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1989: The Demented Year in Review

What a year 1989 was!

In 1989 we all were engulfed by Batmania as everybody caught Batman fever in their local movie houses for the summer and this unreleased tape captures the spirit...

  • "Hey Batman!", by Whimsical Will

    Another fine movie that came out that summer was "UHF", "Weird Al" Yankovic's feature film.

  • "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies", by "Weird Al" Yankovic with Mark Knopfler on guitar.

    Michael Richards starred in the film. He played a janitor who became a TV star on Weird Al's no-budget channel. All that was before Michael was cast as Kramer on the "Seinfeld" TV series. What was Jerry Seinfeld doing that summer? The same thing he had been doing for most of the 1980s, very successfully. Stand-up comedy.

    In July that same summer, the pilot of the "Seinfeld" TV series was shown on NBC and it wasn't until the spring of 1990 that Jerry, Michael, and the rest of the Seinfeld zanies would get their own TV series that would last all of eight years on the network.

    Dr. Demento caught his act in 1989 at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.

  • "Checkout Lines", by Jerry Seinfeld

    In 1989, the Dr. Demento Show featured many more comedians for several weeks as he played highlights from the Montreal comedy show that year.

  • "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child", by Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper from his album "Root Hog or Die", which turned out to be their last CD together.
  • "My Girlfriend Is Inflatable", by John Mammoser

    The soundtrack for "UHF" featured songs that were not in the movie, but a few of these proved to be even more popular than those from the film, and this is one of them...

  • "Spam", by "Weird Al" Yankovic

    1989 had at least one thing in common with 1998: annoying commercials with small dogs. Dr. Demento's show got a lot of requests for this song in the pre-Taco Bell chihuahua days...

  • "Barbecue Spuds McKenzie", by Dan Cryder & The Four Q's, a 45 single out of Dallas.

    Another popular Batman themed funny song was released months before the movie was released and was the second most requested funny song that year...

  • "Adam West", by Wally Wingert & The Caped Club

    Rap was very big in 1989, but in the land of Dementia, WAP was even bigger, in fact, this was the #1 demented song of the year...

  • "Wappin'", by Darrell Hammond & Christopher Snell and it's on the "Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary CD Collection" from Rhino

    Events in 1989

    01/03, "The Arsenio Hall Show", TV Talk Show, debut in syndication (not on the Fox network, but may air on late night slots on Fox affilliates). It starred Arsenio Hall, who briefly hosted a Fox network talk show. Opposite "Johnny Carson" on NBC, it was a big hit among the younger adult set. Hall's secret to success? Doing everything right that Magic Johnson will later do wrong. It's the debut episode of 'The Arsenio Hall Show' (with guest Brooke Shields). And now here he is Arseniooooooooooooooooooo Hall! (Woof! Woof! Woof!)"

    01/04, "Don't Worry Be Happy" single by Bobby McFerrin was certified Gold by the RIAA

    01/10, "Wild, Wild, West" single by Escape Club was certified Gold by the RIAA

    01/13, "Friday the 13th" virus strikes hundreds of IBM computers in Britain.

    01/20, George Bush was inaugurated as the 41st president & Dan Quayle becomes the 44th vice president of the U.S.

    01/28, R.C., "Doctorin' The Tardis" by The Timelords peaked at #66 on the pop singles chart.

    02/18, from cable access channel 10 in Aurora, Illinois, Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar interview Garth's dad Beev and Nancy-from-school on the very first broadcast of "Wayne's World" on "Saturday Night Live." Party time! Excellent!

    02/18, R.C., "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc peaked at #2 on the pop singles chart; "Weird Al" parodied it into "Isle Thing".

    02/18, "Walk The Dinosaur" by Was (Not Was) entered the Top 40 chart.

    02/22, Jethro Tull won the first heavy metal Grammy. Those in the music business were shocked, because he played a flute with classical overtones in the music.

    02/22, At the Grammy Awards, Milli Vanilli won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist; it was admitted later that they were not the vocalists on the album and the award was revoked.

    02/22, Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be happy" wins Grammy Awards for best record and best song

    02/24, "Parents Just Don't Understand" single by DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince was certified Gold by the RIAA

    02/24, "Weird Al" Yankovic records the title song "UHF" and "Let Me Be Your Hog" for his UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff LP.

