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Small Batch Edition: Remembering Stan Freberg

Satirist Stan Freberg, right, and his wife, Hunter.
Satirist Stan Freberg, right, and his wife, Hunter.
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Stan Freberg, who died Tuesday at 88, was a pioneer in music, comedy and advertising. His resume is peppered with firsts and lasts: He was the last radio-only network variety-show host, the first pop-music satirist (Spike Jones had made song parodies, but Freberg's works commented on the performance styles and the culture surrounding them), and a visionary in the art of incorporating humor into TV and radio commercials. He even anticipated decades-later debates over "political correctness" with a song called "Elderly Man River" — a jab at CBS censors Freberg recorded in 1957.

In this Pop Culture Happy Hour Small Batch, Linda Holmes and I spend a few minutes on Freberg's formidable legacy: his focus on belly laughs, his influence on "Weird Al" Yankovic, his parody of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song" and more.

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