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Chickenman

It goes without saying that styles of humor change over the years (although I just said it, didn’t I?). But it’s also true that peoples’ taste in humor changes, even when the humor doesn’t. For example, I get the impression that a lot of people feel that Saturday Night Live was funny when they first discovered the show—and that the current show sucks. I haven’t watched it for a long time (’cause it sucks! *wink*), but it probably hasn’t changed much over the decades. The point is that some things used to be funny while other things are still funny.

An example came up just the other day. Once in a while at home I burst out with “They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!” No, I don’t have Tourettes, but Anne wondered what that was all about. It’s inspired by the Chickenman radio series, which first aired in the late Sixties. Chickenman was the creation of Dick Orkin, a person who has employed his considerable talents to create funny ads to sell products, much as Stan Freberg did before him, and John Cleese (of Monty Python) did later with his industrial training films. The Chickenman style of humor was alternately broad and dry, but always silly. The entire series is available on 14 CDs for $129. That’s more Chickenman than I can handle, so I’ll have to content myself with the two sample shows that are available on this page. I know my tastes have changed in the last 35 years, but I still think Chickenman is funny.

Comments

Bawk, bawk, bawk, Superchicken. I love the Chicken Man. I can even imagine that "They're everywhere" voice. That is so funny. On a parallel note, I can't get a new phone book without yelping "The new phone books are here, the new phones books are here, now I'm finally someone!"

SNL sucks!

and this talk of "Chickenman" reminds me of the Kids in the Hall sketch "Chicken Lady" which, without ever hearing of "Chickenman" before, I'm assuming is some sort of spoof?

I guess it is sort of a spoof, just not sure of what. In the late Sixties, America was awash in secret agents (four or five James Bond films had been made) and a number of spyploitation TV shows. Chickenman isn't a secret agent, more of a super hero, and all there was at the time of that ilk was Batman, which was kind of a spoof itself. I had to read up on the Chicken Lady. She sounds like a strange bird.

Thanks for mentioning the Chickenman collector's package.

If anyone's interested, they'll find it at http://www.danoday.com/chickenman.

As Frank pointed out, Dan’s link in the comment above might lead to a 404 error page, although an amusing one at that. Try http://www.danoday.com/chickenman. And Frank, thanks for the catch.

Chickenman was my favorite show on the radio.I loved the series the Dick Orking did,like The Tooth Fairy and the later Chickenman shows(Chickenman vs. the Earth-Pollutters,Chickenman Returns for the Last Time Again).I met Dick Orkin years ago and got his autograph,which I treasure.The White-Winged Warrior was the natural response to mid-60s superhero binge...much as Cervantes' Don Quixote was the response to the 1500s-Knightly Romance books.I will always recall his sterling words;
"Here I am once again to strike terrific terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere,for I will seek them out no matter where they lurk,in dark alleys and places like that and prove with one blow from my mighty fist that crimes does not pay and that vicious criminals cannot escape the wrath of the Feathered Fighter!"
(Sure he flopped more often than not,but he always tried.No matter how often he failed,he never stopped trying to achieve his goals-and that is a lesson for everyone.)

I have the Chickenman episodes than ran in the 60's, via Dan O'Day. But I first discovered Chickenman in 1977, but none of those episodes are part of the 60's version. I had at least 2 on cassette (neither of which I can locate), so I know they exist in somebody's vault. Radio Ranch won't confirm or deny they exist. Does anyone remember or have copies of these????

Mark, I didn't even know about the 1977 series, but according to the Wikipedia article about Chickenman, the 1977 episodes are supposed to be included in the set sold by Dan O'Day. Wikipedia also mentions some outlets that are still playing the episodes (mostly satellite radio). I hope you can track them down!

Hi Tony,

The package released by Dick Orkin and sold by Dan O'Day does not have these episodes. I wrote to Sandy Orkin and told him I had a couple of the episodes in question on cassette, but being 30 years old now, I can't find them. Sandy has written back, but has not confirmed that these shows ever existed. But I keep looking...

Mark, Sorry to hear that. I still have all my old cassettes (not of Chickenman, though). They’re around here somewhere... Hope you find yours. :-)

OK, I see the last post here was in 2008, so hoping someone is still watching, but...I seem to remember a Television show about a crime fighter that turned in to a chicken...may have been an adaptation of the radio series, but i was only 5 or 6, so it is hard to tell. Anybody have any ideas?

Gary,
That show isn't ringing any bells for me, so I did some Googling and came up with nothing. Sorry. If you remember any other details, please leave another comment.

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