    02/25, "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Stanley Spudowski's Theme" and "Ghandi II" for his UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff LP.

    03/02, "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded "Spatula City" for his UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff LP.

    03/02, winning his second Grammy, the video of "Fat" is Weird Al Yankovic's biggest hit yet.

    03/11, R.C., "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids On The Block peaked at #3 on the pop singles chart; "Weird Al" parodied it into "The White Stuff".

    03/14, "Andrew Dice Clay" album by Andrew Dice Clay was released. I would tell you what's on the album, but alas, the whole thing is unsuitable for a family website.

    03/29, The film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" wins an Academy Award (Film Editing). The film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" wins an Academy Award (Visual Effects). The film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" wins an Academy Award (Sound Effects Editing). Richard Williams receives an Academy Award (Special Achievement Award) for Animation Direction of the film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

    04/01, R.C., "Walk The Dinosaur" by Was (Not Was) peaked at #7 on the pop singles chart.

    04/08, R.C., "Stand" by R.E.M. peaked at #6 on the pop singles chart; "Weird Al" parodied it into "Spam".

    04/15, R.C., "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)" by Enya (Whimsical Will's fave) peaked at #24 on the pop singles chart.

    04/15, R.C., "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals peaked at #1 on the pop singles chart, a song parodied into "Weird Al"'s "She Drives Like Crazy" and Guns 'n Moses's "She Drives Me Brady".

    04/24, Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? B-R-I-T-N-E-Y 'N-S-Y-N-C? The Disney Channel unleashes a third generation of "The Mickey Mouse Club" upon the world, though it's now only "MMC." The show doesn't turn into a star-maker until its fourth season with the additions of future "Felicity" actress Keri Russell and 'NSYNC-er JC Chasez. Season 6 brings Ryan Gosling ("Young Hercules"), fellow 'NSYNC cohort Justin Timberlake, and future implant recipients Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.

    04/25, On NBC, Matlock (Andy Griffith) defends a client framed for murder. His name? David Tanney!

    04/26, Lucille Ball, the first celebrity David Tanny ever recognized, died at age seventy-seven on his 29th birthday. The beloved redheaded comedienne pioneered the sitcom format with I Love Lucy and became a Hollywood mogul by purchasing RKO Studios with her television earnings.

    05/20, "It just goes to show you, it's always something." And on this day for Gilda Radner, the something is ovarian cancer. Gilda goes to heaven. Gilda's Club is a cancer support society founded by Gilda's widower Gene Wilder. For more information, visit them on the internet at http://www.jocularity.com/gilda1.html or just drop a check to Gilda's Club, 195 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014.

    05/24, "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Generic Blues", "Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota", "Hot Rocks Polka", "Attack Of The Radioactive Hamsters...", and "Spam" for his "UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff" LP.

    05/25, "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded "She Drives Like Crazy" and "Isle Thing" for his "UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff" LP.

    06/07, time was in numerical order: 1:23:45 on 6/7/89.

    06/09, the movie "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" was released in the movie theaters in USA.

    06/13, the Detroit Pistons won their first National Basketball Association title, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four games. Tim Cavanaugh sang a song about Piston Souvenirs.

    06/23, "Batman" Motion Picture, opened with $42.7 million; made over $100,000,000 in 10 days!. This was also the last time D.T. ever stepped into a movie theater. Thank God for HBO! Heck, you can watch 100 movies on that channel for the price of a movie ticket nowadays and you can even choose your own food at home, excellent for lo-cal dieters.

    07/00, "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" is on the UHF soundtrack starring Weird Al Yankovic

    07/00, "Weird Al" Yankovic released the UHF Soundtrack and Other Stuff LP from his first movie featuring the hit title track "UHF" plus hits "Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota", "Isle Thing", "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", "Spam", "She Drives Like Crazy", and "Generic Blues"

    07/03, actor Jim Backus died. He's best known for playing Thurston Howell III on "Gilligan's Island" and for providing the voice for Mr. Magoo.

    07/05, comedian Jerry Seinfeld offers to let a woman he met while out on a comedy tour stay in his apartment on NBC's pilot "The Seinfeld Chronicles." Hoffman/Kessler/(later the character known as Kramer) stops over to borrow meat.

