Manny P. here…
Stan Freberg was the comic genius who lampooned American history in his landmark recordings and was hailed as the father of the funny commercial. His face might not have been as recognizable as other humorists, but his influence was arguably greater, thanks to a huge body of work assembled over 70 years that encompassed comedy albums, advertising jingles, radio, television, and nightclub performances.
He planned to attend Stanford University on a speech scholarship, but the summer before, he decided to visit Hollywood on a lark to see if he might have a chance in show business. He recalled taking a bus to Hollywood Boulevard and walking into the first office building he saw, one housing a talent agency called Stars of Tomorrow. On the strength of his impressions of famous people, and his distinctive booming voice, the agency sent him to Warner Brothers’ cartoon division, where he was hired the next day.
The satirist had his greatest impact through records and syndicated radio shows that began in the mid-1950s. His masterpiece was the pioneering funny concept album Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America, a work produced in two volumes that sounded seamless although they were recorded 35 years apart. They took the listener from the time of Columbus’ arrival in North America up to the time of World War I. STAN FREBERG ————>
He appeared in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World; and he voiced numerous cartoon characters for such work as Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp, It’s Time for Beany, and The Bugs Bunny Show. He was also a favorite of Ed Sullivan. Stan turned his attention in the late 1950s to advertising. He won two dozen CLIO awards, advertising’s equivalent of the Oscar. He was inducted into the Halls of Fame of radio, songwriters, and animation.
All the while, he continued to work. In recent years, he continued to be a panelist at the Comic Con pop-culture convention. In November, he was honored in The Genius of Stan Freberg, a retrospective hosted by The Simpson’s Harry Shearer and attended by the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Weird Al Yankovic, and others.
A personal favorite of mine on vinyl was his sendup of Gunsmoke. It made quite an impression on me about the nature of comedy. The venerable Stan Freberg was 88.
James Best was best known for playing the inept Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard. He spent six decades in cinema and television; and also worked as an acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician.
Best appeared in such films as Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Winchester ’73, The Caine Mutiny, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Forbidden Planet, The Naked and the Dead, Shenandoah, The Killer Shrews, The Left-Handed Gun, Firecreek, Ode to Billy Joe, Nickelodeon, and Hooper. He had a formidable career on the small screen, with roles in The Andy Griffith Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, The Rifleman, The Fugitive, The Virginian, Combat, Flipper, and In the Heat of the Night. In all, Best guest-starred more than 280 times in numerous television shows. JAMES BEST –>
His indelible image on The Dukes of Hazzard remains his most recognizable legacy. Best remained close friends with Sorrell Brooke (Boss Hogg) and Catharine Bach (Daisy Duke) until his passing.
The amiable James Best was 88.
Until next time> “never forget”