Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him
|Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him|
|Studio album by The Firesign Theatre|
|Producer||Gary Usher and The Firesign Theatre|
|The Firesign Theatre chronology|
|The New Rolling Stone Record Guide|
|The Goldmine Comedy Record Price Guide|
- "Temporarily Humboldt County" - 09:14
- "W.C. Fields Forever" - 07:39
- "Le Trente-Huit Cunegonde" - 07:19
- "Waiting for The Electrician or Someone Like Him"  - 17:48
Detailed Track Information and Commentary
As originally programmed on vinyl, side one consisted of three short pieces:
- "Temporarily Humboldt County" is a compressed timeline of the European expansion into North America and the displacement of the Native Americans, a theme the group would revisit often. (The group had been told by friends in Humboldt County, California, that the local Indians added "Temporarily" to the county's name as a way of saying no one could really own the land.)
- "W. C. Fields Forever" is a plotless series of vignettes satirizing hippie culture and philosophy, through a parade of characters at a commune (referred to by a narrating character as "The 'Lazy O' Magic Circle Dudes Ranch and Collective Love Farm") who variously take drugs, eat "natural" foods, practice yoga and embrace Eastern religions. The commune's spiritual leader, "Tiny Doctor Tim", who speaks as if he is very drunk, appears to be a parody of counter culture figure Timothy Leary. The title was inspired by the American comedic actor W. C. Fields and the Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever".
- "Le Trente-Huit Cunegonde" imagines what the world would be like if the counterculture of 1960s were the mainstream. People are arrested for not possessing drugs, politicians use the word "groovy" in their speeches, and bomber aircraft drop copies of Naked Lunch.
Side two consisted of one 18-minute long track:
- "Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him" begins as what appears to be a Turkish language instruction record and quickly becomes a Kafkaesque fantasy of paranoia in which an unnamed innocent (played by Phil Austin) is manipulated by mysterious strangers and authority figures into situations beyond his control. (In the written script, the character is called simply "P." for Phil, a reference to Kafka's use of "K." in The Castle.)
A highlight of side two is the "Beat the Reaper" sketch, a mock game show in which the contestant is injected with a disease and must guess what it is in order to win the antidote (if the contestant fails to self-diagnose, he is sent home with the disease). This segment, included on both the Shoes for Industry: The Best of the Firesign Theatre and Forward Into The Past compilations, probably comes closest to being a self-contained bit that can be successfully separated from the rest of the story.
Issues and reissues
Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him was originally released on Mono LP, Stereo LP, and 8-Track. 
- Mono LP: Columbia CL-2718
- Stereo LP: Columbia CS-2718
- 8 track: 18C-09518
It has been re-released on CD at least three times
Some of the Sony CDs are defective and omit material that should be included. About 16 seconds of the beginning of track 4 is missing. The defective Sony re-release also includes one un-marked bonus track at the end "The Mantras and The Chakras" (04:08) which is not included on any other Firesign release. For more information about the defective copies see: http://www.firesigntheatre.com/media/html/wfte_bad.html
On the cover of the LP the name of the group is rendered "Firesign Theater." On their next album, How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All, the name is spelled "Firesign Theatre." The latter spelling has been used consistently since that time.
- ^ Marsh, Dave, and Greil Marcus. "The Firesign Theatre." The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1983. 175–176.
- ^ Smith, Ronald L. The Goldmine Comedy Record Price Guide. Iola: Krause, 1996. 124–127.
- ^ Firesign Theatre. Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him. Columbia, 1968.
- ^ "FIREZINE: Linques!." Firesign Theatre FAQ. 10 February. 2006 <http://firezine.net/faq/>.
- ^ "Firesign Theatre — Waiting for the Electrician CD — AUDIO ONLY." Laugh.com. Laugh.com. 11 February. 2006 <http://store.yahoo.com/laughstore/firtheatwait.html>
- Firesign Theatre. Firesign Theatre. 19 January 2006 <http://www.firesigntheatre.com/>.
- Firesign Theatre. Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him. Columbia, 1968.
- "FIREZINE: Linques!." Firesign Theatre FAQ. 20 January 2006 <http://firezine.net/faq/>.
- Marsh, Dave, and Greil Marcus. "The Firesign Theatre." The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1983. 175–176.
- Weekes, Ron. "Original Gary Usher Web Page." Original Gary Usher Web Page. 23 September 2005. 21 January 2006 <http://www.garyusher.com/>.