Back in the day, comedians would sometimes record bits or stories as short albums for various labels. One of the best-selling of all time, and the one that launched his career, was Andy Griffith's "What It Was, Was Football."
The premise is simple: a naive country preacher happens upon a football game, which he has never seen or heard of, and then tries to explain what he saw. The 1953 recording of the story sold 800,000 copies and led to Griffith appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1954, and the story being reprinted along with illustrations in Mad Magazine in 1958.
Both Bill Cosby and Roger Ebert have mentioned the story as something they memorized and recited.
Griffith's descriptions of such a common sight as a football field from the point of view of someone completely baffled by it are endlessly charming: "...and somebody had took and drowed white lines all over it and drove posties in it and I don't know what all. And I look down there and I seen five or six convicts runnin' up and down and a-blowin whistles." After seeing the beginning of the game, the preacher concludes that the point was, "...both bunches full of them men wanted this funny-lookin little punkin' to play with."
Watch the clip above which has Griffith's original recording matched up with George Woodbridge's drawings from Mad.
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