Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daytime Heroes: Spidey Super Stories (1974)

Earlier this week, we presented an episode of The Adventures of Letterman from the original Electric Company. Today, we move the time dial forward.

Seeing rival DC take another dive into live-action adaptation with Shazam! airing on CBS, Marvel entered into a licensing agreement with the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), producers of Electric Company, to add Spider-Man, in his first live-action incarnation, to the series, which was entering its 4th year. Unlike other incarnations, Spider-Man didn't speak, but rather his dialogue came in the form of pop-up word balloons, which other cast members had to read to understand what he was saying. Newcomer Danny Seagren played Spidey, making him the answer to a trivia question instead of Nicholas Hammond, who donned the webs for a CBS primetime series that launched after Electric Company had ceased production.

Series regular Skip Hinnant narrates "Spidey vs. The Prankster", with the theme performed by the members of the Short Circus vocal group, who also appear in the story. Uploaded by---wait for it---WebOfTheSpider.

Spidey Super Stories was spun off into a comic book from Marvel that outlasted the webhead's run on the show, lasting well into the early 80's before being cancelled. Even though Electric Company has since been revived and rebooted by PBS, there were no plans to revisit any of the classic segments from the original series, including a return of Spider-Man. Now, if only they'd release this on DVD......

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Yay Spidey!!

As I posted in the Electric Company post, I remember Spidey fondly!! I always thought it was weird that he was always silent while everyone else got to speak.

I don't think they'll being Spidey back though - Marvel would charge them too much money and they'd rather work on their own
Spiderman reboot anyway. Maybe that's another reason not to put it on DVD.

hobbyfan said...

And when you consider that Marvel is owned by the same conglomerate that also owns the Muppets---Disney---that does make sense.