Dr. Demento

~ Person

Legal name: Barret Eugene Hansen


Barret Eugene "Barry" Hansen (born April 2, 1941), better known 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 Los Angeles station KPPC-FM. After Hansen played "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvus on the radio, DJ "The Obscene" Steven Clean said that Hansen had to be "demented" to play that. Thereafter, the name stuck. His weekly show went into syndication in 1974 and from 1978 to 1992 was syndicated by the Westwood One Radio Network. Broadcast syndication of the show ended on June 6, 2010, but the show continues to be produced weekly in an online version.

Hansen has a 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 Haywire Mac, Spike Jones, Benny Bell, Yogi Yorgesson, Stan Freberg, and Tom Lehrer, as well as with bringing parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic to national attention.

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Year Title Rating Releases
1994 Dr. Demento Presents Spooky Tunes & Scary Melodies 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Rating Releases
1980 Dr. Demento's Dementia Royale Compilation 2
1989 Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time Compilation 1
1991 Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection Compilation 1
1995 Dr. Demento Gooses Mother! Compilation 1
1995 Dr. Demento's Country Corn Compilation 1
1995 Dr. Demento 25th Anniversary Collection Compilation 4 1
1995 Dr. Demento: Holidays in Dementia Compilation 1
2000 Dr. Demento 30th Anniversary Collection: Dementia 2000 Compilation 1
2001 The Very Best of Dr. Demento Compilation 1
2002 Dr. Demento's Hits From Outer Space Compilation 1

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