Kinky FriedmanKinky Friedman

Kinky Friedman can lay claim to being a songwriter, novelist, humorist, cigar entrepreneur and one-time Texas gubernatorial candidate. Born Richard S. Friedman, he was given his infamous nickname by songwriter Chinga Chavin in regard to his kinky hair. In the early '70s his band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys found a unique niche in pop culture as a satirical country-western act. Songs such as "The Ballad of Charles Whitman," "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Get Your Biscuits In The Oven and Your Buns In Bed" turned into cult classics, impressing heavyweights such as Bob Dylan, who often joined Friedman on tour.

"'Saturday Night Live' (in 1976) was a disaster. That was a great opportunity. I should have fit right in. We had a great version of 'Charles Whitman' ready to roll. We'd already rehearsed with John (Belushi), Danny Aykroyd and Steve Martin -- 'the sniper in the tower' -- it was hilarious. And they canned it just before I went on, and that put me in a petulant snit. I got really wrongways with all the producers and stuff. They had a legal problem with the family of Charles Whitman, so they caved in right at the end. But that would have been perfect. It would have been killer. It was a major production number. But right at the last minute I was left just doing this ballad by myself -- 'Dear Abbie' about Abbie Hoffman -- and that was kind of weak. ... But there have been a lot of worst shows because I'm not really a musician. It's the curse of being multitalented. No one takes you seriously. And the people who love my books and take them seriously don't even know I write music. And vice versa. If I could have gotten those audiences together, but now it's too late. I'm in my 60s, which is too young for Medicare and too old for women to care."

— Kinky Friedman