One of the earliest novelty song shows, Friggin' Here, began in December of 1996, followed by Nummy Muffin Cocoa Butter shortly after in 1997, along with a smattering of minor radio shows featuring novelty music, most of which went unknown unless you can find them on a search engine by trying queries such as "Novelty Song Show" and "Demented Music". Many more would be coming online as we will explain in the 1999 report.
1998 was also the year that corporate radio's chokehold on creativity was beginning to be felt on radio stations nationwide as nationwide homogenized playlists supplanted local playlists of radio stations owned by Jacor, Clear Channel, AM/FM, Chancellor, and many other radio station conglomerates who don't care about pop music unless it's nu-metal, rap-rock, slow R&B, bubblegum teen pop, and pop alternative. Commercial radio began to shut out many emerging genres such as electronica (unless Madonna was making records using that genre as she did in 1998), dementia, filk, tradtional country, and euro, and the sound of corporate pop radio began to stagnate and bore the listeners away.
In San Diego, corporate radio was in 1998, and still is in 2002, the most corporate-controlled radio market in the United States, making the city so out of touch with the rest of the world, and for America for that matter, in terms of music creativity, that it earned the nickname "America's Behindest City," a play on the "Finest City" slogan it has been using for the longest time. What's so "Fine" about a city that has radio stations run by complete idiot savants who don't know good music when they come across it. That year, two stations that dropped Dr. Demento in the 90's went out of business when they sold their low-rated stations to Jacor and other corporate companies.
1998 also had Los Angeles getting some pulse of dementia back when a radio station I don't need to name, because it dropped the show a year later, brought back the Dr. Demento show a year after its previous carrier, KSCA, went Spanish.
Some of the songs from 1998 that DFSX features from time to time, and is subject to change without notice, are listed under the heading of "Hits of 1998". During the DFSX Time Warp series, we take you back in time, one song at a time, while noting what year the song was popular in.
And as a bonus, we also throw in some of the notable hip pop songs from that year! You never know what the Time Warp series will take you back to, keeping DFSX from being a cookie-cutter novelty song station in itself; regular hit stations used to play novelty songs back then, why not turn the tables and have a novelty station play some hit songs? Dr. Demento does play some non-novelty songs on occasion.
One more thing: be sure to let us know what novelty songs from the past of any year you want to be streamed
so we can keep these in mind for future years.
Time Warp 1998 Songs Featured
01/03, on the cover of TV Guide: "Crazy For The Simpsons: Best Episodes, Cool Secrets and Top Guests!"
01/04, Actress Mae Questel, who had supplied the voices of cartoon characters Betty Boop and Olive Oyl, died in New York at age 89.
01/05, Sonny Bono, the 1960's pop star-turned-politician, was killed when he struck a tree while skiing in South Lake Tahoe, California; he was 62.
01/10, "Granma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy debut on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at #87, just over 18 years after it debut on "The Dr. Demento Show".
02/04, BILL GATES CREAMED -- Bill Gates got a faceful of cream pie in Brussels as he arrived for a meeting with business and government leaders. Three pranksters lobbed pies at the Microsoft chairman, but only one made a direct hit. With cream dripping onto the shoulders of his dark business suit and covering the lenses of his glasses, Gates was led into a side room to clean up. He emerged looking somewhat embarrassed. Noel Godin, a Belgian prankster who has targeted celebrities in the past, later took responsibility on Belgian TV. "This was a victory for us. We will continue to send our burlesque statements," he said.
02/05, Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding talk on FOX (Taped Dec 22nd). It was a disappointment. I was expecting "When Skaters Attack" to break out during the cold interview.
02/06, the movie "Blues Brothers 2000" starring Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman was released in movie theaters in the USA
02/06, Falco, the '80s technopop artist best known for his "Rock Me Amadeus" song and video, dies in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic. He is 40. The Austrian-born singer/songwriter, born Johann Holzel, suffers a severe head injury when his sport utility vehicle collides with a bus as he pulls onto the highway.
02/17, "Blues Brothers (soundtrack)" album by Blues Brothers was certified Platinum by the RIAA
02/18, Robert Smith of the Cure does battle with the forces of musical evil as embodied by a monstrous Barbra Streisand (who gets skewered a lot in the series) on the animated television show South Park.
02/24, comedian Henny Youngman died of complications from the flu. He was 91. He was known as the king of the one-liners, including "Take my wife, please."
