Creator: Dr Demento
Dr. Demento (AKA Barret Eugene Hansen) is a disc jockey and ethnomusicologist who achieved fame and/or infamy with his long-running syndicated radio program which features strange and bizarre novelty tunes of every type and description. Along with reviving popular interest in performers such as Spike Jones and Tom Lehrer, he introduced "Weird Al" Yankovic to the world, which is pretty much a lifetime achievement in itself. Other performers often associated with his show include Da Yoopers, Napoleon XIV, and The Great Luke Ski.The show continues to air weekly via the Internet, and can be found here.He is reportedly one of Bart Simpson's arch-enemies. Off the air, he has an extensive knowledge of music history, and has written articles, essays, and liner notes on a wide variety of music subjects.
Tropes associated with the good Doctor:
- Alliterative Name: Not just his own on-air name, but his crew of regulars mostly had alliterative nicknames too (Whimsical Will, Musical Mike, Jovial Joan, etc.)
- Anti-Christmas Song: He usually devotes all of December to holiday music and these make up the majority of the playlists.
- Black Comedy: A staple of the show, exemplified by the all-time most-requested song, "Dead Puppies (Aren't Much Fun)" by Ogden Edsl. Usually with a good helping of Lyrical Dissonance to boot.
- Bowdlerise: Tends to Sound Effect Bleep out naughty words on his broadcasts, including an epic version of George Carlin's "seven dirty words" routine with a different effect for each word.
- The Cameo: Often turns up in Weird Al music-videos.
- Also has a small role in the video for "Fish Heads" by Barnes & Barnes (which starred, and was directed by, Bill Paxton).
- Christmas In July: An annual tradition on his show.
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: For the majority of his over-the-air run he actually hosted two different weekly shows: a live four-hour show in Los Angeles, and the pre-recorded two-hour syndicated show. The LA version was more freewheeling, with a crew of regular cast members, and had a weekly top ten countdown. The syndicated show was mainly just Demento with occasional guests, had the Funny Five countdown, and he didn't play as much sex- or drug-oriented material. Generally he used the LA version as a proving ground for new material which he would add to the syndicated show.
- Early-Bird Cameo: On the April 18, 1976 national show he played a home-recorded jingle called "Dr. D Superstar" sent to him by a high school kid who listened to his LA show, Alfred Yankovic.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In his earliest shows he only played a few novelty records here and there but when he realized those were getting the most response from his listeners he decided to devote the majority of his show to them.
- Filk Song: He at least borders on this genre at times, calling it "Dementia".
- Innocent Innuendo
- Lobotomy: Topic of the song "I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me (Than a Frontal Lobotomy)." It's all in the title (which was originally a Tom Waits quote), but to recap: would you rather solve your problems with alcohol, or would you choose frontal lobotomy?
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Some of the songs he plays can probably cause brain damage.
- More Popular Spin Off: How he got his start.
- No Hit Wonder: Not Demento himself, but many of the bands he plays; Da Yoopers are a prime example.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The opening theme is "Pico and Sepulveda", originally recorded by Freddy Martin (under the name Felix Figueroa) in 1947, but eventually replaced with an instrumental version. The show closes with the 1928 song "Cheerio, Cherry Lips, Cheerio" by Scrappy Lambert.
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: "Stay demented!"