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“It’s OK To Do Stuff”: A “Free To Be… You And Me” For Today

The Album, which you should buy

It’s been 40 years since Marlo Thomas — That Girl! — revolutionized children’s books and records by pouring a big helping of sixties touchy-feely into the pot and coming up with Free to Be… You and Me. Perhaps you recall it, especially if your parents were of a certain ’60s-’70s progressive mind set (read: aging hippies). Our friend, Conan and The Daily Show writer and professional apocalyptan Rob Kutner, remembers, and he’s co-created and produced (with Stephen Levinson and Joel Moss Levinson) a tribute album through Rooftop Comedy… okay, it’s a parody, called It’s OK to Do Stuff.  Where the original had people like a very young Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Alan Alda, and Carol Channing (Carol Channing?), the Kutnerized album features appearances by Lizzy Caplan, Eddie Pepitone, Andy Richter, Fred Willard, Megan Amram, Fred Stoller, Samantha Bee, Eugene Mirman, Colin Hanks, Kimmy Gatewood, James Urbaniak, Jane Wiedlin, Wyatt Cenac, Aaron Bleyaert, and former Barenaked Ladies front man Steven Page, which means it’s going to be a lot more intentionally funny than Marlo’s thing. (Although hers had pending Nerdist Podcast guest and incomparable comedy legend Mel Brooks, too, with his “2000 Year Old Man” straight man Carl Reiner co-writing “Boy Meets Girl,” so there was some comedy pedigree in that one, too)

Lizzy Caplan!

If you recall the original, it had Rosey Grier, the former Los Angeles Rams “Fearsome Foursome” bruiser, singing “It’s All Right to Cry” and a story about a boy who wants a doll. It’s OK To Do Stuff has similar themes, like

in the songs “Divorce Makes A Family Twice As Big”, “Swallow Your Dreams,” and “Everyone’s Equally.” If the irreverence towards what some consider a childhood classic makes you a little uncomfortable, proceeds from the new album will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, so you’re doing good by buying it, too.

Fred Willard!

Rob helpfully sent along a press release in which he’s quoted as saying, “Growing up with irreverent, forward-looking parents, Free To Be… You And Me quickly became part of my DNA. As with all things that enter my DNA, it was only a matter of time before the mutations took over. It’s OK To Do Stuff is the result. I hope you enjoy it — and notify the CDC.”

The album gets released Tuesday (November 20th) through all the usual downloady places like iTunes and Amazon and Google Play, and also through RooftopComedy.com, which has it for preorder by clicking here. (There are a couple of preview clips there as well, and their download is offered in your choice of several file options). It will also be available to stream on Pandora, Spotify, and Last.fm, among others. The thing’s five bucks for nine tracks, so go buy it, help out St. Jude’s, and laugh.

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