working today. Um, cause it wasn't are you lonesome tonight?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: no, um, I can't help
Adam Wainwright: It was, yes, that was it right there. That was the song he wanted me to sing at his wedding. Yeah. That's cause that's the, like, I can get close enough to that Elvis range that it's there, in most cases like, yeah, it just would depend on the scenario.
Cause I think there's, you know, if it's a joyous thing, obviously I'm not going to sing "Can't Help Falling in Love with You." Um, and I would find something different to do. I'm sure I can take it from the other perspective for a really big. How about, can I, can I just give ed this little bit of a swing? Sure. Okay. Ed's going to be one of my groomsmen for my wedding here in a couple months. Okay. So ed, if I were to ask you at the reception to sing one song, to summarize our relationship at this wedding, what song are you going to sing to wow the crowd.
Ed Cunard: When you say our relationship, do you mean you and Courtney or you and me?
Adam Wainwright: You and me. To summarize our friendship, our relationship, and you need to express that to the people that are going to be attendance there and you need to captivate and entertain them. What are you singing?
Ed Cunard: Honestly, and I'm going to take it back to my tin pan alley roots. I would sing "You're the Top" by Cole Porter for you. It's a fun list song. It hits your Broadway stuff. Cole Porter couldn't sing and neither can I, and I think that would be the, uh, the ideal thing to do for that.
Adam Wainwright: Beautiful. Bobby, does that answer your question?
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: I, it perfectly perfectly, again, it'd probably would be dependent on the location and things like that too. So, you know, but at a funeral you wouldn't want to sing, "Let it Go"
Adam Wainwright: no. Well, I mean, it depends.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: It depends if the, you know,
Ed Cunard: depends. on who died.
Adam Wainwright: Bobby, that was great. Oh, I love that question. I really do. That's a great way to put that in putting us on the spot and that scenario. So I appreciated that challenge. So thank you so much. What we're going to do is just kind of hand the floor over to you. Anything you'd like to advertise shows you have coming up books, you have coming out.
If you would like to be followed on social media, where people can find you, just, if people want to engage with you and what you're doing, how can they do it? Tell us all about it.
Bobby Hedglin-Taylor: Instagram and Tiktok at Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, or at Escape to Ravioli Mountain. Both of those are active Tiktok and Instagrams. You can find my cookbook on Facebook. I have a Facebook page for it. It's not out yet. I'm in editing hell with the cookbook right now. Um, the other book hashtag shit, my mama says is available on Amazon and , it's a small book.
It's a short book. It reads pretty quick, but it has, a quote per page from my mom. My favorite being about my birth. I showed her a picture of my friend, Jamie, who was pregnant and she was ready to give birth. My mother said, oh, she could go any minute, tell her to get a barbecue chicken wing and dangle it down there and coax him out.
It worked for you, Bob. So that's so shit. My mama says it's a great book. It's under $10. It's also a great gift. Like if you need a fun gift to give somebody, also, if people are caregivers dealing with dementia, dealing with an elderly relative, it is a really fun way to just sort of be able to not be alone in that scenario.
And also, Bobby Hedglin-Taylor on YouTube. You can find a lot of my standup there. You can find a lot of my performances there. There's some old trapeze stuff. There's some stuff. When I worked with Phish at Madison Square Garden. Coming up in New York at the, Village Comedy Club on April 21st is the Queer Comedy Festival
and I'll be doing a set there with a bunch of amazing queer comics. I have more dates coming up, but you can find me on Instagram and social media. And I will put all my dates up there as they come in. Things are coming in slowly, but they're ramping up for the summer.
Thank you so much for having me. I really loved chatting with you guys.
Ed Cunard: Thank you, Bobby. It's been a lot of fun and I know I speak for Adam and myself. When I say we both hope that we see you singing at a screen sometime soon.
Adam Wainwright: So I have to be real with everybody out there in our listing for our outro today, while we're typing up the outline of our episode for the outro where I would normally thank you for listening and plugging our social media, you know, like sungpoorly.com and Twitter @sungpoorly, emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org, all that stuff that I would normally plug in this exact segment I was going to wow.
Everybody with a song that I've been working on, called "Let It Go" from Frozen. So imagine my surprise when, before we record this and I'm getting ready to just perform this and wow everybody, Ed says, no, that's, that's what Bobby is going to do. And he's going to do it much better than you ever could. So I am just living in a state of disappointment in shock right now. And if you would like to just empathize with me just a little bit, or if you feel bad that I didn't get to perform "Let It Go" to all of you, the loyal listeners, would have loved it so much. Then you can just go review us or follow us, or do any of those things.
