Elmo's Humor Tickles Us This Time of Year

He took some flak for 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,' but he's gotten over it.

Take a wild guess at which song is No. 1 among most downloaded comedy tracks this season.

... Thirty-three years after it was first recorded.

It's the song that put Dr. Elmo Shropshire among the world's best-known musicians based in Marin County, right along with Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis and the Grateful Dead.

It's the song for which he was targeted by folks angry who took the song a little too seriously and complained about its references to alcohol and violence.

It's the song that has been covered by dozens of other musicians and bands, including a heavy metal group.

Obviously, it's "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."

Dr. Elmo, a former veterinarian and a competive runner, is still having a blast and joking about his fame.

"The following comments have been made about my voice: 'a vaguely menacing hillbilly vibe' and 'sounds like Santa has a light grip on his throat,'" he said. "I have also been referred to as 'one of the most notorious public enemies since Bonnie & Clyde got aerated by the FBI."

He's played a few dates on his North Bay Christmas tour already, and he plays Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol on Dec. 23.

"This year, just as I reach 76 and should be checking into a retirement home, I win my age division in the National USA Track & Field cross country 5 kilometer championship and my song is No. 1 on Billboard's comedy chart for the first time. It's been one helluva year!"

Enjoy this story in the Pacific Sun and this story from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

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