Phil Proctor-Session 1, The Firesign Theatre-Founder-Writer-Performer – Episode #33

Dec 6, 2017 | 3 comments

Phil Proctor is one of the funniest, most multi-talented men ever. His 68-year career has taken him from Broadway, where he appeared in The Sound of Music and A Time for Singing to a lifetime of performing all over the world, even to the former Soviet Union with the legendary Yale Russian Chorus.

He has appeared for over half a century on LPs, CDs, DVDs and on stage and screen in titles such as ZachariahGod’s ClownsHot ShortsThe Madhouse of Dr. Fear with Don Adams, Eat or Be Eaten, Proctor & Bergman’s TV or Not TV, and the overdubbed, cult-hit Republic cliffhanger, J-Men Forever, he is best known as one of the founding members of the legendary Firesign Theatre, the tour-de-force four-man group listed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “thirty greatest acts of all time.” A few of Firesign’s beloved comedy albums include Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like HimHow Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus, The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, Everything You Know is Wrong, and The Three Faces of Al.

In 2001-2002, Firesign created Fools in Space, a monthly two-hour live show on XM Satellite Radio which won the New York International Radio Festival’s Golden Award for Best Continuing Comedy Series. Also in 2001, the group produced the PBS special Weirdly Cool, featuring Firesign’s greatest skits, hosted by fans like Robin Williams, George Carlin, John Goodman and Chevy Chase. Firesign appeared at the London Comedy Store for BBC4 radio, also featuring Mort Sahl, Stan Freberg and Bob Newhart as Americans who influenced British comedy.

In 2006, their album Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers was inducted into the Library of Congress an historical recording, and in 2014, Firesign received the Norman Corwin Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.

Phil shared three Grammy nominations with The Firesign Theatre and three daytime Emmies for voicing Howard DeVille on Rugrats.

On screen Phil has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows including Henry Jaglom’s first film, A Safe Place with Tuesday Weld, Orson Welles and Jack Nicholson.

On TV, he’s appeared on Last Man Standing, Arrested DevelopmentJimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And he has guest-starred in such classic shows as All in the FamilyNight CourtDave’s WorldGolden GirlsCagney and Lacy, and Simon and Simon.

In September, 2017, Phil and David Ossman appeared in a command performance of The Firesign Theatre, or What’s Left of It on the Coolidge stage of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Their appearance sold out in three days.

Today most of Firesign’s classic albums and books are available at www.firesigntheatre.com, including their latest: Everything You Know is Wrong: Declassified — a 2-DVD set of their films, videos and home movies, produced by Taylor Jessen.

And if that’s not enough, Phil has just released his eye-opening new autobiography, Where’s My Fortune Cookie, My Psychic, Psurrealistic Story, co-written with Brad Schreiber.

You can keep up with Phil on his popular monthly blog Planet Proctor.



Executive Producer: Steve Cuden, Producer: Casey Georgi, Announcer: Javier Grajeda
Social Media: Mina Hoffman, Design & Marketing: Holly Reed, Reed Creative Group


  1. Myla Lichtman-Fields

    Great learning about this superb artist and human being. Steve’s unique interviewing skills bring the creative process and Phil Proctor’s talent into focus.

    • Steve Cuden

      So glad you heard this, Myla! Phil is a friend and has been one of my inspirations since I first heard The Firesign Theatre.

    • Steve Cuden

      Myla, you’re so kind. Phil is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. Firesign Theatre’s influence is everywhere in comedy.


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