My Blog List

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RIP, JOHN STEPHENSON, 1923-2015, this time for real

Forget about the last FAKE death notice that someone tried doing..

There were rumors 3 years ago of John Stephenson, also known as Fred Flintstone's bossy employer G.T.Slate,
and the assorted Cary grant, Edward Everett Horton, W.C.Fields, Howard McNear, Frank Nelson,etc. sounding
Bedrock inhabitants all on the show, and of Top Cat's Cary Grant like buddy "Fancy Fancy",  and of Johnny Quest's
dad Dr.Quest (when Don Messick wasn't doing the voice), and finally of all those Scooby Doo villians, and of many other
announcements (from Dragnet TV announcings)to current Account-Temps radio ads) having passed on.
At the time, back then, proven false.
Life could go on.

But now all those rumors are finally proven true, as over the weekend Mr.Stephenson finally, at 91, succumbed.

You can read much more here:

A native of Kenosha, Illinois, John Stephenson started doing a number of radio shows and TV as well, very admirable, even appearing in the very first
I Love Lucy (most voice artists this side of Mel Blanc appeared there)..and , well, Yowp (JGB) has more on it..
RIP George Slate, Fancy Fancy, the E.E.Horton like "Dr.Stonewall" ("When a person's sick he needs help, help help help", season 2's "X-Ray Story), Perry Gunite (doing that real hip wlak to heaven that he did when going into his when Fred viuisited him-Season1's "Love Letters"), the X-Ray doctor who also had the Horton like voice ("If a HUMAN ever got a DINOPEPETIC germ? Oo..we doctors even HATE to think ABOUT it", also from
Season 2,"X-Ray Story), the policemen, Hollyrock directors,etc.on the Stones, Top Cat's Grant sounding "Fancy Fancy", Johnny Quest's beloved dad, and even that guy at the amusement park who..oh yeah. Old Man Dithers (HEY....anyone who can gripe about Scooby Doobie
and those meddling kids is okay in our bookeroo!)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

And folks, that was just the TIP of the Freberg.

In addition to Gary Owens, master satirist and actor Stan Freberg (August 7,1926, Pasadena California-April 2015) has also died..

Freberg started out hopefully to do radio and did radio and early Columbia/WB cartoons starting around the 1940s., then Lantz/Universal and others.

Played a Kangaroo in "Kongoroo"(Columbia,1946)
A Horse, Charlie, in "You're a Grand Old Nag"(Bob Clampett/RKO,his only short,1946)
The early puppet Cecil the Sea Sick Sea Serpent from the same mastermind, who of course with Freberg ALSO worked at WB. Speaking of which:

MOST people TODay, THOUGH probably most know his 1940s-1950s Warner work the most:
Bertie the mouse to Mel Blanc 's Hubie in late 40s Hubie and Bertie cartoons

Grover the Groundhog from "One Meat Brawl" (1947)

Post-"Bugs Bunny and the Three bears" Junyer (voiced by Mel Blanc originally)

Elmo, the mouse "at 2706" where his gal is, and the cat chasing him in the end (with the Jimmy Durante voice) in "A Hick,  A Slick, and a Chick" (with Mel Blanc doing the "drunk" voice)(1948)

Pete Puma, the hapless cougar after that little chipmunk like rabbit and talking with a Frank Fontaine voice (EEEEEE) in "Rabbit's Kin" (1952)

The Gambling Bug from "Early to Bet"("Oh no, not that! NOT the POST!") (1951)

The lead of the Goofy Gophers in ALL their shorts prior to their weak final one, the inexplicably angry and teamed Daffy-Gophers short "Tease for Two" where Mel Blanc did both voices (the Gopher twins being a reversal with Freberg and Blanc in order unlike Hubie and Bertie,in addition
to various earlier actors like writers Tedd Pierce and Mike Maltese then actor-mimic Dick Nelson an d Freberg as Hubie and Bertie)

The namelsss beagle who acts as the "Foxy by Proxy"(1951) foxhound. (1952)

Credited for once, the "Three Little Bops" though the old GAC forums who I'm on as Pokey J.,Anti-Blockhead still disputes it, saying Daws Butler was some of those.

