RIP to Stan Freberg
I'll be honest, I wasn't sure that Stan Freberg was still alive when I heard the news he'd died yesterday (from Weird Al Yankovic's Instagram). But I spent a great deal of my childhood listening to him, thanks to my parents' taste for vintage comedy.
Of all the things that played in our house — like Paul Simon or Dave Brubeck or Louis Armstrong — Spike Jones and Stan Freberg stand out. Simon's inscrutable lyrics are not something a kid can identify with. But if you're even remotely aware of Dragnet, then Freberg's "St. George and the Dragonet" is a hoot.
So maybe I get just a little extra sad thinking about Stan Freberg than the average celebrity death. My mind free-associates his voices and sketches with my mother. But at the end of the day, his work is funny. It's clean, but not cheesy. It references pop culture of its time, but feels timeless.