Brow Beat

One Comedy Group Has the Perfect Idea for Ken Burns’ Next Project

Once, for a college history course, I huddled beneath blankets and watched Ken Burns’ nine-hour-long The Civil War in one sitting. By hour one I had memorized the famed theme of the award-winning documentary, “Ashokan Farewell.” By hour six I had, I thought, heard every possible instrumental arrangement of “Battle Cry of Freedom” and “Dixie” and seen every single way one could pan and zoom across photos. How wrong I was!

Burns’ style is now so identifiable that it seems almost as indelibly American as his subjects: Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks, Prohibition, The Central Park Five. And that, of course, is why L.A. comedy ensemble Lost Moon Radio’s new send-up of the director is so rewarding. Just in time to accompany his new television series, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which began airing Sunday and continues through the week, the parody tackles all the tropes I loved and hated that fateful night (though Community’s classic episode Pillows and Blankets remains my favorite sly play on this PBS favorite).