Barry "Dr. Demento" Hansen

Where would Weird Al be without him?

From the flawlessly-cut gems of Tom Lehrer to “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” the novelty song has a long and (to say the least) checkered history, but the unarguable high priest of the genre is radio host Dr. Demento, spinning comedy records via syndication since 1974. But that’s just his secret superhero identity—in real life, he’s Barry Hansen, free speech advocate. In a talk sponsored by the ACLU, he’ll discuss the ways radio programming has become a battleground between the First Amendment and FCC regulations. And he’s promised to bring some of the best/worst hits from his collection. Kane Hall, UW campus, $25. 3 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Sun., March 2, 3 p.m., 2008

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