During a chat with Weird Al Yankovic last summer, the master song parodist noted that he is not the only musical humorist on the circuit.
“There’s other guys out there who are making some funny songs,” Yankovic said. “You just have to dig a bit to find some of these funny guys.”
One of those guys is Pat Godwin. Godwin has been making amusing music for nearly as long as Yankovic, who has been crafting hit parodies for 40 years. The prolific Godwin has been writing and recording rib ticklers for radio since 1988. A Pennsylvania native, Godwin has been performing for 30 years.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to do what comes naturally to me for a living. Who wouldn’t love doing this for a living? What I do has never felt like a job, which I think is the key to happiness.”
The difference between Godwin and Yankovic is that the latter writes parodies and the former primarily crafts original songs.
“There is a big difference,” Godwin said. “I write some parodies, but I typically come up with my own songs. That’s where I tend to go. The feedback has always been really good.”
Godwin isn’t just talking about fans. A number of very prominent musicians have given Godwin the thumbs up and some have jammed with him.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and The Rolling Stones have given their approval to songs Godwin has penned, which poke at each icon. Randy Newman was impressed with Godwin’s “Sing, Potato Sing!” The satiric track was inspired by a snarky comment Newman made about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson in a Rolling Stone article. Newman played the quirky tune with the witty writer a generation ago when Godwin was part of a Philadelphia rock radio station’s morning show.
Godwin enjoys poking fun at aging rockers. “I Know We’re Ugly and We’re Old but You Like Us” is a playful parody of The Rolling Stones’ “I Know It’s Only Rock and Roll But I Like It.”
Godwin is constantly writing songs.
“Creativity rises to the level of need,” he said. “The concept of writer’s block cracks me up. If you need to write, you get it done.”
He’ll deliver comedic tunes, like the hilarious “Gangsta Folk” — edgy hip-hop lyrics presented on an acoustic guitar — when he returns to Penguins Comedy Club in Cedar Rapids for the first time in a year. But be prepared for plenty of extemporaneous banter.
“What I love to do at these shows is the improvisational thing,” Godwin said. “I like to work the crowd and I’ll have fun with that at Penguins.”
When Godwin isn’t on the road, he’s in Indianapolis working with “The Bob and Tom Show,” which is syndicated around the country and airs on KKRQ-FM (100.7 FM) in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area.
“I’ve been on ‘The Bob and Tom Show’ full time since January,” Godwin said. “I was always a guest but Tom (Griswold) hired me. I focus on the show all week but I have time to focus on weekend gigs. I’ve been at this a long time. I use everything at my disposal. I like to talk about the difference in age when I perform. A lot of people are 20-somethings at my shows, so I’ll go off on alternative music. I’m an older guy with younger crowds and an even younger child.”
Godwin’s son is 8 years old.
“Having a kid that age keeps you on your toes,” Godwin said. “Between my work with ‘Bob and Tom,’ my shows and my son, it seems like I’m always on my toes, which keeps a guy like myself, who is in his late 50s, feeling young. I’m always inspired to satirize so many different styles. I’m a satirizing machine. It’s my passion.”
• What: Pat Godwin
• Where: Penguins Comedy Club, 208 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
• When: 8 p.m. Friday (11/8) and Saturday (11/9)
• Tickets: $13 advance, $15 door; (319) 362-8133 or Penguinscomedyclub.com
• Artist’s website: Patgodwin.com