"Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

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"Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby jon » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:30 am

Radio veteran Dick Orkin, creator of ‘Chickenman,’ has died at 84
Chicago Sun-Times
12/26/2017, 09:15am

Dick Orkin, whose voice was familiar to many Chicago radio listeners, died Sunday in California, his daughter posted on Facebook.

“He had been struggling with health issues for a while and lately was on the mend, but Saturday night he had a stroke and Sunday evening he passed away,” Lisa Orkin, posted on Facebook. “He was an incredible father and we all feel blessed that we had him in our lives as long as we did.”

The news was first reported by Robert Feder, who said Orkin was 84.

Orkin was production director at WCFL in 1967 when he created “The Adventures of Chickenman” — which, at its height, was syndicated to more than 1,500 stations worldwide, according to Feder.

Orkin’s deadpan superhero, the alter-ego of shoe salesman Benton Harbor, had no powers. He wanted to fight crime in Midland City, so he went to a costume store. He settled on a chicken because the other option, a rabbit suit, didn’t test well. Indeed, the first person he ran into outside the store, who professed to being a criminal, said the costume “makes me want to kiss you” because he looked “adorable.”

Returning to the store, Benton Harbor declared: “Wrap up the chicken, please.”

More recently, Orkin was the voice of the put-upon son “Dickie” who tries to talk his grandmother out of various money-making schemes and urges her to just get a loan from First American Bank.

Lisa Orkin said services are planned for Thursday in Los Angeles.
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Re: "Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby jon » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:43 am

Less than a month ago, I heard one of Dick's commercials, while DX'ing a station on one of the quietest AM frequencies here at night: 580. The station was KUBC in Montrose, Colorado. The ad was for montrosehelpwanted.com.

Didn't know that those ...helpwanted.com ads are still running. They started about 10 years ago and were aired in just about every North American market.

As I understand it, Dick sold the client on 60 second spots so that he could really tell a story. Or stories, as the ads would rotate through several, like the one about the guy looking for employees who just built a new building for them and, through the course of the conversation, his guest asks to use the washroom. Which is when the employer-to-be discovers that he forgot to include any washrooms in his now-completed building plans.

A quick look at http://honestlylisa.com/radioranch/ indicates that Dick's daughter Lisa has taken over the business. You can even hear some sample spots. As you will see, the helpwanted spots are now down to 30 seconds.
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Re: "Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby radiofan » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:55 am

A 1967 album, The Best Of Chickenman ...


1973 demo for syndicated Chickenman series ...

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: "Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:16 am

We still hear Orkin's genius almost every day on News 1130 on the Vancouver Job Shop.com spots.
He, along with Stan Freberg, was one of radio's creative masters.
The VJS.com spots still stand out among the other dreck that pass for radio commercials these days.
Mike Cleaver Broadcast Services
Engineering, News, Voice work and Consulting
Vancouver, BC, Canada

54 years experience at some of Canada's Premier Broadcasting Stations
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Re: "Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby pave » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:05 am

And now, finally, Miss Helfinger has been released - to lead a life of her own.
Meanwhile - and this will always remain a mystery to me - how many generations of radio executives who have been exposed to the productions from the Radio Ranch, have said, "That's the kind of stuff we should be doing - and lots of it."?
We abuse and waste our own medium.
There is a special place in Hell....
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Re: "Chickenman" Dick Orkin has passed away

Postby Russ_Byth » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:00 pm

A friend passed this along. I did not know that Chickenman had an 'alter ego'

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