Myself, I know it varies by location in the United States whats considered funny, gross, boring, etc.
I don't like morning fm radio talk-talk-talk, and maybe play one song per hour disk jockeys, but other folks enjoy them.
I heard in here of radio stations not playing Dr. Demento due to the Trojan commercials. Has no affect as the radio station I listen to, that plays Dr. D. used to have commercials for a local strip club. And in the morning, they play that idiotic 'John Boy and Billy' doofus show. But some folks like it.
As for the music being outdated... I don't see it that way. His show has music I can't hear elsewhere.
In defense of Dr. D, what new material? It's not like there's a huge wave of novelty artists who are battling for airtime. Been to the music store lately? The comedy section (if the store even has one) isn't exactly overflowing.
Whenever Dr. D plays something new he tells us where we can find it whether it's in a store, or more likely from a web site. He can't play new stuff if there isn't new stuff to play.
The Funny Five is compiled by request only. If Dr. D gets 500 requests for Fish Heads and no other song gets that many requests, guess what. Fish Heads will be #1. That's what people want to hear. If you want to hear something else make a request.
And how many Weird Al's are there out there? I know my stuff isn't nearly as good as Al's is. You don't want the show to become entirely made up of Al's music, do you?
Keep in mind how long I've been doing this and how few songs I've had on the show over the years. We formed in 1986. I sent my first tape to Dr. D in 1987. I managed to get a song played once in 1990 ("I'm Bored"). At the time I thought the other 10 or so songs I had sent him were good enough to be played. Now I look back at them and realize that they are total garbage.
I've officially released 4 albums worth of material. Of those 4 albums 7 songs have been played- 4 of them off of "Unplugged". I don't think he's too picky. I think he just wants to play the best of the stuff that he gets.
When I first started doing Friggin' Here with Tim in Rochester our biggest problem was we didn't have enough material. We slowly started getting material in, but most of it was older stuff we got off Dr. D compilations. There just isn't a lot of new stuff out there for him to play.
According to Dr D. (the in-show commercials are) the reason why nobody in NYC will pick up the show. There were several stations who were interested because they know there's a demand there, but they don't want to give up the ad time to people who haven't directly paid the station.
Yes and No! "Mad music and crazy comedy from out of the archives and off the wall" is more like send me your crazy tapes or cd's and if it's good enough I'll air it.
"Rare records and outrageous tapes from yesterday, today, and tomorrow" seems questionable. Dr Demento needs to go back and evaluate this last statement.
Personally I think Barrett is "trying too hard" by doing too much promoting of new novelty material, ableit trying to discover the next Ray Stevens or Weird Al! The day's of trying to discover a number #1 novelty hit are over!
From a cultural aspect Dr Demento is in a catch 22 situation, if he delineates from his current regime of modern novelty(post1995) vs older novelty(1900-1989)he'll alienate the under 20 crowd demographic for sure!
Has it ever dawned to you that he may be tiring of doing the show? Since 1969 counting his college days, that's a long, long time. I think Dr D, should re think his show, afterall his first love are "r&b and gospel," maybe through some of that into the pot. Having a collection of 350,000. or so recordings shouldn't be an excuse for playing the same tunes over, and over again.
The one in use now, "it's time for number oneeeeee un, this is it.....number one" is a little anitquated for today's fast eared listener.
Anyway, a show doesn't have to be based on requests or funny five's, I think Dr Demento could be a little more personal and what I mean by this is...one on one with his listeners, maybe have his listener's write in and convey a thought or feeling or maybe something that they'd like to hear. Dr Demento as you all very well know has his degree in musicology(put it to use), why not take a popular tune like The Beatles, "I Am The Walrus" and literally dissect it with his own verbiage. That would be interesting. Maybe more guest appearances from say popular artists/actors/celebs in general, he used to do have these features very well...sometimes with the celeb choosing his or her favorite tunes, even if it is...."Jamabalya" by Jo Stafford!
I liked "Weird Al" when he came out in 79 or 80 and the doc featured novelty take off of "My Balogna"...very good...however at that time what I remembered most is that I started tuning out, reason: like top 40 is got old after awhile. Again it goes back to the "same old song". I don't even want to go there when you discuss radio affiliates, quite frankly, the structure of a radio station:
Program Dir/Music Dir
I got out of it because of the game playing. And I don't mean cards!
