Taking Her Music And Comedy Seriously By Peggy Smulsky
Written by Staff on February 23, 2022
The sound of laughter, singing and instruments is more than music to my ears . Music and comedy are much alike . They are both auditory and visual mediums .They require timing , rhythm ,intros and can be improvisational .They can be like quick jab or be a story that is told.
Many songs have comedic lyrics, the novelty songs and many Frank Zappa songs come to mind like Broken Hearts Are For A**h***s And Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow! Weird Al Yankovic took parody to a new level with insanely lyriced versions of famous songs. My love of music goes back to my childhood 45 records, they were purchased everywhere and were inexpensive . My favorite bands were Alice Cooper, T-Rex and Led Zeppelin. In a Catholic elementary school, I was disciplined for bringing a Led Zeppelin 45 record and having it played in a music class. Yes the song Black Dog was blasted in front of my third grade class. Sister Ellen did not know who Led Zeppelin was before that, but boy did she learn fast! I had to write “I will not bring the DEVIL’S MUSIC to MUSIC CLASS!” on the blackboard over and over until my hand almost fell off! I couldn’t help myself I did anything for a laugh in school. The punishment usually left a lasting imprint in my mind as well as my face!
Other comedic influences were the newspaper funnies, comic books and cartoons with great voiceover characters. Rocky And Bullwinkle, Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog were amongst my favorites. TV sitcoms and variety shows, Carol Burnet, Dean Martin and Laugh In, in the early 70’s, Saturday Night Live with Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and SCTV (John Candy) later in that era . Movies with Cheech And Chong (Up In Smoke,) movies with comedians from variety shows and standup, Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, Easy Money and Back To School come to mind. The comedians of that era were the best. Don Rickles, Phyliss Diller, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers were all just amazing performers .
When cable tv became the craze, the classics from Buster Keaton’s silent films, The screwball Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, Our Gang, Abbott And Costello, I Love Lucy and Red Skeleton reruns . BBC sent over Monty Python ‘s Flying Circus And The Benny Hill Show. These were a big part of the comedic side of my creative personality disorder!
When I transitioned from Paul To Peggy in 2012, I felt free to express myself. I started writing poetry and went to open mics and spoken word events everywhere in the Capital District. I wrote two comic books, Dumpster Kat and Shopping Kart Man illustrated by local comic icon Raymond Lowell. Front parlor storytelling soon followed with me reading my comics and other stories on stage.
At the same time, I started going to every live music event in Troy. The Hangar On The Hudson and Rockin’ On The River were the places to see Peggy with her flashy and sexy attire, in a fashion statement that was once described as Cindy Lauper Meets Peggy Bundy, she would dance herself into a frenzy to all of the great local bands and got to know most of the people involved in the Troy music scene. My fanciful footwork and sexy gams got me the nickname Peggy Leggy or Peggy Le Gee which sticks to this day.
Singing karaoke became my next fun activity and the capital district had many venues to do this as its popularity exploded. Community center events were the place to experiment as my spoken word and poetry seemed to take on a comedic tone, rather than the serious subdued style I was known for. My poems and comics were published in magazines with articles and photo shoots, as well as in a poetry chapbook. I went to music open mic events and began to sing live with musicians and even wrote my first song ” Shopping Kart Man ” with my talented friend Niki Kaos, which became a staple of any open mic we were at.
In June 2021 it all came into fruition when I asked Art Fredette to be on RadioRadioX . The Peggy Of Troy Show soon followed every Thursday from 6 -7 pm. The show features a diverse playlist and is full of a somewhat dramatic yet always comedic quick-witted dialogue that can be verbose without being wordy. I have been under the tutelage of local legend and radio journeyman Rob Smittix since the beginning of this odyssey.
I also have hosted Honky Tonk Bingo with DJ Molly Parton in Downtown Troy at the Bradley Tavern And No Fun. It has been a great time with a karaoke contest at the end of each show for the bingo game winners. I am pursuing more comedic writing, possibly standup and a show. I love voiceover acting, possibly cartoon and character accented speech. Is this a nonstop flow of thermoplastic creativity instead of lava? Maybe Pegasus Vesuvius suits me as a moniker better than Peggy Of Troy? It’s not too late you know you can always go to The Peggy Leggy Show!