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The Crazy World of Stan Freberg

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Album Review

Combining Tom Lehrer with Spike Jones (would that make Tom Jones?) and Nichols and May with Joe Friday (a May weekend perhaps?), musical comedian Stan Freberg skewers everyone from Walt Disney to Cole Porter. Mumbling through "Sh-Boom," Freberg drags "The Great Pretender" snarling to "The Heartbreak Hotel," snares "The Yellow Rose of Texas," and takes Harry Belafonte's famous "Banana Boat" sniffling down Lonnie Donnegan's "Rock Island Line." Along the way, he reveals Little Red Riding Hood's true colors, turns Chicken Little over to a shrink, arrests a dragon for overacting (a "dragonet" — get it?! Duuumb da-dumb dumb!), and puts Ebeneezer Scrooge in the modern-day business world (not a far stretch!). Musical? Maybe. Funny? Definitely!


Born: 07 August 1926 in Pasadena, CA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

Hip and irreverent, Stan Freberg was the last network radio comic, a trailblazing satirist whose work greatly expanded the vocabulary of the comedy form. While most postwar comedians used radio and records merely as a springboard for more lucrative film and television gigs, Freberg pushed the envelope in both mediums, creating high-concept musical comedies and sound collages that revolutionized the audio format while setting the stage for the hallucinatory sonic visions of the Firesign Theatre and...
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