‘Chickenman’ Dick Orkin Dead at 84

Over a groundbreaking 68-year career in radio, Dick Orkin was the comic genius behind “Chickenman,” the phenomenally popular serial spoof hatched at Chicago’s WCFL in the 1960s, and later some of the funniest and most memorable commercials ever heard on radio stations across the country.

Orkin died Sunday, December 24, 2017, in California after suffering a stroke. He was 84.  

I remember enjoying these episodes on KxOK radio in St. Louis. Here’s one such episode…

Thanks, Chuck J

6 thoughts on “‘Chickenman’ Dick Orkin Dead at 84”

  1. Ahh, I remember those shows so well. I was in my late teens and had the radio on almost 24/7 of course, and we really looked forward to the Chicken Man episodes lol. We used to hear them on our local station in Cleveland, and then we would tune to The Big 8 – CKLW in Windsor Ontario to hear them all over again. Fun moments at a time when we really needed them.

    It was also good to hear one of my old favorite DJs … Jim Runyon was the morning guy at Cleveland’s KYW (which became WKYC and then WWWE) and was the funniest smartest most inovative guy ever. I remember the morning in 1973 that he announced that he was in very bad health and was resigning, and he died about a month later at the age of 42 of leukemia. He always ended his show with a love song from “a Runyon named Jim.”

    Such fun vivid memories of a different era…a whole different world. RIP to both of them.

    • Forgot to mention… Runyon was the narrator on all the Chicken Man episodes, and his voice also popped up as other characters.

  2. It sounded like some voices played different characters. Good local radio voices like that are getting harder and harder to find these days.

  3. Even tho it was about 100 straight-line miles away and in a different country, CKLW for years was the #1 station in ratings not only in Detroit, but in Toledo, Cleveland, and a lot of towns around Mich, Ind, Ohio, and Ontario. A 50,000 W blowtorch. Home of Gary Burbank (creator of Earl Pitts ), and Byron MacGregor, who had a YUGE hit recording in 1973 called “The Americans”, which I know you would remember.


  4. RIP Chickenman. I remember winning a radio contest where I clucked in order to help him recover from amnesia. Fare thee well.


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