Stan Boreson, popular children's entertainer and "The King of Scandinavian Humor," is retiring.
'I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore'
Many may have missed Stan Boreson, “The King of Scandinavian Humor,” at this year’s SeafoodFest. That’s because Boreson, who has opened for the event for many years now, has retired.
“I’ve done it for 70 years,” Boreson said of being an entertainer. “So, I decided, that’s enough.”
Boreson, a popular entertainer and TV show host, said he will also be retiring from his company, Boreson Tours, which he has run with his wife for the past several years. For several years now, they have taken tourists, mostly elderly people who are nostalgic of Stan Boreson’s TV show, travels all over the states, seeing sights and entertaining with music. Their last trip will be in October, they said, and that will be it.
As for why they are retiring, it has to do with timing and with finally recovering their financial situation. It also has to do with old age. Stan Boreson is not exactly the young jokester on television anymore, though he’s still jovial and laughing.
Upon entering his home in Sand Point, the first challenge Boreson faces these days is climbing the stairs.
Now 87, he takes each step slowly and deliberately. His wife Barbara Boreson stands at the top, egging him on and cracking jokes. “These stairs will be the death of us,” she called down.
“But, you know, we have to do this,” she explained. “As soon as we stop climbing up the stairs that’s when you know your body starts deteriorating.”
For the Boresons, this is just one element of the next stage of their life -- old age.
“The King of Scandinavian Humor” and an Everett native, Stan Boreson was host of two TV shows, from 1950-1967 -- first, “Two Bs and the Keys” and then, for what many now remember him for, “The Stan Boreson Show,” a show geared towards children.
“It was all clean entertainment. There was nothing smutty or any words that were not appropriate for young people,” Barbara Boreson said. “I feel sorry for young people these days.”
In the show, Stan Boreson played songs on his accordion, always introduced as “Songs my uncle Torvald taught me,” and interacted with a range of characters, including Bozo the Clown and his ever-faithful bassett hound, “No-Mo,” a dog who never moved much, yet still somehow won as many hearts as Stan Boreson himself.
“That dog would let Stan do anything with him,” Barbara Boreson recalled. Both Stan and Barbara Boreson reminisced happily about both dogs who played No-Mo.
Many people who grew up in the 50s still remember fondly the Stan Boreson Show and speak about how such a profound and positive impact it had on their lives. When asked why so many people seemed so obviously affected by his show, Stan Boreson said he never thought of it like he was out to make a difference.
“Well, we didn’t want to preach,” Stan Boreson said. “And I think that we treated kids like grownups. We didn’t talk down to them.”
Many people did not know what happened to Stan Boreson after his TV career. For all intents and purposes, he had dropped off the radar.
But he never stopped playing the accordion. Instead, he would make a living off of it for the rest of his working career through Boreson Tours, which they never needed to advertise for because it filled up so quickly, months before a trip.
One of the last songs that Stan Boreson put out was a music video on Youtube in 2008 called, “I just don’t look good naked anymore.” The song is a satire and a reflection on his own self-realization of his age. He trots around the screen, seemingly stark naked behind his accordion, singing lyrics like, “Well my arches fell, and my chest went to hell and my butt’s been dragging the floor, and I just don’t look good naked anymore.”
Now, four years later, Boreson has trouble picking up and playing his accordion. “It’s just too heavy!” he said.
Officially retired from the business, Stan and Barbara Boreson plan to continue living life. They have plans to travel and revisit some of the places they have loved most. They also plan to spend more time with family, to sing and play music, and perhaps most of all, after so many years of working, to relax and take life easy for once.
“We’ll probably do the same things that we do now,” Stan Boreson said. “But without the pressure.”
When asked what they would say to their younger selves, Barbara Boreson emphasized optimism.
“Have a sense of humor. And be prepared for a fast ride, a wild ride, and (sometimes) a smooth ride,” Barbara Boreson said. “Don’t be thinking about negative things. Think about positive things. Keep looking forward to what’s ahead.”
As for the thought of death, Stan Boreson doesn’t seem to think much of it.
He recounted a conversation with his pastor about heaven. The pastor said, “You know Stan Boreson, you have nothing to worry about, you’ll get into heaven for sure.”
Stan Boreson thought about it, and responded.
“I’ve had such a great life, and everything has been so wonderful, that I think eternity would be boring.”