The McBeebee twins’ double date

Whitney Balliett perfectly described the comedy of Bob & Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding) in his New Yorker profile of the duo:

Bob & Ray invented, dreamed up the lines for, and then played, mainly on radio and television, a surrealistic Dickensian repertory company, which chastens the fools of the world with hyperbole, slapstick, parody, verbal nonsense, non sequitur, and sheer wit, all of it clean, subtle and gentle…Bob & Ray’s humor turns on their faultless timing and on their infinite sense of the ridiculous. It is also framed by that special sly, dry, wasteless vision of life perfected during the last couple of centuries by middle-class New Englanders…

Nowhere are these qualities better on display than in their performance as the McBeebee Twins, non-identical twins who say the same thing just slightly out of sync. In the video below from Saturday Night Live, the McBeeBee Twins have two lovely women named Patty (Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin) over for dinner. Watch it only if you can tolerate brilliant silliness and need a laugh.

CORRECTION: I am advised that the skit derives from a one-shot special called “Bob & Ray, Jane, Laraine & Gilda” which, as the title implies, featured Bob & Ray along with the female stars of the first SNL cast.


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