Madison Ave. Werewolf

Stan Freberg

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Madison Ave. Werewolf Review

by Sean Carruthers

Stan Freberg's radio show on CBS lasted only 15 weeks, but he managed to get a few record albums out of the deal, and this album was one of those radio shows. The material is pretty solid throughout, including an interview with the Abominable Snowman in which Freberg ably handles both voices, a segment on the excesses of hi-fi aficionados, and a bit in which Freberg goes to an ad agency to get commercials selling himself as the show's sponsor (a bit of a poke at the network, who had neglected to get any ads at all for the entire run of the series). Of course, the centerpiece here is the track that inspired the album's title, "Grey Flannel Hatful of Teen-Age Werewolves," in which teenage horror movies are combined with the real-world horror of working at an ad agency on Madison Avenue (apparently Freberg really had it in for advertising folks around this time). If there's anything dicey, it's that "Literary Giants of Our Time" plays a bit on racial stereotypes, but to be fair, it's pretty mild compared to some of the other stuff being trotted out by less-sensitive writers and comedians -- Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's this isn't. [A special note: This album was included in its entirety as the second album in Capitol's The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows compilation, so you probably won't need both unless you're a completist.]

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