I to have sent the Dr material that has not been played, but its not anything to get upset about. I was a little disappointed when I got the letter back, but hey, any artist out there that has made it, probably got turned down about a zillion times before getting a hit record, and I am just doing this for fun, and not to make any money on it or any hits. I mostly make parodies of other songs, which again, is not as appealing as original material, but me and my friends have a laugh and that's all that matters. For those that want to hear some maybe ok parodies that I have written, you can check out: http://www.mindspring.com/~weirdal/parodies.htm (Don't get to excited about the word "weirdal" in the URL, the main page http://www.mindspring.com/~weirdal/ is a Weird Al tribute page, I am not trying to boast myself as any type of weird al, lord knows I need more help with singing).
I have listened to the Dr since the early 80s, yes the funny 5 is almost always a run of fish heads, star trekkin, dead puppies, my dead dog rover, wet dreams, viagra in the waters, devil went to Jamaica and at Christmas, Christmas at ground zero, grandma got run over by a reindeer, and blue Christmas. Did I hit most of them? People want to hear this stuff, and that's what the Dr plays. So we cannot bash him for that. Plus just like regular music, comedy music has genre as well, some people like their humor to have rude language and just be a total put down on just about everything and others like clean humor. Some look for other traits in the music. The Dr needs to appeal to all audiences, if he played Monty Python for 5 weeks in a row, how many would listen then, yeah I like them but some don't, but just like a regular radio station, he is not going to play everything you like, and has to be selective about his music and what gets played. Sure my music has never been played, but thats not going to stop me from listening to his show. Another thing that you need to think about, most of the shows follow a theme of some sort, so if he did a show around cats, how much new material do you think he has on the subject? Probably not to much, I can not image its that easy to be Dr Demento!
Other points, radio stations need to lighten up a little on this whole format issue. Yeah, Dr D does not fit your format, it does not fit any format, that's the beauty of the show, its versatile. Some say things about language on the show, well, one station in my local area mentions some of the language and subject matter was not appealing to their audience, this was a classic rock station. A couple of days later, I heard I want to f**k you like an Animal on the station, un-censored! Sometime I wish they would quit evading the issue and just tell us straight out We don't like it, that's fine, but be truthful. The only place I will back the radio stations on is the commercial issue, but I am sure OTR will work with the stations and come to a compromise of some sort.
Don't even get me started on the comment about most of the songs have been played enough times already. I only have one thing to say Top 40 radio You will hear N-Sync, Britney Spears or the Back Street Boys every hour on the hour, yeah these songs have not been played enough!
My advice to you, keep trying, someday you will get a tune played, plus Dr D is not the only show out there, try Friggin Here or Jays Crazy show, they may like them. And also, don't use your Midi card anymore, if you insist on using Midi files, go get this program: http://www.cc.rim.or.jp/~hiroki/english called wingroove, it will make your midi files sound 100% better and its only 20 bucks. And remember, some will like your music some will hate your music, but chances are the ones that like it will not say too much, the ones that hate will bash you in public, it's the nature of the beast
Anybody care to provide a review of Dr. D's appearance Saturday? Dr. D. made an appearance at the Los Angeles branch of the Museum of Television and Radio, as part of their month-long tribute to radio. I believe Dr. D. came on in the early afternoon to recreate a one-hour version of his show/live appearance performances; then handed the reins over to Stan Freberg!
Grant of Throwing Toasters:
The appearance on Saturday was a lot of fun, though it wasn't as packed as I would have thought it to be.
My friend and I were there at 10 because if there was a line up we wanted to be the first in.
There was no line, and though Museum members got to go in front of us, we still got excellent seats. In fact we sat right next to Mark Jonathan Davis (Richard Cheese) and "Iceman". I hadn't met them before, but recognized them from the Behind The Dementia video from Alcon. They recognized me as well, though Mark asked if I was the guy who was with the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. I had to sadly inform him that that was Tim Waffle from the supergroup Hot Waffles.
