Novelty music is extremely polarizing-you either love it, or you hate it. Dr. Demento has been collecting and publishing various novelty ditties for 30 years now and Dementia 2000 is his latest collection. What more need I say? This album holds some of the best—and some of the worst—funny songs out there.
“Weird Al” Yankovic has by far the most representation on Dementia 2000 with three of his songs included: “Yoda,” “Another One Rides the Bus,” and, my favorite of the three, “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.” There are more familiar voices: Cheech & Chong’s previously unreleased “[How I Spent My Summer Vacation] or a Day at the Beach with Pedro & Man-Part1”; Billy Crystal’s “I Hate When That Happens”; and even good ole Leonard Nimoy with a horribly bland track of his own, “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.” Some oldies but goodies included are “Charlie Brown” by The Coasters, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” by Brian Holland and “My Ding-A-Ling (Single Version)” by Chuck Berry. National Lampoon is here with the hilarious “Deteriorata.” I can only wonder if Baz Lurhmann might perhaps have listened to “Deteriorata” at one point or another and came up with his “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” overseas hit. You never know. George Carlin even shows up for some stand-up on “Ice Box Man.” All in all, a massive collection of funny stuff to stick in your ear.
By far my favorite track is “Bulbous Bouffant” by The Vestibules. This skit, according to the liner notes-which are, by the way, exhaustive-was the most popular request on the Dr. Demento Show of the ‘90s. It’s hilarious; I’ve been walking around for days saying “blubber” and “Eskimo” and “macadamia” to friends and strangers alike. Despite a few oddly askance looks, I’ve met many a laugh.
“Gazebo!” I say! “Bouffant!”
Dementia 2000! is certainly not a collection that any lover of novelty music will want to pass up. Our famed doctor is aging well and going strong. We can only hope for more and better collections of funny songs and skits and stand-ups such as this.
// Notes from the Road
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