03/16, "All-time Greatest Comic Hits" album by Ray Stevens was certified Gold
03/17, the sitcom "Lateline" starring Al Franken premiered on NBC.
03/18, Michael Jackson and his son went shopping at a toy store in Munich, Germany, with Jackson dressed as an Arab woman. Practicing to be Diana Ross, I presume?
03/26, "My Balls And My Word (all I Have In This World..)" album by Young Bleed was certified Gold by the RIAA (OK, stop the snickering, it's a kids record for petesake!)
03/27, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Viagra, made by Pfizer, saying it helped about two-thirds of impotent men improve their sexual function.
03/29, the TV-movie "Safety Patrol" featuring a cameo (about 27 minutes before the end of the movie) by "Weird Al" Yankovic aired on ABC-TV.
03/29, The Dr. Demento Show returned to KLSX-FM after a 14-month absence from the Los Angeles area market. It left that station after 11 months on Feb 20, 1999.
04/01, on "South Park", Eric Cartman's father is revealed...APRIL FOOL! It's the "Terrence and Phillip Show" with an appearance by "Celine Dion".
04/03, "Lost In Space" movie opened in USA theaters.
04/10, the movie "The Odd Couple II" starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau opened in theaters in the USA
04/22, on "South Park", after weeks of suspense, Mephisto reveals that Eric Cartman's father is really his hemaphroditic mother, who got someone else in the town pregnant.
05/08, the rainbow ends for CBS with their 39th and final airing of "The Wizard of Oz." Viewers will now either have to catch it on cable on TNT, or stop being such unbelievable cheapskates and buy a VCR.
05/09, in this week's TV Guide: a fond farewell to Seinfeld.
05/14, the hit TV series "Seinfeld" aired its series finale after nine years on NBC. Reruns continued on NBC until fall. It marked the official end of "Must See TV".
05/20, the movie "Godzilla" opened in USA theaters to a tally of an enourmous $55.5 million over the next six days.
05/28, Comic actor Phil Hartman of "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" fame was shot to death at his home in Encino, California, by his wife, Brynn, who then killed herself.
06/01, "Bobcat's Big A-- Show" TV game show premiered on the FX network.
06/10, "I Love To Tell The Story" album by Andy Griffith was certified Platinum by the RIAA
06/11, after much fanfare, Seattle, Washington-based Amazon.com expanded its operation from "books only" to music as well, opening for online business with a list of titles numbered at 120,000 divided among 14 genres.
06/13, a special "Saturday Night Live" remembered the recently slain Phil Hartman with clips of the former cast members' greatest sketches and most memorable characters.
06/19, on One Life to Live, Todd tried to find out who killed Georgie by holding hostages in the Buchanan lodge while wearing dynamite around his chest. What a loony!
06/22, "The Howie Mandel Show" TV Talk Show debuts in syndication. First guest: Jennifer Aniston.
06/23, "The Dirty Boogie" album by the Brian Setzer Orchestra was released by the RIAA
06/23, Ernie Kovacs was the subject of a delightful "Biography" on A 'n E.
06/26, the movie "Dr. Dolittle" starring Eddie Murphy opened in theaters in the USA
07/03, Today in Late Show w/ Letterman History: Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole entertains Letterman and the audience when he talks about the wonders of Viagra.
07/06, singing cowboy star Roy Rogers died in Apple Valley, California, at age 86.
07/07, "Stunt" album by Barenaked Ladies was released
07/08, "Dr. Dolittle" album (soundtrack) was certified Gold by the RIAA
07/09, a topless dancer hit a nightclub patron with her ample breasts, but did not injure him, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch ruled in a "People's Court" trial. Paul Shimkonis filed suit against the club in Pinellas County Court in Florida on June 29, claiming the dancer, Tawny Peaks, injured him during a performance at the Clearwater bar during his bachelor party in September 1996. The lawsuit said she jumped on him, forcing her extra-large breasts into his face and causing his head to jerk backward. Shimkonis, a 38-year-old physical therapist, sought damages for head and neck injuries, disability, pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish and loss of life enjoyment.
07/21, "Weird Al Yankovic - The Videos" was released on DVD
07/27, "Sifl and Ollie" TV sock puppet show aimed at adults premiered on MTV
07/30, BARNEY LOSES TO CHICKEN: Barney's lawsuit against the San Diego Chicken is extinct. A judge in Ft. Worth TX threw out the copyright infringement suit, leaving the famous fowl free to pummel a Barney look-alike as part of his comedy routine at sporting events. "The show must go on," said the Chicken's lawyer, Kenneth Fitzgerald.