 Here's some more (as of Sunday, April 12,2015)
The gander who acutally DID lay a golden egg in "Golden Yeggs"(1950) and credits Daffy with it.(HOW HE, a GANDER and NOT a female goose COULD, let alone a GOLDEN one...well, say along: it's......only......a........God.....what.........beavers.......make.........cartoon

The hungry little mouse who tried to make a meal of Sylvester ("I forgot what food tastes like!" LOL) in "Snow Business"(?)

The American and Richard Haydn/Shepard Menken Brit Professor mouse in "By Word of Mouse" (Mel was the German mouse).

The piano mouse in "Pizzicato Pussycat"

and so many more..

Freberg hated rock m,usic but hated censorship even more,also a target of his, so instead of banning rock, he satirized THAT.."That's good enough for jazz"..!

and others.

Freberg may have subbed for Daws Butler in early Pixie, Dixie and Jinks shorts as Jinks the cat, he also did the goofy bird Bert for those two Disney limited-animated music shorts with Prof.Owl(Bill Thompson), both from 1953:"Melody" and the Oscar winner of 1954,"Toot whistle plunk and Boom", and even at MGM, in a story similar to WB's "A Hick, AQ Slick", in a "Hick Chick" as the title character. Stan incredibly was quite young..interesting, amongst his many pet peeves at the time, he hated, HATED dimwit voices (even Junyer?)

By 1952, Stan Freberg was now getting known on Capitol as a recording artist:
John and Marsha (a parody of soap operas)\
Try (a parody of Johnny Ray)
His many spoofs of ads and rock and roll songs
and also Ertha Kitt!!
C'est Si Bon"

FREBERG:"Awright, misieu"(he's playing a  Frenchman here)"Zi Bon Zi Bon, like ZAT!"
SINGERS:"Zi Bon, Zi Bon, like zat!"
FREBERG (furious) (inarticulate babbling)(relaxed now)"No no, not zi zi bon like zat. Just Si Bon Si Bon, Forget ze like zat."
SINGERS (imitating too much)"Zi Bon, Zi Bon Forget ze like zat!"
SINGERS (again taking things too far):"ZEE ZEE BON PERIODDD:
FREBERG (completely snapping):ARRGGGGGGHHHH YOU (curses)
(offering to do it himself) LIKE ZIT
(orchestra swells)
(Freberg later feels okay to let the singers, or, zee zingels, in French, do the song  and Freberg, speaking, ad libs additional words)

Spoofing rock and advertising, he actually pretended, as a true satirist, to endorse it, which was what got Capitol Records (1958) worried about that year's 2 parter extraStan-vragaStanza "Green Christmas"-I mean, "Chri$tma$". Two "esses" in them and they are both dollar signs.

It was just exactly things like that spoof that worried Capitol Records, but they released Freberg's records and he himself made a ton of cash and then some (but isn't that, uh, counterproductive?:D)
and became rich./

However ironic his money may have been,. Freberg's was well earned, and earned more from later ads all the way through the 80s-early 90s with son Donovan. He also appeared on the show Garfield (which is out of my hobby to-do list though..) and later WB cartoons as the studio went through the 1990s (and invited comparative comments from folk like me with all due respect along the line of "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" regarding the original Warner studio, as it had by 1969 when it closed already contributed true quality. Those  truly outlasted anything that WB or anything else had done through the 1990s and remain among, not the only, but among Stan Freberg's true hiofts..

He also influenced many, including clearly Phil Hendrie of radio fame with HIS talk show with thew fake characters, in the "Bud Dickman/David G.Hall" sketches. See Phil Hendrie show . (If you've ever heard David G.Hall, YOU try to separate that from a Freberg Capitol song spoof sketch!) Pretty eerie similiary...and that..wraps that up..Oh wait..>Ann  Miller's tomotatoes haven't come in....All I can say is, ya gotta play hot, and Stan did.,.RIP.

Friday, February 13, 2015

And NOW from Beautiful downtown Burbank, Going to heaven

As by now, you've no doubt heard, Gary Owens, known for Laugh In, Space Ghost, and many other shows has died. In my very humble opinion this is the best thing he ever did and one of his first famous roles: Roger Ramjet.