When I was in grade school—probably the fourth grade—the teacher brought a copy of Stan Freberg’s (soon to be) classic comedy routine, Saint George and the Dragon. Now back then Dragnet was big on the radio and even on television (we didn’t have one yet) and Jack Webb had perfected his snappy monotone delivery which was ideal for spoofing. Along came one of the comic geniuses of my time, Stan Freberg, and the result was this now nostalgic recording.
We talked that teacher into playing Saint George and the Dragon for us on several occasions and a few of us could reproduce the dialogue from memory. I guess you can think of Stan Freberg as being the Weird Al of the ’50s. Freberg died the other day. Beyond his skills in creating entertainment, Freberg can be easily considered the the father of humorous advertisements and commercials. Many of his efforts in this field are still memorable (and fun). In his later years he was reduced to doing sales pitches on the television for Encyclopedias, but he never lost the edge in his humor. Look him up: there’s a bunch of his stuff on YourTube.
Stan Freberg was a major part of my youth, having grown up watching Time For Beanie at my grandfather’s on a small round black and white television that flipped the picture every time a truck drove by. I still have nightmares left over from the episodes where the Roc was trying to hatch an egg which was actually the H-Bomb. When you’re ten years old and the scientists are worried that the bomb might set off a chain reaction and blow-up the entire planet, it’s easy to be worried.
Who else remembers all those great kiddy shows that were once puppet shows before the advent of cheap cartoons?
If you want to read a good introduction to Freberg and his work, check out Wikipedia.