07/30, "Buffalo Bob" Smith, the cowboy-suited host of "The Howdy Doody Show," died in Hendersonville, North Carolina, at age 80.
07/31, Matt Stone and Trey Parker invent a new sport called "BASEketball", also starring Jenny McCarthy and Yasmine Bleeth, as it took to the theaters in the USA
08/01, on the cover of TV Guide: Drew Carey
08/03, "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" album by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was certified Gold by the RIAA
08/04, "Perennial Favorites" album by Squirrel Nut Zippers was released
08/05, after 136 episodes in ten seasons abroad, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" crosses the pond with American executive producer Drew Carey taking over for host Clive Barnes. In "Party Quirks," Ryan Stiles pretends to be a foal being born in what one New Zealand TV critic names as "possibly the funniest 30 seconds in the history of television."
08/06, Today in Late Show w/ Letterman History: As superstar Jerry Seinfeld his world stand-up comedy tour ends with a 10-show stint on Broadway, he drops by another theater on Broadway - the Ed Sullivan Theater -- for a special visit to the LATE SHOW, his first since "Seinfeld" ended its nine-year run. Also featured on the broadcast is 13-year-old Hunter Scott, who is lobbying Congress to clear the name of a World War II U.S. Navy captain who he feels was wrongly court martialed.
08/09, Jerry Seinfeld's "I'm Telling You For The Last Time" live from Broadway in New York City aired on HBO. His intention was to capture the comic's stand-up show consisting of old jokes he's retiring to preserve on video and audio releases, and after that, he plans to start over again with all new material.
08/10, "the Bad boys of Magic" get hired to add a little variety to the FX network and the result is "Penn and Teller's Sin City Spectacular." The debut features roller skating puppets, trained house cats, wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan, The Steven Segal Band, Cheech Marin, John Popper and fellow talk show leech Super Dave Osborne.
08/10, "Banana Wind" album by Jimmy Buffett was certified Platinum by the RIAA
08/22, the King of All Media returns to weekly syndication when Howard Stern hosts his late-night program "The Howard Stern Radio Show" in syndication.
08/31, the eighth English-language commercial broadcast TV network since the beginning of TV, "Pax Net", was launched by the co-founder of HSN. The other seven were, NBC, CBS, Dumont (now defunct), ABC, Fox, UPN, and WB. It features family programming and reruns such as "Dr. Quinn", "Diagnosis Murder", "Touched by an Angel", and appropriately enough for network eight: "Eight is Enough!"
09/07, "Instant Comedy with The Groundlings" premiered on FX
09/08, on "The Late Show With David Letterman", David told a joke: "On Thursday, the National Weather Bureau downgraded '[Weird] Al' Yankovic's status from Weird to Slightly Unusual."
09/10, "Crank It Up - The Music Album" album by Jeff Foxworthy was certified Platinum by the RIAA
09/13, "The Late Show with David Letterman was named Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series (can't they select a category?) at the 50th annual Emmy Awards. The Outstanding Series win marked the second Emmy honor for Letterman in this Category. Letterman said of the win: "All credit to the team. The best part of this job is I get to work with my friends." In his 16 years on late night television, Letterman has been honored with 55 Emmy nominations and eight Emmy Awards, including 20 nominations and three Emmy Awards for the LATE SHOW since its premiere in 1993. In addition, Letterman's morning program, "The David Letterman Show," earned five nominations and two Emmy Awards.
09/13, Frasier" won its fifth straight Best Comedy Emmy, making this the first show of either comedy or drama to win five Best Emmys, breaking records held by "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for comedy and "Hill Street Blues" for drama. "Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer picked up his third, and co-star David Hyde Pierce won his second. Helen Hunt, who won an Oscar in March for "As Good as It Gets," took her third consecutive Emmy for her work on "Mad About You." The first-time winners included "The Practice" for best drama, Christine Lahti of "Chicago Hope" and Andre Braugher of "Homicide: Life on the Street."
09/14, "The Hollywood Squares" TV game show returned to syndication with Whoopi Goldberg as the center square
09/14, "The Roseanne Show" TV talk show debut in syndication.