    07/09, "I Have Returned" album by Ray Stevens was certified Gold by the RIAA

    07/10, the magnificent voice of Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fudd (after Arthur Q. Bryan passed away), Porky Pig and countless others, said th-th-th-that's all folks. Mel Blanc died at age 81. Mel also created the voice of Woody Woodpecker for Walter Lantz, but Mel was exclusively employed by Warner Brothers and wasn't allowed to do Woody for Lantz. So Walter went on a talent search and found the perfect one, Gracie, and loved her so much he married her. Mel Blanc was also famous for Barney Rubble from The Flintstones.

    07/21, Lorne Michaels unleashes a comedy troupe of not-even-ready-for-network-television-players as "The Kids In The Hall" debut on HBO.

    07/21, "UHF" movie starring Weird Al Yankovic was released in theaters. It was an uplifting and inspiring story about a poor Joe who gets to program a smalltown UHF station into a ratings champ, but its being constantly ridiculed by the selfish and community-shunning owner of a network VHF affilliate that tries to close it down by buying it out, only to screw himself out of a job, status, and license courtesy of the FCC. See? Even the losers get lucky sometimes.

    08/12, Seeking an entry in the stand-up sweepstakes and a competitor for Saturday Night Live, Fox premiered "Comic Strip: Live." Over the next five years, hosts will include John Mulrooney, Gary Kroeger and Wayne Cotter.

    08/19, R.C., "Weird Al" Yankovic's album "UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" peaked at #146 on the Billboard album chart

    09/06, Neil Young's "This Note For You" wins the MTV award for Best Video -- it was very ironic since the channel had initially refused to air the video.

    09/09, R.C., "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids On The Block peaked at #1 on the pop singles chart; "Sagging Guts" was a parody of it.

    09/09, "Camp Candy", TV Cartoon Show with John Candy; debut on NBC.

    09/22, "Baywatch", TV Adventure, debut on NBC. Pamela Anderson joined the show in 1992. Yasmine Bleeth joined in 1994. Boobs and butts on the beach!

    09/22, "Family Matters", TV Comedy that made Steve Urkel a household name, debut on ABC.

    10/00, Frank Zappa's album [49] YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE, vol. 3 was released.

    10/04, Graham Chapman dies of throat cancer at age of forty-eight. Says Monty Python member accomplice John Cleese of his openly gay comedic accomplice, "Somehow, I think heaven has become a slightly sillier place."

    10/19, "Eat It" single by "Weird Al" Yankovic was certified Gold five years after its initial release.

    11/06, Dickie Goodman ("Flying Saucer") dies of a self-inflicted gunshot

    11/08, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" launches at speeds of at least "mock 5."

    11/10, "Eddie Murphy" album by Eddie Murphy was certified Platinum by the RIAA

    11/15, According to some sources, Comedy Channel was launched.

    11/16, David Letterman bludgeons the Energizer Bunny with a baseball bat.

    11/18, R.C., "Love Shack" by B-52s peaked at #3 on the pop singles chart; a parody of that song, "Radio Shack", aired on Dr. Demento shortly.

    11/18, at the Nick At Nite exposition in San Diego, D.T. meets Mr. Ed (or a replica to be exact) and star Alan Young. He forgot to ask Alan about the backwards Mr. Ed theme song controversy which had allegedly had satanac messages when played backwards.

    11/29, "Love Shack" single by B-52's was certified Gold by the RIAA

    12/09, R.C., "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel peaked at #1 on the pop singles chart, a song parodied into "We Love Barney Fife" by Guns 'n Moses.

    12/09, R.C., "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince peaked at #58 on the pop singles chart.

    12/12, "Swing The Mood" single by Jive Bunny And Mastermixers was certified Gold by the RIAA

    12/18, "I Love Lucy" Christmas episode was shown on CBS for the first time in over 30 years, months after its last principal star, Lucille Ball, passed away.

    12/20, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" single by Charlie Daniels Band was certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was released in 1979!

    12/27, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" album by Elmo And Patsy was certified Gold by the RIAA

    12/27, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" single by Elmo And Patsy was certified Gold by the RIAA

    12/28, D.T.'s voice was heard on Jim Zippo's morning show (Locally on KCBQ-FM) at approx 4:30AM Pacific Time.

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