Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Memory Lane: Dr. Demento

Do you remember the good old days of junior high school? Just kidding, it was a miserable time. But one beautiful distraction from the torment of my hormones and my peers was Dr. Demento.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, on Sunday nights you could find me listening to the good doctor on 94.7 KMET in Los Angeles. This was a 4-hour live show. It is amazing that they used to program stuff like that, isn’t it?

This was high-brow entertainment, with such memorable songs as “Dead Puppies”, “Fish Heads”, “Pico and Sepulveda”, and anything that Weird Al ever recorded. My friends and I would recite the funnier lyrics to each other on Monday mornings.

Sadly, once I got my driver’s license and started to notice girls, Dr. Demento faded away for me. But whatever happened to him? I had to check it out.

Well, it turns out he was more than just a local phenomenon. I did not know it at the time, but his show was syndicated on Westwood One, and had about 100 affiliate stations. He continued the show until June of this year (syndicated by himself), which is quite a run.

For the record, in real life he is a regular 69 year-old guy whose name is Barret Hansen. He was originally from the midwest, and ended up in Los Angeles in the 1960s, where he had come to get his master’s degree from UCLA.

If you miss his show, he also still does a video podcast every week for The Real UHF, which you can find at, or you can go to his website ( to listen to his older material.


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