Stan Freberg, beloved genius of radio, comedy and advertising, dies at 88

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Stan Freberg was funny in every medium he tried.

In cartoons, where he was the voice of a gopher, two bears and an insurance agent, among others. On his radio show and comedy albums, on which he spoofed everyone from George Washington to Elvis Presley, from to Harry Belafonte to Lawrence Welk and the Founding Fathers. In his revolutionary ad campaigns, which injected humor into the staid, overly earnest advertisements of earlier decades, sometimes at the cost of the very product he was selling. (In a classic commercial for pit-less prunes, a skeptic of the fruit sniffs, “They’re still rather badly wrinkled, you know.”) Before National Lampoon and “Saturday Night Live,” way before, there was Stan Freberg.

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