If you've been to the Irvine Improv on any given night, then you've probably seen the sickest afro in Orange County. The man attached to this afro of awesomeness? Mr. Frank Robnett, a.k.a. “Friendly Frank.” Also a staff member, every third Thursday, Frank graces the stage, spouting observational humor that is riddled with clever wit. Since he is rocking such a hot hairdo, and with the weather being soooo hot (seriously, Mother Nature, WTF?), we figured there was no one better to give us a list of summer-related jams. Get ready to turn up the volume and stand up, South Central Irvine!
5. JOHN TRAVOLTA AND OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, “SUMMER NIGHTS”
Grease! Back in the good old days, when black people were really popular . . . and you can tell because they were all throughout the movie. [Laughs.] This is a good song because at the end of it, they say, “Tell me more; tell me more” because they wanted to know what was going on! What did you do? Did you use a rubber? Was he big? Was he thick? Did he have foreskin? Tell me more; tell me more! That's what it was all about. But really, how could you have a movie named Grease with no black people? I mean, we use grease in our hair, and we cook with it!
4. DJ JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE, “SUMMERTIME”
I bet Will Smith wishes his newest movie, After Earth, was just as popular as the song “Summertime.” It's, like, the summer national anthem! I'm not that big a fan of Will Smith that I'd bump this song in my car, but I might have done it a couple of times just to say that I did. Like, “Hey, man, you ever bump 'Summertime'?” Oh, yeah . . . maybe once or twice. This song gives you a look as to where rap was and where we were as a society. It was all cool and chillin'. It was back when rap was more than just drinking and smoking. Now, it's all a big advertisement to drink. Shot! Shots! Shots! Patrón! Patrón! Patrón!
3. SEALS & CROFT, “SUMMER BREEZE”
“Blowing through the jasmine in my mind.” What the hell? I don't know many brothers that have jasmine in their mind. This is just a laid-back song for when it cools off at night and you're sitting with your significant other. Everybody enjoys a good summer breeze! It's slow, it's got that beat, and it's kind of jazzy. Jasmine also covers the scent of weed, though, so that's probably why he's talking about the breeze. That's really what the whole song was probably about. Obviously, the dude was smoking some weed inside his studio apartment, and he didn't want to get caught. That's why he got jasmine. And this song is from the early '70s so you know they were on some shit!
2. BRYAN ADAMS, “SUMMER OF '69”
I couldn't decide between Lovin' Spoonful's “Summer In the City” and “Summer of '69,” but I'm going with Bryan Adams because of the “69.” What's the summer without a 69? Also, it's the exact temperature of a cool summer! Sixty-nine degrees is considered a cool summer, and 69 is considered a cool position. That's the reason I like this song. Well, Bryan Adams is cool, too.
1. SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, “HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME”
“Hot Fun In the Summertime” has to be my No. 1! Hell, yeah! “Those summer dayssssss. Those summer dayssssss.” Summer days are when you have all of your fun. It's true. They say it in the song! When I was a kid back in St. Louis, one 4th of July, I saw one of the best fireworks displays. It was overcast that day, and apparently, when they were doing the fireworks, they weren't going in the air high enough, so they were blowing up, and the flares were coming down. Everyone had blankets lying around, and I remember everyone was running around. It was chaos! To me, that was the best fireworks display ever, and “Hot Fun In the Summertime” was playing when it was happening. The other reason I like this song is because I had a snake named Sly after Sly & the Family Stone. I was the weird black kid in the summertime with a boa constrictor around his neck.
Friendly Frank performs at the Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-5455; www.Improv.com. Every third Thursday of the month. See website for show times and complimentary tickets (use the promo code AFRO). You can also hit Friendly Frank up for tickets on his website, www.FriendlyFrankComedy.com; on Facebook; and by following him on Twitter: @AfroFriendly.