Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

362. Mel Brewer and Ron Fields

February 25, 2012

Q: I remember a bit on the radio, mid 1970s that had me and my brother in stitches. I would love to locate it. It was Albert Brooks (I believe) interviewing either the real Charles Nelson Reilly, or a great impersonation. Reilly was musing and going off in all different tangents. At one point he says “We’re talking Gump Worsley”. I don’t remember much else in terms of details. All I remember was nearly dying laughing.

A: Almost every clue you gave was off, except the part about “Gump Worsley.” That could only mean one thing: “The Mel Brewer Show” bit from the 1975 NatLamp LP Goodbye Pop. The characters in it were Mel Brewer, a late-night radio DJ (played by Bill Murray) and Ron Fields, a fast-talking record promoter (played by Christopher Guest). In the bit, Fields gives Brewer an “inside tip” that the next big trend in music will be whaling songs, apparently mixed up about the kind of music Bob Marley and the Wailers played, which was an actual trend at the time—Reggae. Gump Worsley was given as the sort of person the new music would appeal to. Murray and Guest reprised these characters several times on the LP and also on the Radio Hour (“Mel Brewer’s Insomnia Time”).


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