Kasem at the 41st Emmy Awards, September 17, 1989
April 27, 1932|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Kamal Amin "Casey" Kasem is an American radio personality and voice actor who is best known for voicing Shaggy in the popular Saturday morning cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo and for being the host of the nationally syndicated Top 40 countdown show, American Top 40.
Kasem, along with Don Bustany and Ron Jacobs, founded the popular American Top 40 franchise in 1970, hosting it from 1970 to 1988 and then from 1998 to 2004. Between 1989 and 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown. He is currently heard on a weekly syndicated radio programs on Sirius Satellite Radio based on the American Top 40 franchise: Casey Kasem's American Top 40: The 70s on Sirius, are replays of AT40 shows from the respective decades. He also hosted American Top 20 and American Top 10. Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 on July 4, 2009 and both shows ended on that day.
In addition to his radio shows, Kasem has provided the voice of many commercials, has done many voices for Sesame Street, was the voice of NBC, helps out with the annual Jerry Lewis telethon, and most notably, provided the cartoon voice of Robin in Super Friends, Mark on Battle of the Planets, and a number of characters for the Transformers cartoon series of the 1980s. In 2008, he was the voice of "Out of Sight Retro Night" which airs on WGN America, but recently was replaced by rival Rick Dees. After 40 years, Casey retired from his role of voicing Shaggy from Scooby Doo in 2009, instead voicing Shaggy's father in the 2010 TV series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. 
Casey's signature sign-off is "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."
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Kasem, whose radio career started in the mid-1950s in Detroit at WJBK, developed his rock-trivia persona from his work as a disc jockey in the early 1960s at KYA in San Francisco and KEWB in Oakland, California. He also worked for several other stations across the country, including WJW (now WKNR) in Cleveland, Ohio, WBNY (now WWWS) in Buffalo, New York, and KRLA 1110 in Los Angeles (1963-69), before launching the national show American Top 40 on July 4, 1970.
Kasem is best known as a music historian and disc jockey, most notably as host of the weekly American Top 40 radio program from July 4th 1970 to 1988, and again from March 1998 until January 10, 2004, when Ryan Seacrest succeeded him. He hosted a spin-off television show called America's Top 10 for most of the 1980s. For a period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kasem was the staff announcer for the NBC television network. More recently, he has appeared in infomercials, marketing CD music compilations. Kasem received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 27, 1981, his 49th birthday, and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992. When he was hosting American Top 40, Mr. Kasem would often include trivia facts about songs and artists. Frequently he mentioned a trivia fact about a unnamed singer before a commercial break, and then provide the name of the singer after returning from the break.
In 1984, Kasem made a cameo in Ghostbusters, reprising his role as the host of American Top 40.
Kasem was sometimes thought of as a perfectionist in the studio, and there are at least two known instances where he lost his temper while recording the show. The most infamous incident occurred while recording a listener dedication of a song ("Shannon" by Henry Gross) to his deceased dog. Kasem felt that the song that preceded it, the Pointer Sisters' "Dare Me", was too up-tempo for him to transition to a more somber moment, and he launched into a profanity-laced tirade. The other incident occurred while Kasem was introducing a U2 song, and he felt that the copy he was given was too verbose. Both of these moments have been displayed and satirized on websites such as YouTube, and both incidents were sampled in a song by the experimental music group Negativland in 1991 called "U2".
From January 1989 to March 1998, when Kasem was not at the helm of AT40, he was host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown, syndicated by the Westwood One Radio Networks. He was also the host of the short-lived American version of 100% during the 1998-99 season, and would close each episode by inviting viewers to join him that weekend on AT40, which Kasem had just returned to.
In August 2006, XM Satellite Radio, now merged with Sirius Satellite Radio, began airing newly restored versions of the original American Top 40 radio show from the 1970s and 1980s. Premiere Radio Networks also started airing reruns of AT40 (dating from 1970 to 1978 & 1980-1988) in January 2007.
On the week of July 4, 2009, after 39 years on air, Casey Kasem ended his run on the radio. American Top 20 and American Top 10 aired their final shows, with Casey giving a brief retrospective of his 39 years of counting down the hits. Casey also read one final Long Distance Dedication, from a listener thanking Casey for 39 years of music. Replays of Casey's shows from the 1970s and 1980s continue to air on 200+ stations around the country, but Casey is no longer producing any new material in the studio.
Since ending his run on radio, Casey has given no interviews. He briefly appeared on his daughter's podcast in late 2009.
Kasem began his television career hosting "Shebang," a dance show aired weekday afternoons on Los Angeles television station KTLA in the mid to late 1960s. He is a prominent voiceover actor, and is most connected to Hanna-Barbera. His most famous role was the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise, beginning with the first series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969. He has done work for many other animated series, such as the voice of Robin, The Boy Wonder in the 1968 Batman cartoons, three 1970 episodes of Sesame Street, and various versions of SuperFriends, the drummer Groove from The Cattanooga Cats (1969), Alexander Cabot III from Josie and the Pussycats (1970, 1972), Merry from the animated The Return of the King (1980 film), and television specials such as Rankin-Bass' Here Comes Peter Cottontail.
