Dick Sportgood was born on June 12, 1945 to Fetter Ccini Sportgood, a biblical scholar, and Regent (Philbin) Sportgood, a door-to-door cat saleswoman. Sportgood was an exemplary student and was noted as being an avid class clown. On one occasion is noted for having performed his favorite stand-up comedy act in the cafeteria.
He is said to have been classmates with the later-revered cartoon ant Flik, with whom he attended most of elementary school. He graduated with high honors from Mungo Jerry Musical High School in 1963.