In 1975 Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker started The PTL Club, a syndicated religious talk show. One segment featured on the show from time to time featured puppets Susie Moppet and Ollie Alligator (both performed by Tammy Faye) singing religious songs and telling Bible stories (often with Jim’s assistance). Now, as a Christian I understand the importance of entertainment to help kids understand the stories they hear in Sunday school and church, but this album just seems more annoying than entertaining to me. Here are a few samples for you.
We start with the title song, “Oops! There Comes a Smile.” Even before I hear the song, I have a problem with it. Is this even grammatically correct? Shouldn’t it be either “There Goes a Smile” or “Here Comes a Smile”? Apparently Susie Moppet is a cross between Shirley Temple and Edith Ann, Lily Tomlin’s little girl character. And she has a nose like a pig. (No, really she does. Take a look for yourself!) Oh well, enjoy Tammy Faye’s delightful rendition here. (Level of delight may vary by user.)
Next we have “The Joy of the Lord,” a traditional Bible song for kids. Surely that can’t be too painful, can it? Well, there are a few piercing notes that could peel the paint from your wall and disturb neighbors within a half-block radius. And then there’s the laughter—the haunting, taunting laughter! AAUUUUGGGHHH! Get the Pig Girl out of my head!!!
Here’s “Praise the Lord” (which, by the way, is what the “PTL” stands for in The PTL Club), which features Susie singing a duet with Ollie Alligator. In fact, during the chorus they even sing at the same time! (All right, how many of you marveled at how well she was able to perform both voices at once before you remembered that this is a recording?) I think I like Ollie. His semi-deep voice is much easier to take than Susie’s screeching.
We’ll end with a story told by Jim with help from the puppets, “The Pearl of Great Price.” Ollie is eager to help and gets a major role in the story. Susie, on the other hand, bugs Jim constantly while he’s trying to tell it. And that is why you only end up with one line, Pig Girl.
If you’d like to hear the rest of the album (including another story where Ollie gets to play God), you can find it here. See you next time!