Dr. Demento, aka Barret Hansen, is the host of the Dr. Demento Show, a weekly syndicated program of novelty songs and comedy skits heard across the United States. A lifelong admirer and collector of music, his first work as a DJ was for his high school “sock hops” in 1957. After graduation, he enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and became the student manager of the campus FM station before graduating as a classical music major. While working for Specialty Records in Los Angeles, legendary freeform rock station KPPC-FM asked him to do a weekly program. It was there in 1970 that he became Dr. Demento.
In 1974 the show officially went into syndication nationwide and is syndicated by his production company, Talonian Productions. Throughout the show’s history, he has been responsible for introducing his audience to many artists, including most notably “Weird Al Yankovic.” A long-time fan of R&B music, he has written numerous magazine articles on the subject, in addition to providing two chapters on early R&B for The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. Known for his unique brand of humor and musical knowledge, he was inducted into the Comedy Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dr. Demento was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.