The Yo-Yo Man is Tommy Smothers. You kids today probably have no clue who the Smothers Brothers were. I only really came to know them in their short-lived attempt at reviving The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late 80s. (Others remembered the original series from the 1960s.)
That’s also when I learned to enjoy the fine art of the Yo-Yo Man.
I even had the “Learn at Home” VHS tape that taught me how to do some basic tricks.
I even did a Yo Yo Man routine for the seventh grade talent show. Sure, the teacher in charge of it at first thought it would be too silly for the show, but I think she relented when she realized there weren’t enough people volunteering to do a whole show. And the one kid playing “The Pink Panther” theme on the piano and the other gaggle of girls preparing to do a dance routine to “Everyone Walk the Dinosaur” wasn’t going to display enough versatility of the young troupe. And so it was that I nervously did the Yo Yo Man comedy routine/yo yo trick show.
All I remember from it anymore is that I blew the punchline. After telling a carefully crafted story about an evil drug guy that I took down with my yo-yo, I was supposed to “Just Say Yo.” Forgot about that once I got on stage, though. Whoops.
I did find a Yo Yo Man page, which looks like it hasn’t been updated in many years. Either that, or someone with a web design sensibility of 1998 did it, complete with obnoxious animated GIF files. . .
You Tube has some fun videos:
- Tommy Smothers at the National Press Club throwing his Yo Yo into his pocket. I wouldn’t want to try that one. . .
- Here’s a clip of the Smothers Brothers accompanied by an orchestra doing a Yo Yo song, complete with a Yo Yo demonstration. This is really the classic Yo Yo Man routine.
Here’s hoping some of this will help you, too, achieve the blissful state of Yo this weekend.