Monday, October 15, 2007

Gas has passed

The DSH is blown away by the recent passing of Gas. Sir Frederick Gas, that is. He was actually Earl Bennett (no, not the football player!), and a man of many talents. He was best known for his years as a performer with Spike Jones And His City Slickers. Later Bennett worked as an editor for various Hanna-Barbera TV series, including Frankenstein, Jr. And The Impossibles (1966) and Scooby-Do (1969).

He was also a gifted painter who had studied under Thomas Hart Benton. Clips of Bennett talking about Benton can be seen in the 1989 Ken Burns documentary THOMAS HART BENTON, and a portion of Bennett's comments can be seen here.

In the video clip with this post, Gas/Bennett is seen in the middle, his mop of hair teased out, and singing the opening vocal portion. He does a very good parody of the lead singer of The Ink Spots.

Frederick Gas/Earl Bennett was a talented and funny man, and am truly sorry to hear of his death on Oct. 4th. (Even if it provides for a funny subject line.) But there is good news to share: the Spike Jones TV series, which the video clip comes from, is being released on dvd on Oct 30th!!

A more detailed obit can be seen here:
Sir Frederick Gas (Earl Bennett)

Right: Bennett is seen dressed in black, menacing Peter Lorre.

Special thanks to George Chastain.


Splotchy said...

A nice tribute!

I was never aware of the individual names of any of the City Slickers.

Now I know where David Lynch got the inspiration for the look of the Eraserhead character.

Sparkle Plenty said...

You know, I imagine he would appreciate your subject line. :-)
This gives me an itch to do further research--which is always good. Do you know whether any of the other City Slickers are still alive?


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