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|If you're not from the United States, then you might not get the joke on this one. It is a parody of a television commercial that was originally pioneered by a company call K-Tel and later copied by others. The commercials generally advertised gadgets that could be purchased via mail-order--gadgets that could do an astonishing number of things. Usually, at the end of the commercial the announcer would shout, "But wait! There's more!" and then describe a second, small gadget that would be included for free if you "Buy now!" Saturday Night Live, a U.S. comedy television show, did a "Bass-O-Matic" skit parodying these television commercials, and that eventually inspired Asifa el-Bah'r to create Bassboussamatic (see below for details!).|
Bassboussamatic was produced by Asifa el-Bah'r for the 1997 Oasis Dance Camp South, based on an idea by Sherezzah and Joani of the Rising Phoenix Dancers of Delray Beach, FL. The cabaret choreography taught by Cassandra the previous year, "Bassboussi," was very lively and athletic--which translates, in Florida's climate, to "exhausting." Sherezzah and Joani wanted to do a skit about Bassboussi using elements of the Saturday Night Live "Bass-O-Matic" sketch, and asked Asifa (who inhabits the same body as radio storyteller and drama producer Nora Maki) to produce an audio background. Although "Bassboussamatic" turned out too fast-paced and complicated to accompany with a live skit, it won the "Best Joke" award (second year in a row for Asifa, and she wasn't even there this time!) and can be heard over the closing credits of all three Oasis Dance Camp videos.
Asifa el-Bah'r was one of the early pioneers of industrial bellydance, performing with the band Sharkbait and on Fallout Nights at the End Up in San Francisco in 1991. Industrial bellydance favors post-apocalyptic costumes and martial-looking movements with a variety of edged weapons, and is performed to industrial, Gothic, and techno dance music. Asifa's dance philosophy is "The Goddess has many faces, and they're not all cute."
Nora Maki's surreal radio serial "Hades HAM Journal" can be heard at 6 PM Fridays on KFJC, 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills, CA. KFJC also broadcasts on the Internet.
Oasis Dance Camp is held in three different locations each year, and is attended religiously by a large number of "repeat offenders."
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