50 Years of Demented Hits

This year marks the 50th countdown of Funny 25’s by Doctor Demento. I first started listening in high school, probably around 1978, when it aired on WTOS in Skowhegan and later on (I think) WGUY in Bangor. After Looney Tunes established parody, irony, slapstick, and a questioning of authority in my young brain, I turned to Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin, etc. Then, out of the darkness, came a revelation–a weekly blend of seemingly silly nonsense that was actually a history lesson in comedy and music. I don’t know why “Fish Heads” or “My Name is Larry” are funny after so long, but they still make me giggle. The art of parody was elevated by “Weird” Al Yankovic. I was introduced to Tom Lehrer and his magnificent satirical tunes. Much later when I looked around for another insane list making project, I discovered that there is an archive of all the Dr. Demento shows since the beginning. So, 21 years ago, I created a spreadsheet and assigned points to each song in the year end Funny 25, and I have updated it annually ever since.

On this year’s list, it seems like we’ve got a couple of new favorites. Wolves of Glendale had two songs in the top 10, and as far as I can remember, it’s the first time any artist has had two back-to-back in the annual rankings. Meanwhile, Knuckleheadz, the father-son duo who jumped aboard the Funny 25 in 2021, had three songs on the list in 2023.

Here are the changes from last year to the list of Dr. Demento’s TOP 100 (or so) DEMENTED HITS (from Funny 25’s) – 1974 to 2023:

  • “Baby Talk At The Sleepover” by Napoleon XIV and Artie Barnes enters the list at #72. It first appeared in the 2022 countdown, and it is now tied with “My Bologna” (Weird Al), “Street Meat” (Mike Phirman), and “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” (Monty Python).
  • “Ode To My Car (Car Honk Version)” by Adam Sandler makes a jump from #81 all the way to a tie with “Harry’s Jockstrap” (Dickie Goodman) and “One More Minute” (Weird Al) at #69.
  • “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park” by Tom Lehrer just entered the Top 100 last year. This year it moves up from #74 to #45 in a tie with “Rock And Roll Doctor” (Travesty Ltd), Last Will And Temperament” (The Frantics), and “The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati” (Rose & The Arrangement).
  • “Earache My Eye” by Cheech & Chong with Alice Bowie moves up from #62 to #34.
  • “The Masochism Tango” by Tom Lehrer moves up from #49 to a tie at #30 with “Shaving Cream” (Dr. Demento version).
  • “Shaving Cream” (Benny Bell/Paul Wynn version) goes from #17 to #14 and a tie with “The Ballad of Irving” (Frank Gallop).

Here is the Funny 25 list with links to videos for the songs. Have a happy 2024!

The Dr. Demento Show #23-52 – December 30, 2023
Special Topic: Funny 25
This show is available for online listening at drdemento.com
playlist courtesy of The Dr. Demento Show

#25 Yo! Sam – Devo Spice
#24 Dungeons And Dragons – The Dead Alewives
#23 Bulbous Bouffant – Radio Free Vestibule
#22 Fast Food – Stevens & Grdnic
#21 Ode To My Car (Car Honk Version) – Adam Sandler
#20 Shaving Cream – Benny Bell (Vocal: Paul Wynn)
#19 Ti Kwan Leep/Boot To The Head – The Frantics
#18 The Acid Queen (live from Arnhem, Netherlands) – Tina Turner

#17 Dead Puppies – Ogden Edsl Wahalia Blues Ensemble Mondo Bizzario Band
#16 Let’s Be Pirates – The Knuckleheadz
#15 Butter – & Barnes
#14 We Are The Worms – Johnson & Tofte
#13 Barbie Girl – Aqua
#12 They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! – Napoleon XIV
#11 Poisoning Pigeons In The Park (orchestral version) (stereo mix) – Tom Lehrer

#10 Your Horoscope For Today – “Weird Al” Yankovic
#9 Loud Ass Car – Wolves Of Glendale
#8 Vapin’ In Vegas – Wolves Of Glendale
#7 Why Don’t We Get Drunk – Jimmy Buffett
#6 The Masochism Tango (orchestral version) (stereo mix) – Tom Lehrer
#5 Party Witcha Parents – Knuckleheadz
#4 Earache My Eye Featuring Alice Bowie – Cheech & Chong
#3 Baby Talk At The Sleepover – Napoleon XIV & Artie Barnes
#2 Brush Your Teeth And Go To Sleep – Knuckleheadz

