Forty years ago, actress Marlo Thomas put out the classic children's album "Free to Be... You and Me." It featured celebrities like Michael Jackson, Alan Alda and Dianna Ross performing songs and skits that broke down gender and racial stereotypes
The message? You're great, just the way you are:
Well, a lot has changed since 1972, so Rob Kutner, a writer for the Conan show and musician and fellow comic Joel Moss Levinson decided to reboot the album. The result is the newly released spoof, "It's Okay To Do Stuff."
"For me it was the one respite in my parents record cabinet from all the relentless Neil Diamonds and John Denvers," said Kutner. "I think it was an act of love for Joel and Stephen [Levinson, Joel's older brother] and I because we were so obsessed with it and it had such a warm fuzzy place in our childhood. We're such twisted people the only way we can deal with warm fuzzy feeling is to turn them around into something with a little more of an edge."
Both Kutner and Levinson grew up listening to "Free to Be... You and Me," and have fond memories of its message of equality and acceptance. But since so many societal changes have taken place since the 1970s, when "Free To Be" was popular, the pair thought it was about time for an update. Albeit an irreverent one.
"It's a commentary a lot about how much this album did," said Levinson. "There was a time when you really had to discuss [gender differences] and this album did so much to push it forward and now we've reached gender conversations which can leave anybody confused just trying to keep up with how to be appropriate in this world and how to make it right, so we thought we'd play with it."