The Promise of Personality — And What We Lose Without the DJ - Radio World

Back when I was a teenager- and into my 20’s on Sunday nights I would tune into the Dr. Demento Show- on the Westwood One Radio Network. He was on that network from 1978-92. At the time I thought he was an older fella- turns out he just sounded older. Today he has an online show and Demento- aka Barry Hansen is now seventy-nine years old. The Dr. Demento Show featured novelty and parody songs for the most part the songs he played were pretty entertaining. I first heard Weird Al Yankovic on Dr. Demento- and Demento is given credit for breaking Weird Al to a national audience. This month- for something different- I am going to feature a Dr. Demento song a day.

45cat - Barnes And Barnes - Fish Heads / High School Gym - Lumania - USA

Starting the feature off with one of my favorites from his show- “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes. Barnes and Barnes were a rock-comedy duo from Los Angeles- and they are still around having released an album in 2018. “Fish Heads” came out in 1978 and has the distinction of being the most requested song ever on The Dr. Demento Show. The Barnes brothers are fictional brothers- in fact you may recognize one of the ‘brothers”- former child actor Billy Mumy- he played Will Robinson in Lost In Space in the 1960’s.


  1. I remember seeing that video before by chance. No idea “Will” had anything to do with it. I also remember Dr. Demento being on WLAV-FM when I listened but no details spring to mind. Demented is a good adjective for this one!

  2. My cousin would tape these radio shows on reel to reel…I believe he still has some and played them to me. He eventually got me listening. .

    I also listened to Art Bell once in a while…whole different thing though.

  3. We have yet another thing in common! I listened to Dr. D. on the radio as well. The radio station i worked at used to play his show on vinyl. Prior to my divorce, I had many of his shows. Sadly they are gone. I was introduced to so many artists through Dr. D – Stan Freberg, Weird Al, Tom Lehrer, and more.

    I will be looking forward to each day’s post!

  4. Oh my lord…I’ve never heard this.

    I caught a few Demento shows via clips from other stations.We didn’t have a station in my hometown that carried it or any of the surrounding ones. But, clips were used. LONG before there was a “John Boy & Billy” show, John Van Pelt was a DJ in Durham:
    He got a clip of Demento playing “Another One Rides The Bus” by Weird Al. I nearly peed on myself. LOL!

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