#1 Science Geek – The Amoeba People


As a special treat, here are the top ranked songs from each year so far and their current position in the Top 100:

1974 – “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” by Napoleon XIV (#3)
1975 – “The Ballad of Irving” by Frank Gallop (#14)
1976 – “Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh” by Allan Sherman (#43)
1977 – “Dead Puppies” by The Ogden Edsl Wahalia Blues Ensemble Mondo Bizzario Band (#2)
1978 – “Fish Heads” by Barnes & Barnes (#1)
1979 – “The Smoke-Off” by Shel Silverstein (#11)
1980 – “Existensial Blues” by Tom “T-Bone” Stankus (#6)
1981 – “Yoda” by “Weird Al” Yankovic (#10)
1982 – “I Love Rocky Road” by “Weird Al” Yankovic (#76)
1983 – “The Scotsman” by Bryan Bowers (#12)
1984 – “Wet Dream” by Kip Addotta (#5)
1985 – “Last Will And Temperament” by The Frantics (#45)
1986 – “Polka Dot Undies” by Bowser & Blue (#49)
1987 – “Ti Kwan Leep/Boot To The Head” by The Frantics (#4)
1988 – “My Girlfriend Is Inflatable” by John Mammoser (#88)
1989 – “The Second Week Of Deer Camp” by Da Yoopers (#88)
1990 – “Kick Ass USA” by Milo Tremley (#33)
1991 – “7-Eleven” by Led Slurpee (#98)
1992 – “The Happy Happy Joy Joy Song” by Ren & Stimpy (#58)
1993 – “No I Don’t Wanna Do Dat” by The Happy Schnapps Combo (#60)
1994 – “Lunchlady Land” by Adam Sandler (#64)
1995 – “Bulbous Bouffant” by Radio Free Vestibule (#8)
1996 – “Dungeons And Dragons” by The Dead Alewives (#26)
1997 – “Cows With Guns” by Dana Lyons (#17)
1998 – “The Devil Went To Jamaica” by Travis Meyer (#13)
1999 – “Viagra In The Waters” by Camille West (#18)
2000 – “Whistle Stop/Hampster Dance Song/Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller/Hampton The Hampster/Roger Miller (#3 in 2000 but not in the top 100)
2001 – “Let Me Make You Smile In Bed” by The Four Postmen (#1 in 2001)
2002 – “Peter Parker” by the great Luke Ski (#1 in 2002)
2003 – “Stealing Like A Hobbit” by the great Luke Ski (#64)
2004 – “Army Careers” by The Frantics (#88)
2005 – “My Cat Is Afraid Of The Vaccuum Cleaner” by Power Salad (#78)
2006 – “Re: Your Brains” by Jonathan Coulton (#40)
2007 – “99 Words For Boobs” by Robert Lund (#55)
2008 – “Whatever You Like” by “Weird Al” Yankovic (#92)
2009 – “Craigslist” by “Weird Al” Yankovic (#95)
2010 – “Street Meat (You Keep Tauntin’ Me)” by Mike Phirman (#72)
2011 – “If I Could Be Weird Al” by Moneyshot Cosmonauts (#2 in 2011)
2012 – “When You Wish Upon A Death Star” by the great Luke Ski (#92)
2013 – “After Ever After” by Jon Cozart (#88)
2014 – “Fake Adult” by the great Luke Ski (#82)
2015 – “Benedict Cumberbatch” by Insane Ian (#1 in 2015)
2016 – “Dick Heads” by Steve Goodie (#1 in 2016)
2017 – “Candybars” by the great Luke Ski (#1 in 2017)
2018 – “Institutionalized” by Brak (#55)
2019 – “I’ve Got No More F’s To Give” by Thomas Benjamin Wild, Esq. (#39)
2020 – “The Bunker Boy” by Randy Rainbow (#2 in 2020)
2021 – “Peed In My Pants” by Knuckleheadz (#1 in 2021)
2022 – “Baby Talk At The Sleepover” by Napoleon XIV & Artie Barnes (#72)
2023 – “Scienc Geek” by The Amoeba People (#1 in 2023)

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