The Firesign Theatre is a legendary 60's comic foursome famous for their surreal improvisational parodies of radio and TV, rife with horrendous puns and allusions to everything from Beatles' lyrics to James Joyce.
Their wild sense of humor and merciless satire of popular culture, society and history reminds some of Monty Python's Flying Circus, who they preceded by a couple of years. They, much like the Beatles and the Monty Python members, credit The Goon Show as a major influence.
"Founding members Philip Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor were a group of aspiring actors/writers when they met at the studios of Pacifica Network station KPFK-FM in Los Angeles in 1966. In the decade that followed, they wrote and performed thirteen albums for Columbia Records, full of dialogue that has become part of the national lexicon." ... "Between 1966 and 1972, Firesign Theatre had a series of regular weekly shows on various Los Angeles radio stations. Radio Free Oz ran from June 1966 to February 1969, first on KPFK-FM, then on KRLA-AM, and finally on KMET-FM. The Firesign Theatre Radio Hour Hour aired for two hours on Sunday nights on KPPC-FM in 1970; Dear Friends aired on KPFK in 1970-1; and Let’s Eat followed on KPFK in 1971-2."
 Notable works
Among the Firesign's more popular albums are:
- Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him (1968) included a twisted counter-culture history of the New World ("Temporarily Humboldt Country"), a merciless parody of the hippy counter-culture, and a Future History of the United States in which hippies rule and the unhip are arrested for faded body paint and failure to have a stash on their person.
- How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All? (1969) featured the hard-boiled detective Nick Danger, Third Eye and a Peter Lorre-sounding slimeball named Rocky Roccoco.
- Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers (1970), a fast-moving channel-surfing trip through television land, with parodies of programs, movies and commercials as George LeRoy Tirebiter, the aging actor, watches himself on TV all night.
- I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus (1971) is a forty minute "trip" to a future-themed fun park where exhibits include a history of creation and evolution and a pair of arguing vegetable holograms ("Keep it sweet, Beet!").
- The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra (1974), in which the famous defective Hemlock Stones and his patient doctor and biographer Dr. Flotsam Jetsam pursue The Electrician, an insane criminal. If you are allergic to puns, be forewarned that this recording is loaded with them.
- Everything You Know Is Wrong (1974) makes fun of every pseudoscience and occult belief in the book, and includes appearances by daredevil Rebus Knebus (a take-off on Evil Kneivel) and Don Brouhaha (after Carlos Castenada's Don Juan).
- In the Next World You're On Your Own (1975) is funny and includes a police spoof, Billy Jack Dog Food (the kind Billy Jack eats!), and the thriving downtown of Holbrook, Arizona (complete with dinosaur) on the front cover.
 Difficult works
- Not Insane Or Anything You Want To (1972) is incoherent even by Firesign Theatre standards. Pass on this one unless you find drug references automatically funny.
- Fighting Clowns (1980) - a spoof of the Presidential election of the year of its production, by this point just an anachronism.