Anyway, Dr. Demento came out and did a great live version of his show. Sort of a mini history of Dementia with some visual stuff that he couldn't show on the radio. Highlights were the original Parrot and Lumberjack sketches from Monty Python and the footage of Tom Lehrer playing a few years ago at the tribute to Cameron Mackintosh (sp?).
The Dr. mentioned that after Christmas, Tom Lehrer will once again teach beginning Mathematics at UC Santa Cruz. That info, and something that Stan Freberg said later on got my wheels turning....more on that later....
Also featured in the presentation were videos from Ivor Biggun, Barnes & Barnes and Weird Al. He played music from Frank Zappa, Spike Jones and Belvedere Cruisin' by Weird Al.
The segment was topped off by the Dr. singing Shaving Cream of course and he received a standing ovation for his work.
He then introduced Stan Freberg who he welcomed to the stage for about an hour long interview.
It was indeed interesting to see these two personalities on the same stage, and at times you wondered who was leading the interview the Dr. or Stan.
Stan talked about his career but steered clear of some topics (Elderly Man River) which he wanted to discuss in his segment that was coming up right after the Dr.'s. This proved to be somewhat awkward as the Dr. clearly had a whole line of questioning on the matter but Stan wouldn't talk about it.
The interview was interesting though. It's amazing how Stan can mention something and then that opens up the floodgates of things he wants to talk about and he tells some great stories about the past. He is also hilariously funny today, not losing one bit of his famous wit.
After the interview, we were ushered out of the auditorium so Stan and his Engineer could set up for the live recording of a condensed version of his show When Radio Was.
So we hung out in the Gallery and said a quick hi to Dr. D and chatted with Mrs. Demento (which is always fun) and Good Time Gil. I didn't get to say much more than hello and congratulate the Dr. as he was immediately swamped with autograph and photo requests.
We then went back in to listen to Stan record his show. He played two SPOOKY selections of radio shows from days gone by, including the classic SORRY WRONG NUMBER. He interspersed the radio shows with some of his classic commercials which were very well received.
After he taped the show he talked a little more about his career and mentioned the time he met Fred Allen on an airplane and had him read an article he wrote on censorship. He said he was nervous about going up to Mr. Allen and was glad he had 'followed his instincts' because only a few months later, Fred Allen was dead.
This got me thinking about the first time I met Stan Freberg back in November of last year. It was also at the Museum or Television on an evening tribute to him, much like the one they'll do for Dr. Demento on Tuesday night.
I had no ticket but was determined to meet one of my idols. So I barged right in and marched right up to Stan, shoving past the guy next to him and got my autograph and handshake. Later I learned the guy I shoved was Ray Bradbury...how was I to know?
So this got me thinking, with Stan saying you should follow your instincts, and Dr. Demento saying that Tom Lehrer was going to be teaching in Santa Cruise again this spring...it may be time for a road trip to meet another hero of mine. I'll keep you posted.
Anyway, The day was great! I got an autograph from Stan on my Capitol Collector's Series CD, which Stan proceeded to tell me was, "a great CD." I love how he promotes his own stuff. And I got a picture with him which I will be putting up somewhere on the net soon (along with he recent photo I got of myself and Steve Martin!) It's been a great couple of weeks!
I'll report on Tuesday night as well as the Museum will present a tribute to Dr. Demento of sorts, the focus of which will be an interview and Q&A on his career.
Throwing Toasters - "The Best At What They Do!"
I have been reading the whole over-recycling posts, and I have come to a conclusion.
There are some of us who would prefer the show be like the" old days", with most of the show being stuff from the 60's and earlier. I am one of these.
Others would problably like the Dr. to throw away everything that came out before the 90's.
I personally hardly listen anymore, because I just can't listen to a lot of the new type music and lyrics. I think it is terrible. Yes, I am over 40. Been listening to the show since around 1975 or 76. Hope that people don't think I am evil for not liking the newer stuff, I just don't. I realise that there are many others who do like the newer and think that the old stuff is garbage. Different strokes for different folks.
