It Only Hurts When I Laugh

Stan Freberg, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1297-5
Satirist Freberg looks back over his hyphenated show business career. The son of a Baptist minister, he grew up in Pasadena twisting radio dials: ``A lot of my sense of humor was shaped not only by Fred Allen, but by Vic and Sade. '' While writing and performing with TV's popular Time for Beany puppet show in 1950, he recorded the soap-opera parody ``John and Marsha,'' the first of his hits. His 1953 Dragnet parody moved a million copies in three weeks to become the record industry's fastest-selling single. The Stan Freberg Show, however, was the sign-off for network radio comedy: ``I was the last of the species: the snail-dart of network radio comedians.'' Then his award-winning radio/TV commercials turned the advertising world askew. Convincing buttoned-down ad executives to allow him to poke fun at products was no joke, as detailed here in hilarious anecdotes. Freberg's life is so chockful of nutty situations that he stops short at 1963``Think of it as having watched the first part of a two-part miniseries.'' What he provides here is not only fast and funny, but very much in the trenchant tradition of the autobiographical humor books by his childhood idol, Fred Allen. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Advertising Age. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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