Dr. Demento

Barret Eugene Hansen (born April 2, 1941), known professionally as Dr. Demento, is an American radio broadcaster and record collector specializing in novelty songs, comedy, and strange or unusual recordings dating from the early days of phonograph records to the present. Hansen created the Demento persona in 1970 while working at Pasadena, California, station KPCC-FM. He played "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvus on the radio, and DJ "The Obscene" Steven Clean said that Hansen had to be "demented" to play it, and the name stuck. His weekly show went into syndication in 1974 and was syndicated by the Westwood One Radio Network from 1978 to 1992. Broadcast syndication of the show ended on June 6, 2010, but the show continues to be produced weekly in an online version. Hansen holds a master's degree in ethnomusicology and has written magazine articles and liner notes on recording artists outside of the novelty genre. He is credited with introducing new generations of listeners to artists of the early and middle 20th century whom they might not have otherwise discovered, such as Harry McClintock, Spike Jones, Jimmy Durante, Benny Bell, Rusty Warren, Yogi Yorgesson, Nervous Norvus, Allan Sherman, Ray Stevens, Candy Candido, Stan Freberg, and Tom Lehrer, as well as helping to bring "Weird Al" Yankovic to national attention.

Related Artists

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.