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  • Writer's pictureFred

Dr. Demento vs. Beacon of Speech

I was challenged a few months back to list my favorite songs played on the Dr. Demento Show by the show's Facebook fan site. Instead of responding there and no one reading it, I'm going to put it on my blog where at least my Mom will read it.

(Seriously, she is my part time editor.)

Using the Demented Music Database as my guide, I tried to be historically accurate, only listing songs that have been played on the show, not songs that I deemed demented.

You can still listen to new Dr. Demento Shows online in 2023!

25. Seven Little Girls (1961)

My Grandmother used to sing this song to me when I was a little kid.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: Over a dozen spins in Dr. Demento history for the Paul Evans version.

24. Nature Trail to Hell in 3D (1984)

It was hard picking this from all of Al's standouts, but 15 year old Fred chose this.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: 50+ plays, including numerous Funny 5's

23. Yellow Snow (1974)

Not Frank Zappa's best song, but probably his most demented.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: 100+ plays, including numerous Funny 5's.

22. Wot (1983)

I quoted Captain Sensible lyrics on the Dr. Demento Facebook fan page and a Karen reported me. Seriously.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: One. Single. Play.

21. Dad I'm in Jail (1988)

Was (Not Was) was not a novelty band, but it was really hard to peg what exactly they were.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: Played twice on the show, both times after the year 2020.

20. Erotic Suburb (1984)

Uncle Vic was arguably Elyria, Ohio's greatest export.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: Now this is where the list gets tricky. Uncle Vic had 8 different songs on the Dr. Demento Show, but not this one. This is also where we need to make a certain leap of faith. Did Dr. Demento not like Vic's parody? Or is it at least plausible that he couldn't play it due to the very litigious Prince?

19. No Anchovies, Please (1979)

The J. Geils Band was a fun rock band. A demented song on a non-demented album.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: Around 60 plays since 1980.

18. Witch Doctor (1958)

Even though the image is from the 2007 movie the audio is from the 1958 classic.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: About 75 plays for the David Seville version. A handful of other plays were for other versions attributed to Moosebutter, the Big Bopper, random callers, etc.

17. Mr. Custer (1960)

Could NOT be written today.

The Dr. Demento DataBase: About 80 appearances for Larry Verne...

Very surprised that Dr. Demento once played a Ted Knight version !?!?!

16. Timothy (1970)

The Buoys biggest hit was a demented classic about cannibalism, but they were strictly a pop band...

Dr. Demento Database: Around 50 plays, across 50 years.

15. Tribute (2001)

Tenacious D's biggest hit, their wheelhouse is clearly comedy.

Dr. Demento Database: Surprisingly only 1 play during the pandemic.

14. Bitchin' Camaro (1985)

Dr. Demento has a soft spot in his heart for the Milkmen's brand of punk, as do I.

Dr. Demento Database: About a dozen plays for this particular song, one of 10 Milkmen tunes that the good Doctor has played throughout their career. (Here's the new Dead Milkmen single in 2023)

13.Homecoming Queen has got a Gun (1984)

I saw an internet comment that said this song was a lot funnier in the 80's. What? Now it's even better because it's basically social commentary.

Dr. Demento Database: Over a hundred plays, most of them being Funny 5's.

12. Pico and Sepulveda (1947)

Dr. Demento Database: Besides being the opening theme, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds...

11. Bohemian Rhapsody (2010)

Richard Cheese's version, of course

Dr. Demento Database: About a half dozen plays. But the show loves Richard Cheese, with a wide swath of his discography being played at one time or another.

10. Transfusion (1956)

Jimmy Drake (Nervous Norvus) died before I was born. At that time, the song was banned by many radio stations. Dr. Demento pulled the song back into the public's consciousness in the 1970's.

Dr. Demento Database: Around 200 plays.

9. Uncle Fu**a (1999)

So in 2022, one of Dr. Demento's show theme was Flatulence. What better song to signify the topic than the one with a long Fart Solo in the middle?

Dr. Demento Database: One solitary play, though there have been many songs from South Park that have ended up on the Dr. Demento Show.

8. My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mamma (1988)

What's happening today with the Zappa heirs is heartbreaking.

Dr. Demento Database: Only one play for Dweezil in 1988. Obviously Dr. Demento preferred Frank's original or the Meatmen's homage, playing those about 3 dozen times.

7. Surfin' Bird (1963)

Before Peter Griffin loved the Surfin' Bird, I loved the Surfin' Bird.

Dr. Demento Database: About 50 plays for the Trashmen's verson.

6. Institutionalized (2018)

Brak (Andy Merrill) is a comedy genius.

Dr. Demento Database: About a dozen Funny 5's.

5. I Feel Fantastic (2005)

Jonathan Coulton is a product of a by-gone era.

Dr. Demento Database: Only 1 play for this specific song, but different Coulton songs have been played over a hundred times.

4. Dare to be Stupid (1985)

Dr. Demento Database: About 60 plays.

3. Existential Blues (1979)

For some reason, Dr. Demento joking about how many fans can't spell the word 'existential' sticks in my mind.

Dr. Demento Database: About 300 plays, Many, many Funny 5's.

(Side note: Beacon of Speech wants you to know that Mr. Bungle's version exists.)

2. Gitarzan (1969)

This clip is from Cleveland's own Big Chuck and Little John Show.

Dr. Demento Database: About 75 plays, one of many Ray Stevens' songs in the Demented rotation.

1. They're Coming to Take Me Away (1966)

As far as I'm concerned, most modern demented music sprang from the Napolean XIVth well.

Dr. Demento Database: About a thousand plays, I'm not exaggerating. Includes multiple Napoleon XIV references last month after his death.


Here are my Top 10 requests for demented songs that have never been on the Dr. Demento Show.

10. What We Need More of is Science by MC Hawking

9. Kyle's Mom by the South Park guys.

8. Attacked by Snakes by the Aquabats

7. Cruisin' by Michael Nesmith

6. N.F.B. by Anthrax

5. Bruce Campbell by Psychostick

4. Schfifty-Five by Group X

3. Dude Bro Party Massacre III Theme Song

2. Ducks Live on the Moon - [Albino Black Sheep Channel]

1. Snacktacular by Bolonium

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