SEATTLE – Friends and family of Stan Borenson held a celebration for the former KING's Klubhouse host.
Borenson died peacefully at his home on Jan 27, 2017. He was 91 years old.
Remembering KING's Klubhouse with Stan Boreson
Stan was a musician, humorist, recording artist, and one of the Pacific Northwest’s first TV stars. He appeared in several KING-TV shows in the pioneering years of television from 1949-1967, including Campus Capers, Two B’s at the Keys, and his longest-running and most successful show, KING’s Klubhouse, which became the Stan Boreson Show.
On KING’s Klubhouse, Pacific Northwest kids were serenaded five days a week with, “Songs my Uncle Torvald taught me”, sung by Stan, played on his accordion, and accompanied by his trusty companion No-Mo-Shun (aka “No Mo”) the Basset Hound.
The Klubhouse gang included a varied cast of characters played by Boreson, his sidekick Doug Setterberg, and many KING staffers. Characters included the Old Timer (Mike Rhodes), Grandma Torvald (Boreson), Phineas the Frog, Foghorn Peterson (Doug Setterberg), and of course the 1962 World’s Fair visitor from outer space, Spac-Nik (Jerry Sando). Many characters were derived from Stan's experience growing up in the Pacific Northwest’s Scandinavian immigrant culture and were voiced in his trademark “Scandahoovian” accent.
Stan Boreson released 16 music albums, with titles like Ay Don’t Give a Hoot, Those Swedehearts of Song Youst Go Country Western, Those Swedish Meatballs Are at it Again, and Yust Tinkin’ of Yogi. Of all his music, he was best known for his Christmas songs, especially Walking in my Winter Underwear. Stan's complete discography is listed on his website.
Among these notable accomplishments, Stan made several appearances on the Lawrence Welk Show, Prairie Home Companion, and performed for King Olav V of Norway. Garrison Keillor praised him as, “one of the last great Scandinavian-dialect humorists.” He continued performing throughout his life as well as conducting tours across Europe with his wife, Barbara.
In 2005, Stan was awarded the highest honor in Norway by King Harald V, the St. Olav Medal of Honor. His last musical release in 2007, is the hilarious song and music video, I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore.
Stan Boreson was an integral part of Pacific Northwest pop culture. Northwest Baby Boomers are likely to have fond memories of KING’s Klubhouse and may have Stan’s well-worn Christmas albums on vinyl. Perhaps they participated in the contest to name Stan’s dog No-Mo-Shun, beloved for doing, well… nothing. They may have met him at one of his innumerable public appearances, and surely he ushered them through the 1962 World’s Fair with his engaging TV coverage. Stan’s lighthearted humor and comic sensibility have imprinted on the children and families of the region.
All newcomers to the Puget Sound area would benefit from knowing about Stan Boreson and KING’s Klubhouse. It may explain a thing or two. Steve Wilson, a KING-TV alumni and cast member of the KING sketch comedy show Almost Live, had this to say:
"It is difficult to say goodbye to man who was a childhood hero of mine, and then later a very close friend in my adult life. At the age of 6, I witnessed my first "live" television broadcast at The Seattle Worlds Fair. It was "The Stan Boreson Show" which aired daily on KING-5. Not only was I in awe of being that close to someone who entertained me via the television, but witnessing the entire process of the cameras, the lights, and the technicians completely mesmerized me. It sounds impossible, but seeing that single event, completely influenced my choice of I wanted to do when I grew up. And when I had grown up, I went to work at KING 5. And the very first TV show I was allowed to pitched and then produce, was "The Stan Boreson Christmas Reunion". The show was a hit and ran annually every Christmas for 12 years. Over the years I stayed close with Stan and Barbara and was honored to help present his 90th birthday celebration at the Swedish Club in 2015. When the tribute was over, he took the mic, cracked some great jokes, and sang as he had done his entire life. At 90 years old, Stan still had it. He was born to entertain. My thoughts at this time are with his wife Barbara, his daughter Anne and his son Biff. And I thank Stan for inspiring me as such a young age, and being such a wonderful friend so many years later."