RADIO REVIEW : Satirist Stan Freberg Returns

Stan Freberg, the free-form satirist who first caught the national ear with his wonderfully spoofy radio shows and then proved that chow mein commercials could be funny, returns to radio today. He makes his debut as a commentator in some amusing if non-poisonous 90-second sound bites on KNX-AM (1070) locally and in syndication nationally. The strip, called “Stan Freberg Here,” will air four times daily on KNX at 4:42 a.m. and p.m. and at 11:42 a.m. and p.m.

Freberg’s early targets and tangents include some recent deformations of language (“My son Donovan asked if he could access the butter”); an interview with George Washington about his upset at becoming only half of a national holiday; the rash of substitutes for fur and leather apparel, including salmon-skin shoes and wallets that start swimming upstream if you fall in the water; a newly unemployed spy (in the wake of glasnost ) opening a shop for surplus espionage gear, Spies R Us, and so on in the cheeky, chirpy Freberg tradition.

Like any strip, it is likely to have its ups and down, and 90 seconds doesn’t give a chap much room to get running. But on the early evidence, Freberg is in fine, irreverent form, with the occasional sharp sting of “Gotcha!”