previous page: Firesign Theatre Lexicon [E]
page up: Firesign Theatre: Lexicon FAQ
next page: Firesign Theatre Lexicon [G]

Firesign Theatre Lexicon [F]


This article is from the Firesign Theatre: Lexicon FAQ, by Niles D. Ritter ritter@earthlink.net with numerous contributions by others.

Firesign Theatre Lexicon [F]

FALL OVER: A common phrase occurring throughout FT plays is "(s)He's
no fun, (s)he fell right over". This is tied indirectly to {FUDD'S LAW}:
If you push something hard enough it will fall over. {NANCY} is a
real push-over. See also {TESLACLE'S DEVIANT} and {BOZO}.

Lots of people fall over in FT plays, presumably in obedience to
{FUDD'S LAW}. Among them, {BABE} in the {TWO PLACES} play,{NANCY} fell
over in
an episode of {NICK DANGER}, Third-eye,and Edmund's Nuncle fell over in
the play "Waiting for the Count of Monte Cristo (or someone like Him,"
in the {NOT INSANE} album ("What,what,Dead drunk ... NAY DEAD!").

The Nick Danger reference is particularly dizzying, as the following
transcript shows:

NANCY: [DIZZY] The whole world is spinning!
NICK: That's lucky for us! If it were flat, all the Chinese would
fall off!


NICK: She's no fun, she fell right over. Wait a minute...didn't I
say that on the other side of the record. Where am I? I better


NICK: Oh, it's OK, they're speaking Chinese..

-- Note: the "Chinese" are on the other side of a *flat* vinyl record,
which is spinning!

This phrase was quoted recently by the character Dr. Venckman on the
cartoon version of "The Real Ghostbusters", in the episode titled,
'My Uncle Harold'.

In {BOZO} we hear, "Animals without backbones hid from each other,
or fell down."

FIREHEAD: A Firesign-Theatre Fan.

{BERZERKERS}. The FT's {BBOP} book describes them all as follows:

The five lifestyles of man in the future are, starting from top to
bottom, though it's circular:

First the {BERZERKER}. Clue to a Berserker: Anybody who's got a
gun.Anybody in a lime-green car with eight-foot tires, called Demon or
Barracuda. Any Army officer, anybody in uniform. A Bobby is not a
Berserker. But maybe he is because he carries his job, his badge. Most
people who have jobs. There's a Berserker aspect to all of us. You can
play softball with a Berserker. A Berserker doesn't always have to
kill, but in the back of his mind, it's not a bad idea.

Under the Berserkers are the {ZIPS}. The archetypal Zip is the 1930's
guy with the thin moustache. Zips have always been concerned with hair.
We're exhibiting Zip tendencies in having rather fancily cut
moustaches. We're all prone to these various aspects. There's a Zip in
everyone's kip, is the World War One English expression. Zips love new
products. Zips are often found inside new headphones. They've got zip,
pep. Zzzzzip! Zip me up! Most actors are Zips. There's a category
called Hip Zip, which David invented yesterday.

B.O.Z.O. is the Brotherhood of Zips and Others. Bozos are people who
band together for fun and profit. They have no jobs. Anybody who goes
on a tour is a Bozo. Why does a Bozo cross the street? Because there's a
Bozo on the other side. It comes from the phrase *vosotros*, meaning
others. They're the huge, fat, middle waist. The archetype is an Irish
drunk clown with red hair and nose, and pale skin. Fields, William
Bendix. Everybody tends to drift towards Bozoness. It has Oz in it.
They mean well. They're straight-looking except they've got inflatable
shoes. They like their comforts. The Bozos have learned to enjoy their
free time, which is all the time.

(###"*vos otros*" is a multilevel pun on the spanish noun, *bosotros*,
meaning clowns, "the 'b' and the 'v' being the same" -- ed.)

Now, the {BOOGIES}. You see a bunch of Boogies around you. That's our
lifestyle. There are more spades in this class than any other. But the
world is changing. There are now getting to be a lot of spade Zips. And
spade Bozos. Boogies don't differentiate between grass and alcohol.
People who work in post offices are generally Boogies. They take it
easy. They don't Zip. They're not Bozos because they don't clone. They
boogie around rather than hanging around one another. They Boogie.

The other class is the {BEANERS}. The Beaners live outside the Law of
Gravity. They have more color television sets than anybody in the
world. They're always appearing either on or with you color TV. They
watch themselves on color TV. Beaners are very concerned with their own
refuse, which they leave piled up around their house, but always in
use. They're always going to use it. Hundreds of old pickup trucks. All
Indians are Beaners. They don't care. Why should they? Beaners can't
tell lies. They fear no one. "Don't point your finger at me Daddy-o, I
cut it off!" Pico and Alvarado are Beaners. We love the Beaners.

Most youth is Bozo-like now [early 70's]. That's why people get so
upset when Berzerkers come into a Bozo gathering. 'Cause Bozos never do
anything to anybody. Bozos keep having rock festivals. They create
marijuana free-areas. Grass has moved into Bozodom.

