Stan Freberg on political correctness and censorship

April 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm (comedy, Free Speech, Jim D, RIP)

The death of Stan Freberg, at the age of 88, has been all but ignored this side of the pond. But there was a time (the 1950s and 60s) when as well as being a leading US comedian, he was also a familiar voice on BBC radio. His great spoof recordings were not intended as political satire, but one at least is as relevant – possibly more relevant – today than when he recorded it in 1957:

H/t Gene at That Place

5 Comments

  1. Rosie said,

    I remember that routine, especially the unctuous Mr Tweedly. A classic.

  2. rennatgk said,

    Sad to learn of his death. An unique character. He was probably best known in the UK for his hilarious rendering and send-up of Yellow Rose of Texas.

  3. les said,

    actually, freberg did from time to time engage a bit more directly in forms of political satire. in 1970, he created a series of radio spots in support of the mcgovern-hatfield amendment, which would have forced an end to all military operations in vietnam by the end of that year, and required a complete withdrawal of all american troops 6 months later. unfortunately, not only was the amendment defeated, the radio spots were heavily censored. however, you can listen to these ads and hear him talk about the whole experience here:

  4. Jim Denham said,

    The excellent Nick Cohen in today’s Observer, on the dangers of obsessing about “politically correct” language:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/12/mentally-ill-people-easy-tory-target

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    But it’s not just the left where you will find PC language.
    I remember William Hague, saying that if he was elected in 2001, we would house asylum seekers in “reception centres”. Which sounds quite pleasant but I think he really meant what we would know as prisons.

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