Last year, it was Casey Kasem. This weekend, it was Gary Owens.
I remember him best from the days my parents would let me watch Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In where he served as the goofy staff announcer. Ever wonder where that affection of an announcer holding a hand over his ear while he talked came from? That was Gary Owens. (FYI: None of us in the business do that. Ever.)
I had no idea Owens was a real radio DJ until years later. But I did know he was the voice of Space Ghost and Roger Ramjet. Sesame Street also used him as a voiceover guy. And the man also wrote forRocky and Bullwinkle and did three comedy records with Jonathan Winters.
His list of radio employers included KMPC (he was there for over 20 years), KFI, KIIS FM, KFWB and KKGO, all in Los Angeles. He also had a turn at KEWB in San Francisco.
Gary Owens was 80. Fortunately for all involved (and unlike poor Casey) he will be laid to rest in a timely manner.