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.