The first four shows were distributed on a single 10.5" reel each, running at a tape speed of 7.5 ips. (The first show also included a separate 5" reel with a letters/T-shirt spot, personalized for each station.) The next four shows were distributed on two 7" reels each, also running at 7.5 ips. All of these first eight shows were an hour long. (It's possible that some stations started receiving the show on two 7" reels as early as show #3, and vaguely possible that some continued to receive it on a 10.5" reel as late as show #6.)
Starting with show #9, the show was expanded to two hours, and there were four 7" tape reels per show, with a tape speed of 7 1/2 ips. The tape boxes were white, or sometimes black, with a sticker in the upper right-hand corner. Hand-written on the sticker or tape box were the show number and reel letter (A through D). Through show #102, the return address was listed as Sunset Boulevard, but with show #103 it was changed to Doheny Drive. (Some copies of later shows still list the Sunset address, because old tapes and tape boxes were reused.)
For the 26 shows #44 - #69 (May 4, 1975 - November 23, 1975; a few weeks in June/July were skipped), the show was distributed on LP. During that time, the records looked like this:
Shows #70 - #74 were reruns of previous LP shows in the above range. Instead of pressing copies with the new show numbers, old copies were reused and the new number was written on the labels in pen. Then for show #75 through the end of the Gordon/Casady era with show #131, the show was again distributed on reel-to-reel.
During the second half of 1980, there were often "A" and "B" versions of the same show, the only difference being the Chewels commercials. In the "B" version Chewels was announced as a new product, whereas in the "A" version it was not. (Presumably Chewels had been regionally distributed prior to this, and the "A" versions went to regions of the country already familiar with the product.) This happened on shows 80-27 through 80-34, 80-37 through 80-41, 80-44 through 80-46, and 80-52.
Starting with show #84-06 (February 5, 1984) and continuing until Westwood One dropped the show (#92-35, August 30, 1992), it was again distributed on LP. The label changed slightly from year to year, but here is how it began and ended:
(86-18 was the first show where they printed the show number instead of the broadcast dates on the labels.)
From around 1985 until August, 1992, the show was also sent out on satellite (Satcom 1-R, transponder 3, 10a-12n Thursdays; later Satcom C5, transponder 15, 8p-10p Thursdays).
He is now being syndicated on CD-Rs by Talonian Productions (#00-47 to present).
The earlier pressed discs came in custom paper sleeves, but those were eventually phased out in favor of generic plastic ones. The shade of purple also varied somewhat. The CD-Rs come in plastic-lined paper sleeves.
A decade later, the concept was tried again, but this time on a daily basis. Dr. Demento's Daily Dose Of Dementia was five episodes per week, and was included on the CDs of The Dr. Demento Show distributed by On The Radio Broadcasting. It began with show 93-03 and ended with show 94-02. Normally the track from each episode was also included separately on the disc in the clear, in case stations wanted to air it separate from the show.
More recently, there was a very similar show called Dr. Demento's Shot Of The Day. It was available to any station, whether or not they carried the full-length show. It was distributed on separate CDs, with ten episodes apiece (two weeks' worth). It began with the disc for 01-32/33 (starting August 6, 2001) and ended with the disc for 02-38/39 (ending September 27, 2002). Also generally included were four alternate Shots per two weeks, which were to be substituted at the station's discretion, since they were edgier material.