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In Memoriam: Stanley Victor Freberg, 1926-2015

One of my favorite funny people is gone. Comedian, voice artist, advertising creative and musician Stan Freberg has died in a Santa Monica, CA hospital of pneumonia at 88. The New York Times has an obit here.

Many of the best recordings played over the years on Dr. Demento's radio program were Stan's, including his masterful takedown of holiday-season commercialism, "Green Chri$tma$." Together with such talents as the late Daws Butler, Mel Blanc, June Foray and Billy May, he gleefully bit the corporate hand that fed him, both in the advertising he created for clients such as Chun King frozen foods and Sunsweet prunes and in his own shows on radio and TV and satirical records such as Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volumes I and II. You can read more about his career in his autobiography, It Only Hurts When I Laugh, in hardcover but now probably out of print. And he went on to influence a number of other artists, including "Weird Al" Yankovic ,"the great" Luke Ski and even the Beatles.

Deepest sympathies to his widow Hunter, his son and daughter, and all the rest of his family, friends, colleagues and fans. And to Mr. Freberg himself, thank you for a lifetime of laughter.


I'll bet you're already cracking them up in Heaven with an impromptu skit about the Pearly Gates. Thank you for uncounted laughs, and I wish I'd gotten a chance to engineer for you...
You're probably right...especially since his old partners-in-crime Daws Butler and Mel Blanc are up there too.
I remember so many of those pioneering personalities - not only Stan Freberg, but Ernie Kovacs, Burr Tillstrom, Paul Winchell... *sigh* Every time I hear about another one of them gone, it makes me feel another notch older. But as long as there are people who remember the great ones - even if they remember them second-hand from seeing the old films and kinescope recordings and primitive videos - the legends still live.

July 2016

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