The Stan Freberg Show

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The Stan Freberg Show was a weekly radio comedy show that ran on the CBS Radio Network for only fifteen episodes in 1957 from July 14 through October 20. The show, starring comedian Stan Freberg and featuring the vocal talents of Daws Butler, June Foray and Peter Leeds, Peggy Taylor as the resident singer, and the musical direction of Billy May, appeared in the 7:30 p.m.(ET) time period following repeats of The Jack Benny Program {"The Best Of Benny"} on Sundays.The show was produced by Pete Barnum

Despite its short run, the show managed to develop some running gags and stock jokes, from Freberg's ambivalence toward Madison Avenue (faux advertisements for "Puffed Grass" and "Food", as well as the classic sketch "Gray Flannel Hatful of Teenage Werewolves") to the overwhelmingly popular interviews with a sneaker-wearing Abominable Snowman. Freberg also developed an elaborate parody of Lawrence Welk's then-current Dodge Dancing Party, which he later released as a single, "Wun'erful, Wun'erful! (Sides uh-one & uh-two)." (He would reprise the Welk impersonation for his final show, in which the fictional Welk tersely mocks Freberg's cancellation.)

By the thirteenth episode, it was clear that The Stan Freberg Show was suffering from a lack of advertiser interest (perhaps helped by Freberg's werewolf comparisons). However, according to Freberg in his autobiography, It Only Hurts When I Laugh, two different cigarette companies did offer to sponsor the program, but Stan turned them down. Because no other advertisers were willing to provide primary or alternate sponsorship on Freberg's terms, CBS canceled the series after fifteen episodes; according to [1], it was the last American network radio show to devote itself purely to comedy.

External links[edit]

  • [2], [3] — Summaries of all fifteen episodes, plus commentary