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One of these superhero things is not like the others (because it blows) (hard)

July 3, 2013

birdplane

While it may be that we’re still digging out of the pop-consciousness damage done by the BAM WHAK THOK 1960s Batman series, it and The Adventures of Superman defined the live-action image of the World’s Finest duo for generations of fans. And, though I’ve never sat through one second of any old Superboy cartoon, the one hawked above did have Krypto in it — so how bad could it be? But It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman was/is another matter entirely. Yes, decades before Spider-Man showed up on Broadway to turn off the dark (and cost more than most countries’ GDP to produce — and maim people), there was a lavish Superman song-fest in those same environs. I’ve read it wasn’t actually that bad, though never in all my travels have I encountered a living soul who’s willing to swear to that under oath. But hey, it actually existed, unlike the aborted Captain America show.

Sadly, most of America remembers this musical Superman (if at all) from an altered, ill-advised ABC TV production in 1975, several years before the Richard Donner film hit the big screen. It was stab your face awful. I defy any man, woman, child or family dog to sit through the following first segment and not have their blood boil. Good God, it makes Hee Haw look intellectual and dignified — and Superman shouldn’t have the physique of R. Crumb. There’s camp, and then there’s, well, this:

Hot Lips Houlihan, get out of there! While you still can!

Between this and the Swing with Scooter ad, it’s been a hell of a couple of days here on this site. Anyway, YOU’RE WELCOME, PLANET EARTH.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 10:17 am

    I stayed up to watch that terrible movie back in ’75 at the grand old age of ten. All I remember is that it didn’t get any better than this segment, and that there were constant commercials for the next week’s movie, some “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”-type horror flick that gave me nightmares, even from the ads. Between this, the Spider-Man show with Nicholas Hammond, the Wonder Woman film with Cathy Lee Crosby and Marvel TV movies of Captain America and Dr Strange, it was a very bad time indeed to be a comic book fan (well, except for the actual comics, many of which were great). Today’s fans don’t know how good they’ve got it.

    The Filmation Superboy cartoons can be easily found on YouTube and, given the “limited animation” approach, are not without their appeal. If you’re a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, it’s almost worth it just to hear Superboy voiced by Bob (“Commissioner Gordon”) Hastings. Though at the time, I just knew him as “Elroy” on “McHale’s Navy.”

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