Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Dr. Demento!

For anyone that actually REMEMBERS listening to the radio.
This was my favorite thing to listen to, ever.
Unfortunately, the Dr. Demento show did not aire until midnight, on Sunday nights. I would wait up, just to hear that familiar refrain, and hit "play/record" on the old cassette tape player, then try desperately not to fall asleep.

Gems of novelty songs were played, one after the other, after the other.

"Fish heads fish heads,
rolly-poly fish heads
fish heads, fish heads
eat them up, yum!"

I couldn't wait to see what was going to come on next, and hope it was one of my favorites, or better yet, something new for me to try not to laugh out loud at. (The parents didn't like me up that late, and I've been listening to demento since I was 12, I think). This would explain why Monday's were the days I ALWAYS hated to get out of bed. Speaking of bed. . .

"does your chewing gum lose it's flavor on the bedpost overnight
when your mother says don't chew it do you swallow it in spite
can you catch it on your tonsils, and heave it left and right
does your chewing gum lose it's flavor on the bedpost overnight"

After the show was over, I'd be left with a cheesy cassette tape of whatever the genius Demento had offered that week. Usually you couldn't hear my sleep breathing on the other end of it. On the days you could, it was totally worth it.

"Star trekkin' across the universe
on the Starship Enterprise, under Captain Kirk
Star trekkin, across the universe
boldly going forward 'cause we can't find reverse"

The next day, in the band room, the only place with a cassette players and a music teacher who had the foresight to have surround sound installed all that long ago, on our lunch hour, we would converge, the Demented fans of Demento

"listen up, brothers and sisters
come hear our desperate tale
I speak of our friends of nature
trapped in the dirt like a jail
Vegetables live in oppression
served on our tables each night
this killing of veggies is madness, I say we take up the fight
Salad's are only for murderers
cole slaw's a fascist regime
don't think that they don't have feelings
just 'cause a radish can't scream. . ."

Enraptured, we'd sit, and listen, giggle at some things we probably shouldn't giggle at
"dead puppies
dead puppies
dead puppies
aren't much fun"

and at things that were too funny not to laugh at
"Oh, I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay
I sleep all night and I work all day
I cut down tree's I eat my lunch
I go to the lavatory
On Wednesdays I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea"

I could go on, and on, and on about Dr. Demento, the songs, the memories. Weird Al played on Dr. Demento before everyone else caught on to him, and there are countless other novelty songs that appeared throughout the years. This blog post would take forever.

At Halloween, I break out the Dr. Demento, and play my multitude of his CD's all day long.
It's just not the same, though, as that Sunday night radio show.
I know they play it, somewhere. Probably on Satellite Radio. Which I don't have. So I am left with my memories, and my cd's.


Mimi said...

We sing them a lot too!

CamiKaos said...

I still sing fishheads wayyyy to often

NanaKaos said...

How about Spike Jones' Shaving cream, or Napoleon the 4th's They're coming to take me away? Oh yeah, unfortunately Doctor D. didn't air back here and nobody knows what the hell I'm talking about when I mention Doctor D. How do you explain? You have to hear it to believe. I used to listen to KLAN late on Sunday nights, had to keep the volume low, you remember how my folks were, maybe not you were awful young when you guys left Podunk Central CA. The did not apprectiae the Doctor. Anyway Doctor D. was the best. NK

mielikki said...

Mimi and CK I can always dredge up a Dr. D song to sing. I wrote those lyrics out without even turning on the CD. They are part of me, always. . .

NK-oh, yeah. I love those songs, and Spike Jones was ALWAYS one of my favorites. It must be so sad to live in a place without the Demento. There is no explaining. You either get it, or you don't. And I am not surprised your parents don't get him.

sybil law said...

I do not know of this Dr. Demento, but I do know all of those songs!

David in DC said...

Dr. Demento was the first place I ever hear Weird Al, too.

You or your commenters have hit most of my favorites, but who can ever forget:

"They called him Irving.
Big Irving.
Big, short Irving.
Big, short, fat Irving.
The hundred and forty-second fastest gun ... in the West"

mielikki said...

Syb: Dr. D would have been right up your alley. I cannot verbalize how much fun his radio show was.

DiDC: Old butterfinger Irving shot himself down. . .
I love that one, too! There are just soooo many good ones out there.

DaddyKaos said...

We listened to him at work all of the time. He is still on the air in some locations, Portland being one of them. The station is KCMD, 970 AM on Sunday afternoons.

He can be found online here:

Bubblewench said...

I LOVED DD when I was growing up and did the same thing, taped it..

Hey CK - la la BOOT TO DA HEAD!