In the summer of 1990, Nation
Public Radio broadcast live from New
York the nightly, two-hour program, "Heat--With John Hockenberry,"
devoted to the arts, politics, and culture. I was a producer on the
show, and wished to honor Heat's mandate to create art, not just talk
about it. One day, I spotted a post-it with Phil Proctor's telephone
number stuck to the wall of "program ideas." As a long time fan of
Firesign Theater, I called Philip and asked him if he wanted to
contribute some comedy. He, in turn invited Peter Bergman to join
him. Philip and Peter had been friends for three decades since
their days at Yale and before they teamed up with David Ossman
and Phil Austin to create Firesign Theater. Proctor and Bergman
also enjoyed a long run as a comedy due. However, in 1990, Firesign
Theater was dormant and Proctor & Bergman had not worked together
for several years.|
The time was ripe for a new project. They
offered to write a perform a weekly, five minute episodic dramatic
comedy series called "Power." Its premise was to lampoon the
excesses of Hollywood in the late 1980's, a town that Philip
Proctor proclaims as "the only place where you can get stabbed
in the front."
Philip and Peter voice recorded each week's
installment in Los Angeles and shipped it to New York, where I
hastily added sound effects and mixed it for broadcast.
This release features Power's original 13
episodes compiled into a long-form piece. For the three of us,
it was the beginning for a wonderful working relationship and deep
friendship that continues today. I am forever grateful to them
for putting faith in me; as they never asked to hear any of my work
before agreeing to do this series.
As Power so brilliantly reveals, Proctor
& Bergman are true comedy frontiersmen offering hilarious insights
that often foreshadow actual events.
With them, life does follow art.