The real dilema is how does the Dr. balance his show to satisfy both types of listener? I understand that the idea of 2 shows a week aimed at different audiences just won't work in the real world. But maybe something like the first hour old songs and the second hour new stuff? With a "funny 3" for each hour?
Or maybe I should just wait for the mirror sites to show up for Zack's stuff, and download all the old shows I can and forget about the new shows?
Or, (just had a thought) how about there actually being 2 shows, both of them on the 'net? Would really be nice to be able to listen at my convience(Sat and Sun are not usually available times for me), would solve the problem of radio stations rejecting the show, and would be easy to tell how many people listened and for how long. I wouldn't mind the advertising still being there, would even be willing to subscribe to the show($50 bucks a year maybe?). Yes, I know that there are comedy music sites out there, but without the Dr.'s commentary, it just isn't the same.
Any other thoughts?
If Dr. Demento pulls ratings and enough spots can be sold in it, fine, it stays on. I don't know if Dr. Demento is barter or not, but if it is, if you're going to offer a replacement show, it'd better be barter, too. Considering how many stations play the program on Sunday evening, I'd say that not many stations would be willing to dump it in favor of something that has to be done locally or something they have to pay for.
Greg and Joan:
It's a radio show that plays novelty records. Novelties get stale quickly. It's one of those shows I can listen to once in a while, but couldn't take a steady diet of the good Doctor. And I probably wouldn't make a point of enuring I listen to it every week.
After two or three listens, Fish Heads, etc. aren't funny any more.
What would bring a PD or MD to the point of taking a locally-produced product of any type on a Sunday evening and replacing it with the Doctor?
Two good reasons: (1) the station could bring in a low-pay kid as board op on Sunday night, the least-listened to segment of the broadcast week rather than spend more money on a talented DJ, (2) Dr. Demento is a proven draw. His demographics tend to skew toward males 12-24, but at least it's something.
Remember that radio is an advertising medium with program content squeezed in to keep the commercials from running into each other. Once you understand that, you can understand typical PD decisions. You want quality programming? Listen to your local non-commercial stations.
Add also that "benchmark" features, such as countdowns, specialty shows and such tend to do well in jogging listener memories when it comes to the moment they fill in the Arbitron diary. It seems that listening to a star-driven feature (AT40, Dr. Demento, etc) is easier to remember and get credit for than the regular music mix. Since Sunday evening is the lowest tune in period in the week (PUR), it stands that some kind of feature with a known draw might do better than the regular format.
Greg and Joan:
From what I've been told by friends who worked in the industry - you do not want to change the format of the station from hour-to-hour, lest your loyal listeners turn the dial and find something better, or just turn the dial and don't turn it back to where they were.
Let's take a homemaker, let's call her Alice, listens to a station because she likes country music, or local chatter, or hits of the 80s, and has the radio on station WEAK. Now, Alice may be in a prime demographic, which the good Doctor D is not.
WEAK now presents Dr. Demento, who opens his show with "They're coming to take me away, ha ha", followed by "51 Beers". Alice thinks, "what the hell is this crap", turns the dial to another station, New-102, which has roughly the same format at WEAK and finds what she wants. Alice finishes up whatever activity she was doing, shuts the radio off, and hits the rack at 10 pm.
On Monday morning at 6, she gets up and the radio dial is already set to New-102, or whatever. She flips on the radio. If New-102's program lineup is somewhat comparable to that of WEAK, Alice may not go back to WEAK if she likes what she hears. She might be too preoccupied to bother changing the station back to WEAK, and may not even know where it was.
OK, it's Sunday night we're talking here. But while Sunday night is often "throwaway time" for a lot of stations, when the radio is shut off on Sunday night, the dial will be set on the same spot on Monday morning. Because Dr. Demento doesn't really mesh with nearly ANY station's format, there might be a fear on PDs' parts to run it.
This is just a layman's analysis - can the pros in here verify this or do they have evidence to the contrary?
Sunday evening is a low point for all media usage. Whatever the reason, the usage of specialty shows is one way of getting on the radar screen.
Another reason for these Shows showing up on Sundays is the fact that it is darned hard to find good part time talent that wants to work then; even in big markets where there are radio folks no longer in radio who do weekends for fun the scarcity is scary. In LA, some union stations pay $75 an hour and still can't get what they want. Syndicated shows are a real quality alternative in almost every market.