I don't know. I'm so sad right now. Thanks for listening. I think that's what I'm supposed to say here, right? Ed.
Ed Cunard: I think that's what you're supposed to say. And maybe it'll cheer you up to know that friend, Ben Dumm gave us our theme song "Gasoline," and you can absolutely follow him on Spotify under his current group, the Ben Dumm 3 . He's also going to be doing some more shows in New York City coming soon.
Adam Wainwright: Ooh, really? You're going to have to keep me up to date of when that's happening because I will go and support our good friend friend of the show. Ben Dumm., man, it's been a little while since we've given Ben something to think about at the end of the episode. I can I, can I do it just this one time?
Ed Cunard: Yes, just this one time.
Adam Wainwright: just this one time.
Okay, great. Ben Dumm, something to think about on this week's episode is hubcaps necessary question mark. And that's the Ben Dumm thought of the week, right there, something for Ben Dumm to think about. He has two weeks to do that. Cause we'll be back in two weeks when finally addressed something we've been meaning to for a while, and that is doing hip hop at karaoke. I'm looking forward to that one Ed. But, for today, that's it. That's all there is no more. So until next time I'm Adam Wainwright.
Ed Cunard: I'm Ed Cunard.
Adam Wainwright: And remember singing off key is still technically singing.
Looking to #BeAguest on your podcast!
A little about me: I'm Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, a circus and aerial designer who has worked on and off Broadway, in summer stock and regional theater as well as rock concerts and cruise ships, and I've just published my first book!
My book is a tribute to my late mother called #ShitMyMamaSays-a humorous look at life while dealing with dementia. Now available on Amazon.
In a recent podcast interview the host called me the "multi-hyphenated artist". Indeed I am! I thought, “I’m going to use that!”. I’ve been a professional Trapeze artist, actor, dancer, singer, standup comic and those are only a few of those hyphens! Now adding author to my extended list!
After his mother showed signs of dementia, Bobby had to take on the gut wrenching task of moving his mother into a nursing home. She was a spitfire with a mouth like a truck driver. To deal with the emotion and guilt Bobby took his mom's pithy sayings and shared them on social media. Sharing with the Hashtag #ShitMyMamaSays. This became a humorous way to deal with the stress and connect with others who have traveled the same path. After losing his mother at the beginning of the pandemic and suffering with Covid-19 himself Bobby Hedglin-Taylor began to write and in the 16 months of quarantine wrote two books to memorialize her amazing sense of humor. Bobby hopes that you will enjoy the first installment having his mother coming to life through these quotes and her incredible spirit.
#ShitMyMamaSays- A humorous look at life while dealing with dementia.
In loving memory of my Mom, Mary Lou. Available now on Amazon!
Bruce Vilanch-Comedy writer, actor-"Bobby's mother can give the dowager duchess -- you know, the one Maggie Smith plays on Downton Abbey -- a run for her money in the s**t people say department, and she doesn't have to dress up in hats, veils, cloaks, corsets and bodices to say it and i'll bet she can wield a fish fork just as deadly as Maggie.”
DAN GOGGIN, Creator of the "Nunsense" Musicals- “Bobby's book about his Mom is truly hilarious. Sometimes the best way to get through tough times is to laugh. And this book will surely make you giggle past the sad reality. Anyone with a parent or friend suffering with dementia should read this book."
Celebrity biographer Mark Bego-"It is an amusing look at a life well-lived.”
Other reviews from Amazon:
“Heartwarming and genuinely laugh out loud funny”,
"laughter through tears is my favorite emotion”
“ you’ll cry laughing“
“A hilarious glimpse into how important humor is in our lives”,
“This fantastic woman is like Sophia Petrillo on steroids”
“ always listen to what your mama says”
"Laugh out loud reading",
"laughter is medicine"
"needed comic relief for everyone”
I’m also writing a 2nd book. Coming soon! Not only inspired by my mother but it's a cookbook inspired by my entire extended Italian-American family!
Escape to Ravioli Mountain- a memoir in food.
Recipes and amusing anecdotes from growing up in a dysfunctional Italian family on a mountaintop in rural Pennsylvania.
All this and I can cook too!
Find me on social media:
Facebook-Escape to Ravioli Mountain
join my mailing list - EscapeToRavioliMountain@gmail.com
Instagram and TikTok @BobbyHedglinTaylor @EscapeToRavioliMountain