Kasem has also done many TV commercial voiceovers for companies and products like A&P, Chevron, Ford, Red Lobster, Raid, Oscar Mayer, Hoover vacuum cleaners, Velveeta, Joy dishwashing liquid, Heinz ketchup, Sears, Prestone, Dairy Queen, Continental Airlines, the California Raisin Advisory Board, the National Cancer Institute, and promos for the NBC television network. He also played the voice of Mark, the American name of Ken Washio in Battle of the Planets, the first American version of Gatchaman, as well as Bluestreak, Cliffjumper, Teletraan I and Dr. Arkeville in the original Transformers animated series, but left during the third season due to what he perceived as offensive caricatures of Arabs and Arab countries in the episode "Thief in the Night."
Kasem also hosted, from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1991 to 1992, the syndicated American Top 40 TV spin-off America's Top 10, a weekly one-hour music video show that counted down the top 10 songs in the United States.
He initially was hired as the narrator for the TV show Soap, but quit the series after the pilot due to the controversial adult themes the show promoted. Rod Roddy replaced him as narrator; it was Roddy's first national television announcing job.
In addition to voice acting, Kasem has appeared on camera on Nick at Nite on New Year's Eve from 1989 to 1998, counting down the top reruns of the year.
He was once also seen on Late Show with David Letterman performing a Top Ten list - the Top Ten Numbers from 10 to 1. The countdown of numbers was paused at number 2 for Kasem to spoof one of his long distance dedications.
Additionally, he appeared on camera as a co-host of Jerry Lewis' annual Labor Day Telethon for The Muscular Dystrophy Association from 1983-2005.
Kasem also made two cameo appearances on the TV show Saved by the Bell in the early 1990s and one cameo appearance on the 1970s show Quincy, M.E. in the episode "An Unfriendly Radiance." Kasem also appeared in an episode of ALF during that show's 4th season.
In the late 1970s, Kasem portrayed an actor who imitated Columbo and had a key role in the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries two-part episodes "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom." He also portrayed a golf commentator in an episode of Charlie's Angels titled "Winning is for Losers," with then unknown actress Jamie Lee Curtis playing one of the golfers.
In 2008, Casey was the voiceover talent for cable channel WGN America's "Out of Sight Retro Night."
In March of 2010, Kasem appeared in a commercial for Sprint 4G, reprising his role as AT40 host.
In mid 2010, Kasem, although officially retired, began voicing the character of Samuel Rogers, Shaggy's father.
Kasem was married to the actress/singer Linda Myers from 1972 to 1979, and they have three children together: Mike, Kerri and Julie. In 1980 Kasem married his second wife Jean Thompson. Casey and Jean have a daughter, Liberty Irene Kasem, born on 31 May 1990. The "Little Miss Liberty" upscale baby cribs, designed by Jean Kasem and best known for their appearances as prizes on The Price Is Right, are named after Liberty.
Casey's son Mike Kasem is a voice-over actor who, in 1997, presented the MTV Top 20 Video Countdown. From 2007-2009, Mike was the regular substitute host for his father on American Top 20 and American Top 10. He also recorded new segments for American Top 40 repeat broadcasts prior to Casey's departure from Premiere Radio Networks.
Kerri Kasem is a television and radio hostess.
Kasem is of Lebanese Druze heritage, and he is a vegan. He has also been active in politics for years, supporting Lebanese-American and Arab-American causes and politicians. Kasem has written a brochure published by the Arab-American Institute entitled "Arab-Americans: Making a Difference."
- Durkee, Rob. "American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century." Schriner Books, New York City, 1999. ISBN 0-02-864895-1.
- Battistini, Pete, "American Top 40 with Casey Kasem (The 1970s)." Authorhouse.com, January 31, 2005. ISBN 1-4184-1070-5.
- ↑ FMQB In Brief - June 5, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-06-05.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://www.movieweb.com/news/NE4uA948PvnA76
- ↑ http://www.filmreference.com/film/45/Casey-Kasem.html
- ↑ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BG&p_theme=bg&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EADEADD876A043D&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM
- ↑ http://www.ameu.org/page.asp?iid=108&aid=152&pg=6
- ↑ "Casey Kasem: Our Arab American Star" (archived September 26, 2005). Washington Watch (The Arab American Institute). April 18, 1996. Archived from the original on 2005-09-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20050926150218/http://www.aaiusa.org/wwatch_archives/041896.htm.
- ↑ Kasem, Casey. "Arab Americans: Making a Difference" (PDF). The Arab American Institute. http://www.aaiusa.org/arab-americans/23/famous-arab-americans.
- ↑ "Casey Kasem's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". NewsMeat. Polity Media, Inc.. http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Casey_Kasem.php.
- ↑ "NAB Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. http://infoage.org/nbhf-casey-kasem.html. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- Casey Kasem at the Internet Movie Database
- Casey Kasem at VoiceChasers
- Casey Kasem's Brochure "Arab-Americans: Making a Difference"
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