Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death

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Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death
Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1998 (1998-09)
RecordedFebruary 3—April 1, 1998
StudioSunburst Recording, Culver City, CA
ProducerThe Firesign Theatre
The Firesign Theatre chronology
Pink Hotel Burns Down
Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death
Boom Dot Bust

Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death is a comedy album by the Firesign Theatre that was released in 1998 on Rhino Records. Its main theme satirizes 1990s radio formats and public hysteria over the Y2K programming bug. Give Me Immortality... is the first of the Firesign Theatre's Millenium CD trilogy We're Doomed, which includes Boom Dot Bust and Bride of Firesign.[1]


The album takes the form of a fictional radio broadcast on the night of December 31, 1999.[2] Radio Now is a FunFunTown (apparently modeled after Los Angeles, California) radio station whose format changes approximately every hour at the slightest whims of overzealous market researchers and focus groups. The album chronicles Radio Now's attempt to operate normally on the final day before the year 2000, a day riddled with apocalyptic omens, rampant computer errors, and dangerous doomsayers. The station is populated by DJ Bebop Lobo (Phil Austin), his producer Dwayne (Peter Bergman), news anchors Harold Hiphugger (David Ossman) and Ray Hamberger (Philip Proctor), sports commentator Chump Threads (Bergman), and self-help guru O'Nann Winquedinque (Austin).[3] Also reporting from outside the station are celebrity stalker Danny Vanilla (Ossman) and helicopter-bound traffic reporter Col. Happy Panditt (Proctor).


The album, made in 1998, lampoons the various world-threatening results which were being predicted from the Y2K bug. It also satirizes the media exploitation of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Joe Camel controversy, and the Art Bell radio show.

A running gag involves eyeballs, which at one moment represent binary digits (the digit 1 resembles the letter I, a homophone of "eye", while the digit 0 is in the shape of a ball) and at other times seem to be an allusion to The Residents ("Guyz in Eyeball Hats"). Another is "U.S. Plus", an apparent multi-national conglomerate with intentionally vague commercials that hint at their all-encompassing presence ("We're U.S. Plus. We own the idea...of America!"). The urbane, sophisticated Goddess Airways commercials promise "no bloody babies" on their flights.

References to earlier Firesign Theatre albums[]

Used car dealer Ralph Spoilsport (Proctor), last heard in How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All, appears selling used body parts in a "going out of body" sale.

Newscasters Harold Hiphugger (Ossman) and Ray Hamberger (Proctor), introduced in Everything You Know Is Wrong, work at the Radio Now station.

Caroline Presskey (Proctor), a gameshow contestant on Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, is heard in a telephone conversation.

Track listing[]

  1. Unconscious Village: Wake Up
  2. Eyeballs In The Sky
  3. U.S. Plus: Pork
  4. The Celebrity Stalker
  5. Sports In Your Shorts
  6. Ralph Spoilsport's Going Out Of Body Sale
  7. The News Drought Continues
  8. Goddess Air Presents 'Hullo, Don't Worry!'
  9. A Developing Chase Situation
  10. Pull My String
  11. Princess Goddess Escapes The Celebrazzis
  12. Chump Takes Some Hits
  13. Polar Pro: Texas Trots
  14. Miss Shelob's Feelin' Poorly
  15. Unconscious Village: Last Days Sale
  16. Mr. Coffee Comes Up Zeros
  17. Glacier
  18. Gridlock At Homeless Stadium
  19. Polar Ice: Party Vertical
  20. Going, Going, Gone á la Blonde
  21. Sex With My Hat
  22. Trippple Ripppoff
  23. Night Whispers
  24. Bebop And Dwayne Feel No Pain
  25. Smokin' Joe Says Farewell
  26. U.S. Plus: Zeros And Ones
  27. Chump Makes A Resolution
  28. The Doll Drop
  29. RadioNow Says Good-By And Hello


  1. ^ "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death". Firesign Media. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Sirois, A. L. (September 12, 1998). "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death". SF Site. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Roberts, Sam (June 25, 2015). "Phil Austin (a.k.a. Nick Danger) of Firesign Theater Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
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