As to people being in their cars, Sunday evenings is not that much different from other non-drive time shifts. Keep in mind that even in LA, the king of commutes, in-car is only about 26-28% of all drive time listening. The importance of in-car is much exaggerated.
The real point of the whole discussion is that, in certain times of the day and week, national quality syndicated programming is better than what can be done locally, has the ability to benchmark a station and creates the impression of being sensitive to lifestyle issues. They are a small part of the total hours on most stations, but a big part of bonding an image with the listener and a real help in getting listeners to write down the station in the Arbitron.
There are lots of syndicated shows that enhance the image of a station and are appropriate for off hours or special occasion broadcast. The king of all would be American Top 40, which generally produced ratings that outperformed the station while at the same time giving the measge that the station understands Top 40/CHR due to the trivia, factoids and lifestyle elements. Dr. Demento enhances many AOR or Classic Rock stations as it feeds the perception of variety on stations with more limited playlists the rest of the time.
I doubt Demento is on many or any country stations. The show works on stations with related music forms.
An example of compatibility that is not obvious: KBIG, an A/C station in LA, has a disco show on Saturday evenings. Donna Summer and friends are not part of the regular A/C fare, but the songs fit the demo and lifestyle of A/C listeners on Saturday evening. In fact, the station does about 100% better on Saturday evening than it does the rest of the time. Or take Delilah, on about 360 A/Cs nationally. She does lifestyle female phone bits, and generally is a killer in 25-54 female numbers even if the format is not consistent.
Remember that a consistent format is one that mirrors the lifesyle of the P1 all times of the day and night. This may mean playing dance music on an A/C when the time is right.
Only about 6% of listeners listen Sunday evening. The idea is to bring some people in who don't listen rather than to drive them away. If the numbers are up and they are in demo, the show works.
A good example. I have a station in market 13 that plays music. At 4:30 and until 6PM, we have a political satire talkshow with no music. At 6 we go back into the music format. The station is #1 before the 4 PM hour, with about a 10 share. However, in the 90 minutes of the talk show, the station has high-20 shares. In research, we find that the music listeners uniformly love the show, would not miss it and find it a perfect fit for the end of the workday. In addition, it pulls in listeners form other stations as an added benefit (that market has 66 stations in-book so it is not an easy competitive situation.) Oh, and the same station is now doing a Lovelines style of show at night, mixing music with relationship phoners. It is right for the daypart and enhances the image of the station.
Go to the website and select the one song you like (why didn't she include Weird Al's "Eat It?") before Friday.
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus. Come on now, Falco a novelty artist?
The Waitresses - I Know What Boys Like. OK, the early new wave songs were interesting and innovative in lyrical wit, but this doesn't qualify as novelty.
Was Not Was - Walk The Dinosaur. There's nothing funny about this song, though I like it.
Taco - Puttin On The Ritz. Yo quiero Taco Loco, not!
Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok. A yawner. Why?
B-52's - Rock Lobster. That's the most demented song on the list.
The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star. This was two years before MTV was launched! A historical novelty.
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science. Weird funky melody and lyrical composition. Check out his "Hyperactive" hit from 1984 and play it fast!
Wall Of Voodoo - Mexican Radio. 91X plays that song every now and then.
Boys Don't Cry - I Want To Be A Cowboy. Not that funny, but at least novelty material. The name of the group has nothing to do with the Hilary Swank movie of the same name.
On why Weird Al was omitted on the ballot? According to Anita, "All his songs are novelty! He'll win every time in the novelty department!"
There are some popular 80's songs Anita could have included instead of Taco, Dolby, and Head. Here's what Anita should have put on the novelty song ballot:
Jump 'n The Saddle Band - Curly Shuffle
Weird Al Yankovic - Eat It
The Firm - Star Trekkin'
The Frantics - Teikwan Leep/Boot To The Head
Julie Brown - The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun
Tom "T-Bone" Stankus - Existential Blues
Weird Al Yankovic - Another One Rides The Bus
Bryan Bowers - The Scotsman
Squirrels - The Beastly Boys
You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party - Beastie Boys
Dr. Dave - Vanna Pick Me a Letter
Weird Al Yankovic - Fat
I put three Weird Al songs on the ballot to split the votes up in case he gets a lot of votes.
