Welcome back to Finnley’s Audio Adventures where we’re off to another exciting dive into the world of offbeat records. Today, we’re surfacing a hidden gem – “SUPERFUN” from Mel Blanc Associates. This unique project filled a void in radio programming, which was the lack of comedy. The record was created by the legendary voice actor Mel Blanc and Mel Blanc Associates, the man behind classic cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. The 10-inch record, released in 1966, played at 33 1/3 RPM and was originally created as a promotional item.
“Superfun” was an ambitious project that aimed to bring laughter to listeners across the country. The sketches and songs on the record were full of puns, wordplay, and absurdity, and the record featured an impressive lineup of performers, writers, and audio engineers. Mel Blanc provided creative supervision for the project, and his son Noel Blanc produced and directed the record. The head writer was Richard Clorfene, and the writing staff included Bob Ridolfi, Jack Margolis, and Red Baker, among others.
The performers on the record included Len Weinrib, Joan Gerber, Arte Johnson, and Lee Zimmer, many of whom had worked with Blanc on other projects. For example, Len Weinrib was a prolific voice actor who lent his talents to numerous animated shows and films, including “Lidsville,” “The Smurfs,” and “McDonaldland.” Joan Gerber was a successful voice actor with credits in “Snorks”, “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels”, and was the voice of Mrs. Beakley on the original “DuckTales” series. Arte Johnson was a comedian and actor who appeared on numerous TV shows, including “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”, and was a voice actor for animated television series including “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures” as well as “The Smurfs”. Lee Zimmer was an actor who appeared in several TV shows including “The Outer Limits” and “My Mother the Car.”
The sound effects for “SUPERFUN” were provided by Eugene Twombly, who was best known for his sound work on “The Jack Benny Program.” The audio engineers for the record were Paul Ryan and Mike Cerone, who both worked on numerous other recording projects throughout their careers. The cover design for the album was done by Nick Bennion, and the liner notes were written by radio DJ Gary Owens.
“Stick it in Your Format” was a promotional album created for “SUPERFUN,” featuring recordings from radio DJs who used the service. Among the featured DJs on the album were Gary Owens from KMPC in Los Angeles, Jack Palvino from WJBC in Bloomington, Don Munson from WBBF in Rochester, and J. Akuhead Papuli from KGMB in Honolulu. These DJs, along with many others across the country, subscribed to the “SUPERFUN” radio comedy service for a steady supply of fresh and funny material to entertain their audiences.
Despite its popularity, the exact number of radio stations that subscribed to “SUPERFUN” is unknown, and additional records from the service are rare. A search on Discogs only reveals three results, two of which are for the same promotional album featuring a selection of material from the service. The third copy listed on Discogs does not contain a track listing, and the version I have in my possession does not match any of the copies listed on the site.
And with that, we conclude another audio adventure together. I hope you enjoyed diving into the strange and offbeat world of “SUPERFUN” with me. In a future episode, we’ll take a listen to “Stick it in Your Format” and uncover more laughs and insights into this unique piece of audio history. Join me next time as we explore the open audio waters together and discover more fascinating finds. Don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe to my channel so you won’t miss any of our future explorations. I can’t wait to see you on our next deep dive!