The Firesign Theater

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Name: The Firesign Theater
Date(s): 1966–1985, 1993–2012
Medium: Radio Theater, Stage, Audio Recordings, film.
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: website
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The Firesign Theater was an American surreal comedy group. It is likely the first ever all-audio fandom. The members were Peter Bergman, Philip Proctor, Phil Austin, and David Ossman.

Firesign Theater's totally insane, no-holds-barred genius graced the airwaves of underground and community radio via live shows and a series of commercial recordings endlessly played in college dorm rooms beginning in 1968. As the Los Angeles Times put it upon the death of Firesigner Phil Austin: In dorm rooms across the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s, sometimes through a haze of pot smoke, a recording could be heard that sounded like an old-time radio detective show mixed with Eastern mysticism.

Firesign Theater was influenced by The Goon Show. They had a huge fandom, which produced art, fan fiction, zines (including Four-Alarm Firesignal) and other fanworks.

There is fandom crossover with Welcome to Night Vale. Phil Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman and Philip Proctor were an important influence on Fink and Cranor, as is heartwarmingly obvious to Firesign fans who tune in to Night Vale. The release of The Thrilling Adventure Hour/Welcome to Night Vale Crossover in October 2014 contributed substantially to the sense of deja vu among older listeners. Night Vale also has elements of ZBS Media's Jack Flanders adventures, which began with The Fourth Tower of Inverness in 1972.


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