Stan Freberg – 70 Years In Showbiz

On the evening of November 2, friends and fans of the great Stan Freberg descended upon Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater to honor him for his seventy years in show business. Stan’s career began at the age of 18 as a voice actor for Looney Tunes cartoons, work he got through a talent agency that had been located mere blocks from where the evening’s tributes took place. From voice work, his career blossomed into other areas such as radio, television, movies, comedy albums, and advertising.


The poster for the evening’s event designed by editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez.


The tribute was hosted by Harry Shearer who himself is known not only as being one of the members of Spinal Tap, but also for his possibly hundreds of voices for The Simpsons such as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner, and the list goes on and on. Other participants on stage that evening were “Weird” Al Yankovic, Micky Dolenz, Leonard Maltin, animation historian Jerry Beck, animator and director Eric Goldberg, animation director Bob Kurtz, and Stan’s lovely wife Hunter Freberg.

Throughout the evening, clips were played from all his various careers. We heard some of his wonderful comedy routines from his records, watched his television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, his work with Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent and Dishonest John from the original live puppet version of Time for Beany, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Monkees, The Frank Sinatra Show (where through his puppet Orville the alien, Stan sang a duet with Frank), The Dick Cavett Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and many of his cartoons (including his work as the beaver in Lady & the Tramp) and hilarious as well as thought provoking commercials.

There were even video tributes sent in by some of Stan’s fans who could not make it that evening. They began with a few words from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, followed by the ever energetic Dr. Demento, the magical Penn Jillette, and from the set of their movie currently shooting in Berlin – Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks who both had grown up with Stan’s records.

At the end of the evening, Stan and his wife Hunter took to the stage for a few parting tales which ended in a thunderous standing ovation, one of three or four for him throughout the proceedings.

Perhaps you might like to see a little of what went on there instead of just reading about it. Here are a few photos to make you feel as though you were there:


Stan Freberg
Before the doors were opened to the public, Stan was able to mingle with those involved in the evening’s program as final preparations were being taken care of.
Eric Goldberg
Disney animator and director Eric Goldberg chatting with Hunter Freberg.
Leonard Maltin & Weird Al
Movie critic Leonard Maltin with “Weird” Al Yankovic.
Harry Shearer
Animation director Bob Kurtz with voice actor Harry Shearer (“The Simpsons”) and Leonard Maltin.
Freberg Photo
A group shot before the doors were opened to the public. Back row Harry Shearer, Micky Dolenz, “Weird” Al Yankovic, Jerry Beck, Leonard Maltin. Front row: Bob Kurtz, Stan Freberg, Hunter Freberg, and Eric Goldberg.
Stan Freberg
Mark Evanier, who was one of the evening’s organizers and producer of the “The Garfield Show” show that Stan has done voices for recently, with Stan Freberg in the green room of The Egyptian Theater before the show started.
Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer who did a fantastic job as host for the evening’s proceedings.
Jerry Beck and Eric Goldberg
Jerry Beck presenting the animation segment of the show with Eric Goldberg.
Eric Goldberg
Eric Goldberg praising the vocal prowess of Stan Freberg who did the voices of Pete Puma, Junyer Bear, and countless others for Looney Tunes cartoons.
"Weird" Al Yankovic
Freberg’s recording career doing parody songs back in the 1950s and 60s paved the way for artists like “Weird” Al Yankovic who publicly thanked Stan for his work. Stan even had been on Al’s children’s TV show back in the 1990s.
Micky Dolenz
Hey, hey! It’s a Monkee! Micky Dolenz told the audience about working with Stan back in the 1960s on his show “The Monkees.”
Leonard Maltin
Film historian Leonard Maltin introduced filmed tributes from famous fans of Freberg who could not be there in person.
Bob Kurtz
Bob Kurtz who broke into a great impersonation of Freberg while telling us about some of the animated commercials they made together.
After all the accolades, it was Stan’s turn to take the stage with a standing ovation from the audience and his wife and Harry Shearer.
Hunter Freberg
Hunter Freberg telling tales about her wonderful husband, Stan…
Stan Freberg
…with Stan just drinking in every word from his sweetie.
Ramirez and Yankovic
Two time Pulitzer prize winner for editorial cartooning Michael Ramirez with Al Yankovic. Michael was the creator of the great poster used to promote the evening’s tribute.
At the end of the evening, Freberg sat in the lobby greeting fans and signing autographs. He even had drawings he had done of Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent, a character he originated in puppet form back in the 1950s.
Stan Freberg
One parting shot of myself with the Frebergs at the end of the evening.


It was a delightful evening for all, and especially for Stan & Hunter. Thanks so much to Howard Green and Mark Evanier for producing the show, and thanks to Arthur Greenwald and Joe Campana for their invaluable participation as well.

And now, here giving the final word of the evening…


Stan Freberg
The great Stan Freberg.
Chad About Town