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THE WHALE FAT FOLLIES

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THE CAST

 

The Whale Fat Follies is the Alaskan show The Department Of Tourism does NOT want you to see. This sleazy extravaganza first appeared during the summer of 1986. During one show just the other night, a woman tourist stomped out in disgust. After all these years, we've still got the touch.

Back at Chilkoot Charlie's in the summer 1974, Mr. Whitekeys & The Oosik Music Company performed an all-Alaskan musical collage called "The Mount McKinley Rock Opera." It was a collection of original satirical music about The Great Land. Most of the audience didn't notice, and the rest responded by requesting anything by Neil Diamond.

Miss Alice Welling as
"Dolly Varton"

But in 1986, the time was right. We gathered a group of strange performers, put together a musical collection of odd Alaskan tales, illustrated it with a multi-media slide show, spent at least $35 on costumes, and Voila --we had the best show in town. It was also the only show in town. It's very easy to succeed when the nearest show of any kind is two thousand miles away.

What was originally designed as a six-week summer run was held over for months. This success can be explained by two things: Alaskans like to laugh at themselves, and Alaskans don't have anything else to do.

There are currently four shows yearly in The Fly By Night Club season: "Springtime In Spenard" (April-May); "The Whale Fat Follies" (June-Sept.); "The Freeze-Up Follies" (Sept.-Nov.); and "Christmas In Spenard" (Nov-Dec.)

Things have changed since the first Follies production: the costume budget is now almost FIFTY DOLLARS. The star of the show is still Alaska, and the people who live here. There used to be a bumper sticker which read "We don't give a damn HOW they do it Outside." Alaskans are still that way.

One night recently, a large group of old-time Alaskans was in the house. I, Mr. Whitekeys, wanted to meet the organizer of the outing. I asked another lady where she was, and was told "She's at home with diarrhea."

I attempted to be tactful. I asked, "You mean she's indisposed?" The elderly Alaskan pioneer looked me and said, "No, you dummy. She has diarrhea." That's Alaska, and that's our crowd.