An appreciation: Satirist Stan Freberg mixed comedy and commercials in almost subversive ways

April 13, 2015 4:55 PM

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Stan Freberg, a great man of comedy and of commercials, died last week at the age of 88. His career ranged wide, from cartoon voice-overs and puppetry to satirical hit records and radio series to Clio-winning ad campaigns. Yet it all seems very much of a piece, the product of a distinct, mischievous, instantly recognizable sensibility.

When, on the fourth-season premiere of "Mad Men," Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) goes back and forth with a colleague in a conversation consisting of her passionately addressing him "John" and him calling her "Marsha," it was a nod to Freberg and his 1951 hit record, "John and Marsha," a soap opera scene wh...

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