Organization: Brotherhood of Nitpickers, Cutpurses and Footpads Local Union 1242 AFL-CIO:
The last station in western Pennsylvania to carry Dr. Demento dropped the program nearly eight years ago. I have asked numerous Pittsburgh-area PD's about carrying Demento. When I was writing a radio column for one of the newspapers, I issued a public challenge to PD's to pick up Demento.
Their response was sympathetic, but On the Radio Broadcasting's terms make it difficult for anyone to fit the Doctor into their format.
At one time, as I understand it, Demento was available for barter. Now, I'm told, radio stations must purchase the program and run OTRB's commercials, to boot. That's a lot to ask of a station in this day and age.
The owner of the last station here that was carrying Dr. D was told point-blank by OTRB that his station was not considered "major-market" and the company was not interested in retaining him as an affiliate. He plugged a local oldies show into Dr. D's old spot, bringing an old-time DJ out of retirement, and has sold the hell out of the new show, turning the timeslot into a money maker instead of a money hole.
I love Dr. Demento's show dearly. But in my opinion, the only things that will save Dr. D. from obscurity will be 1.) Dumping his syndicator and offering the show on a barter basis again, or 2.) Taking the show to public radio.
Good luck on your survey.
73 de Jason Togyer KB3CNM McKeesport, Pa. USA
Waffle, who hosts the show on a campus, Cal-State Long Beach to be exact, began his semester not knowing if "The All-U-Can-Eat Buffet of Musical Madness" was going to be on the air due to personal reasons and scheduling conflicts, according to Waffle.
"I did manage to go on the air at his usual time and did many good shows in the last few months. But now it looks like the fates are against us and the Buffet is down for the count," continues Waffle.
He gives the reason for ending his duties at his Buffet show was due to personal scheduling conflicts beyond his control.
Tomorrow's show, entitled, "The Last Buffet of Chris" will highlight memories of the past four years of the show and we will reminisce over the all the great guests and good times the show aired. This is happening on very short notice but Chris will be trying to get some of his old friends back in the station today to say goodbye.
The All-U-Can-Eat Buffet of Musical Madness was a comedy/music show similar to the Dr. Demento radio show that broadcasted live over the Internet, Saturdays from 11-1 pm PST. It can only be heard using Windows Media Player at http://www.kbeach.org.
The show has aired live from Cal-State Long Beach, off-and-on, for the past four years since 1997, the middle age of the Internet. But Chris hopes that someday, he may be back once again next year saying, "The Buffet is BACK!"
"Until then, thanks for all those who ever listened and enjoyed the comedy," says Chris.
In a related story, Chris sent out a press release shown below:
(Cypress, CA.) The Best of The All-U-Can-Eat Buffet of Musical Madness lives again on MP3 with a brand new track!
"The Best of The All-U-Can Eat Buffet of Musical Madness, Vol. 1: So You Gonna Got Some Songs To Perform" celebrates the first two years of the comedy radio show with live music performances, jokes and sketches. The original CD, release in 1998, finally sold out of it's initial run at Alcon 2000. Now, in conjunction with MP3.com, it is available again with a brand new track, "Safety Spiel (The New Buffet Intro)" by Pook!.
This news comes on the heels of the recent announcement that The Buffet is going off the air.
Host Chris Waffle stated, "It is very sad that the show can no longer go on for now. But hopefully, this album will ease the pain and suffering of those fans who have witnessed such a great loss."
Chris also stated that he was so pleased with the way the re-released album came out on MP3.com, he is going to be working on a second volume featuring live performances from the last 2 1/2 years.
The All-U-Can-Eat Buffet of Musical Madness was a comedy/music show that broadcasted live over the internet every Saturday from 11-1 pm PST using Windows Media Player at http://www.kbeach.org. The "Best Of" album features 18 tracks with some very early and rare live performances from Throwing Toasters, Raymond & Scum, Lester McFwap and others.