The first time I was exposed to the work of Stan Freberg was when some prankster in my middle school played his famous soap opera parody “John and Marsha” over the public address system during class. It was unexpected, inappropriate and just plain weird; it had everyone in hysterics.
I became much more familiar with Freberg’s oeuvre when I discovered the “Dr. Demento Radio Show,” which I listened to ritualistically every Sunday night.
Stan Freberg quickly became one of my all-time heroes (along with Allan Sherman, Tom Lehrer and Spike Jones).
In the late ’90s I was fortunate enough to cast Stan Freberg in my short-lived CBS children’s series “The Weird Al Show.” Stan played J.B. Toppersmith, the cantankerous head of the network who would constantly make my life miserable by giving me ridiculous notes and suggestions.
As long as I live, I’ll never forget what an enormous thrill it was for me to wake up every morning knowing that I’d be working alongside my hero, the great Mr. Freberg.