The Berserkers and Zips run things now. Why does a Zip pay taxes?
Because he likes to fill out the forms. Berserkers run things by
telling you the Beaners are going to get you. Those desperate Beaners
may strike at any time! All politicians are Berserkers.

Update for the 90's:

During the late 70's the youth began drifting into {ZIP}ness, with the
disco-era, and the general populace, in definite {BERZERKER} mode,began
the Reagan years....

The use by former {PRESIDENT} George Bush, referring to some other
politicians as "Bozos" may not have been influenced by the FT, but it
might as well have been. Bush himself, like most politicians,was a

Clinton has been showing definite {BOZO} tendencies in the way that he
{CLONES}, {BOOGIE}ness with his non-inhaling experiments,{ZIP}ness with
Cristophe, but to date only a few {BERZERKER} tendencies...

But remember: it's all cyclical!


FOLEY: Sound Effects Techniques. See {SFX}.

FOOD: Let's Eat! Here are just some of the many foodstuffs
discussed in Firesign Theatre lore:

Nick's Swell {PIZZA} with no {ANCHOVIES}
A mighty {HOT DOG} is our lord!
{RAT} IN A BOX (Mouse on a stick Yum!)
Silverberg won't go over Pork Chop Hill
HAMBURGER All over the highway in Mystic Conn.
Louie's Wipe Out Pumice Hamburgers
GROAT CAKES (Heavy on the 30-weight Mom!)
{CORN} ! Now we can make tortillas/whisky !
{EGGS} Let's just call them, the "{PHENOMENA}".
{BLUE MOSS} Now you too can be an alien!
{RAT IN A BOX} Guts in a Cup! (Yum!) Mouse on a Stick (Wow!)
French-Fried Fleas and Beer-battered Ticks
Squirrel Squares from Road-Ready Flatsnax
{LOOSTNERS} Caster-oil flakes
{OCTOBER BLIND} The Duck-flavored coffee!
More {SUGAR} !
Arnie's Whole Beef Halves (We deliver everywhere):
Admirable Bird's Deep Fried Chicken Fingers
Mrs. Smith's Deep Disk Sheep Dip Cherry Stone Pies
How about some of that old Phillipino Creamy
(coming in shorts & quarts)?
Tubs of Slaw (sorry only one tub per family)
Sleepy Joes at House of Bad Brains de Chicanos from Outer Space
Red beans and reds!
P.J. Probe wines - with Weal Meat Fwavor
Billy Jack Dog Food ("Us old folks like it, too!")
CLAM CAKES, unless they get too damp.
The nicest PECARRY PIE in all of Lompoc.
"Beans...last of the Beans."
"I'm so sick of Chinese Food!"
Oil Beer
Coke ("I understand it comes in bottles in this country.")
Uncle Siggy's Peruvian Cocoa Powder
One fancy ale ("comin' up......he forgot the glass!")
A taste of fabulous YUCATAN BLUE.
Laughing Cow Cheese
Maraschino Cherries

What about the varied menu at Vince Ptomaine's Leg of
the Crow Restaurant?

And who can forget the bite-sized individually
wrapped portions of genuine meat, as advertised
by Kim Clock?

FOUR OR FIVE CRAZY GUYS: The Firesign Theatre.

FUDD'S LAW: "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will {FALL OVER}".
A Law Enunciated by the FT in the {WALL OF SCIENCE} segment of
{ITWABOTB}. The full name is "Fudd's First Law of Opposition", and
was enunciated by Sir Sidney Fudd.

Here are some other FT Rules, with references:

1. If you give the people a light, they'll follow it anywhere. {POOP}

2. If you push something hard enough, it'll fall over. {ITWABOTB}

3. If you dig a deep enough hole, everybody'll want to jump into it.


FT: The Firesign Theatre.


FUTURE FAIR: From {BOZOS} -- The FUTURE FAIR was an amusement park
which looked fondly back to the future. (The movie title "Back to the
Future" may have been influence by this). "A fair for all and no fare
for anybody!" The motivations for this fair are numerous: the 1933
Chicago Worlds Fair, with its "Hall of Science" (see {WALL OF SCIENCE}),
and the 1939 World of Tomorrow Worlds Fair in New York, with its
"Futurama" display.

FTAEBGB: (Faster,Further) Than Anyone's Ever Been Gone Before!
Lots of people are always breaking the limits in FT plays.

In {HEMLOCK STONES} Sumatran {RAT} episode, after installing the
{ZEPPELIN TUBE} into their yacht, Violet Dudley, says, "Whoo! that's
faster than anyone's ever been gone before!

For example, in {NICK DANGER}, "Cut 'Em Off At the Past" episode, we

CATHERWOOD: "I'll be gone for thousand years!"
NANCY: "Gee, that's longer than anyone's ever been gone before."
CATHERWOOD: "But to you it will seem only a moment. Very well,
my dear: Forward Into The Past!" <fading>
NANCY: "I hope he gets back before all this dry ice melts."


Continue to:

previous page: Firesign Theatre Lexicon [E]
page up: Firesign Theatre: Lexicon FAQ
next page: Firesign Theatre Lexicon [G]