09/21, "Match Game" TV game show premiered in syndication.
09/22, "I'm Telling You For The Last Time" album by Jerry Seinfeld was released
09/24, Elvis Presley is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
09/26, "The Weird Al Show" TV children's show last aired on CBS (according to a Variety article published Aug 27.)
09/27, Phil Hartman's voice was featured for the last time on "The Simpsons" as Troy McClure. Hartman was killed by his wife in a murder-suicide the previous May.
10/01, the president of the Philippines banned actress Claire Danes from entering the country. Filipinos were angry that in an interview, Danes had called Manila smelly, weird and full of rats.
10/02, Hollywood's original singing cowboy and former owner of the Anaheim Angels, Gene Autry, died at age 91.
10/03, on the cover of TV Guide: "The Cast of Fraser", also, Christina Applegate, Power of Babble
10/04, Movie: "Sabrina Goes to Rome". If Sabrina can't open a mysterious antique gold locket and release the power trapped within, a family secret will be lost forever. "The secret to the locket lies in Rome," says her father. So, with a stowaway Salem in her backpack, Sabrina heads for Italy and the Eternal City of Rome. Once there, she meets Paul, the gorgeous American photographer who grabs her before she falls into the famous Trevi Fountain. And in her charming pensione, Sabrina finds an unexpected roommate: Gwen, a British witch with a talking hamster named Stonehenge. Together, Sabrina an Gwen set out to solve the mystery of the locket---a story of love and betrayal that began centuries ago...
10/07, "Charmed" TV Sci-Fi starring Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano, and Holly Marie Combs, premiered on WB. It's also one of David Tanny's raving faves. Visit http://www.alyssa.com for the Official Alyssa Milano Website!
10/07, Weird Al Yankovic recorded "Germs" for his CD "Running With Scissors"
10/14, "Weird Al" Yankovic made a cameo appearrance on "The Drew Carey Show". Al walked on stage (with mustache and glasses), says "I hope you don't mind I brought my accordion!" and then the lead singer guy of a band said "You didn't tell us you played accordian.." and that was it. That "Lead Singer Guy" is Joe Walsh. It was estimated that Al was on for 27 seconds.
10/14, "polka king" Frankie Yankovic died at his home in New Port Richey, Florida, a week after suffering a fall. He was 83. It was a grim coincidence that the non-relative common surmaned "Weird Al" was on Drew Carey that same date.
10/15, Weird Al Yankovic recorded the transvestite "Truck Drivin' Song" for his CD "Running With Scissors"
10/15, Weird Al Yankovic recorded "Truck Drivin' Song", "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder", and "Albuquerque" for his CD "Running With Scissors"
10/16, Weird Al Yankovic recorded "Your Horoscope For Today" for his CD "Running With Scissors"
10/17, R.C., "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies peaked at #1 on the pop singles chart. It was number one for ... one week!
10/27, "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" album soundtrack was released. Are we now starting a Melissa Joan Hart 27 list by any chance? She did work with "Weird Al" Yankovic on a couple of occasions.
10/28, "I'm Telling You For The Last Time" album by Jerry Seinfeld was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA
11/03, The smashing victory by former pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura in the Minnesota governor's race marked a rare victory for third-party candidates in this evening's elections. "We shocked the world," Ventura told supporters at a victory celebration. Ventura, running on a Minnesota Reform Party ticket, defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey III and Republican Norm Coleman. "Serving the people, not the parties," read a slogan on Ventura's campaign Internet site.
11/06, "The Waterboy" movie starring Adam Sandler opened in theaters nationwide, and grossed a weekend record $39.4 million in ticket sales to set a record for a November film debut.
11/06, the classic 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz", was rereleased in theaters in the USA. This special edition, commemorating the film's 60th anniversary. has been digitally restored and remastered in Dolby Digital Stereo Sound.
11/11, "South Park-Chef Aid--The South Park Album" album Soundtrack was released
11/25, comedian Flip Wilson died of liver cancer at his home in Malibu, California. He was 64.
12/07, "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" album Soundtrack was certified Gold by the RIAA
12/09, the TV improvisational comedy series "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" returned to ABC
12/12, Pfizer announces that it has hired Bob Dole to sell the drug Viagra in TV commercials. Dave, Jay, Conan, and Craig's writing staffs take the day off.
12/16, "South Park-Chef Aid--the South Park Album" album by Soundtrack was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA