Ol’ Alligator Jackson hates goin’ to the doctor. But thirty years ago, there was a doctor AJ couldn’t wait to see….heck…..this gator would go to his office every week. Well, the office was a radio and the appointment was 10-12 on a Sunday evening. The doctor was Dr Demento.
Ol’ Doctor D would give big ol’ shots of demented classics. His patients were referred to as “dementos” and “dementites.” His two hour broadcast would start out with “The Doctor Is In” and would wind up with the “Funny Five”, the most requested songs of the week.
The Dr. is still up to his old tricks. He can be found at
www.drdemento.com and is heard on a few stations around the country. But back in those days, we didn’t have The Comedy Network…hell….we didn’t even have The Cartoon Network. If we wanted a different kind of comedy it was either Dr Demento or Benny Hill. Ahhh…..Benny Hill….that’s another column…..
It didn’t matter what type of music you liked….whether it be country, metal, punk…..Everyone liked ol’ Dr D. A lil’ bit of silliness never hurt anyone. There were some classics…..”Pencil Neck Geek by Freddie Blassie. Heck….I still remember most of the words
When I was a kid/ life was goin’ swell
Something came along/ blew it all to hell
The day my daddy stumbled in all pale and weak
Said lady up the block just gave birth to a geek
Ma said sell it to the circus what the heck
Dad said no this one’s a pencil neck
Anything lower than a sideshow freak
Is a lowdown scum sucking pencil neck geek
Not sure if that was the exact lyrics the way ol’ Classie Freddie Blassie, the old wrestler and wrestling coach sang ‘em, but here’s the gist of the chorus:
Pencil neck geek/ grit eatin’ freak
Scum sucking peahead with a lousy physique
A one man no good losing streak
Nothing but a pencil neck geek
Well….you get the idea by now. Then you had Barnes and Barnes (one of the band was Billy mummy who played Will Robinson on the original Lost In Space tv show) with the demented classic “Fish Heads.” Dr Demento even gave a young whippersnapper a chance back in the late seventies - early eighties. He let some young guy name Weird al Yankeovic play his songs on their. “My Bologna” a parody of “My Sharona” by The Knack was one of the first.
Monty Python was a Demento favorite with tunes like “Spam” and “The Lumberjack Song”, Monty Python regularly hit the Funny Five.
“Dead Puppies” with the classic line “They don’t come when you call, they don’t chase sticks at all/ dead puppies aren’t much fun.” I guess in a way, Dr Demento helped influence a lot of the sick comedy we have now. His name doesn’t come up much anymore but every now and then I get into a good conversation about ol’ Dr D.
The novelty song in general is a dying art. It’s a shame. Rock music these days is often too angst ridden and angry. We need a few good ol’ fashioned novelty songs. Some good escapism. Nothing like “They’re Coming to Take Me away” to break some stress. “They’re coming to take me away HAHA”.
Well, ol’ Doc was recently elected into The National Radio Hall and Fame. And he should be…..he’s a true American original…….just like baseball, apple pie, hot dog, pencil neck geeks, and fish heads! And DON”T FORGET TO STAY DEMENTED! Hey, that was a good closing line by the Doctor, but of course, it’s no CHOMP ON!!!!!