Friday, July 3, 2015

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: A complete episode of Super 6 (1966)

Just for kicks, I went and ordered the complete Super 6 on DVD a week ago. Came in yesterday. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and needed a break, so I'll finish it up this weekend.

Anyway, as I had suspected, Wikipedia's entry on the series needs a bit of a clean-up job. Actress Pat Carroll was credited for a male role as Super Chief, but upon closer inspection, Super Chief, the dispatcher, was actually voiced by Paul Frees, who played a good number of characters on the show,  including 2/3 of the Brothers Matzoriley. Percival, Granite Man's pigeon sidekick, was actually voiced by Daws Butler, not the otherwise obscure Lyn Johnson as Wikipedia claimed. Butler simply recycled his Elroy Jetson/Augie Doggie voice for the part, and was the 3rd head of the Matzoriley brothers.

Onward, then, to episode 2, first broadcast on Sept. 17, 1966. This is the only other episode currently available in its entirety on YouTube. We'll have to see if any other shorts, aside from the Brothers Matzoriley piece we posted a ways back, are out there loose.

Super Bwoing proves once again why he's considered an "apprentice" when he mistakes a ventriloquist dummy for a missing child in "Easy Kid Stuff". Then, the Matzoriley boys are Canadian Mounties trying to chase down "Dirty Pierre" (Frees, of course). Finally, Granite Man debuts battling Dr. Sabbo Teur in "Cement Mixup".

Funny thing. Super Scuba debuts in a bumper skit in week 3, and has his first adventure in week 4. He's a self-absorbed hero more at home under the ocean with his secretary/girlfriend, Bubbles the Mermaid (June Foray), and voiced by a pre-Laugh-In Arte Johnson, or so Wikipedia claims. If so, Arte's trying to do a fair Dean Martin mimic, and doing a decent job. I'd suspect that Arte actually was Captain Zammo (nee Whammo, who had his name changed when the Wham-O toy company raised a stink over copyrights), given the character's German roots.

If someone could help verify who did what, we can get this cleaned up in time for the series' 50th anniversary next year. For what it's worth, Friz Freleng and his writers rehashed as many old gags from the Looney Tunes library as they could. In fact, veterans like Hawley Pratt, Robert McKimson, and Norm McCabe were some of the directors. McCabe would also move on to Filmation to try some dramatic work. Pratt began a long association with DePatie-Freleng with this series.

Rating: B-.


Goldstar said...

I'm glad that you've been showing these, hobbyfan, because up until now, I've only read about "Super 6" but have never seen any episodes. A little more ethnic diversity among the main cast would have been nice, as would a female super hero or 2, but I have to keep in mind when this series was made (1966).

Silverstar said...

Agreed, interesting find.

The show's title is a tad misleading, as the characters never actually operate as a team. Makes me wonder what a 21st century update of this show would be like...

Interesting factoids about Captain Whammo/Zammo. Didn't know about the conflict with Wham-O, but that makes sense. Years ago when I saw my first screen shot of the Super 6, I thought Zammo was supposed to be a wizard superhero with magic-based powers. That would've been interesting to see.

Based on what I've see so far, the weak link in the series' chain seems to be the Brothers Matzoriley segments. They literally have nothing to do with anything, and I have to wonder why no one seems to be freaked out by the fact that the lead character(s) has 3 heads occupying one body.

hobbyfan said...

Back in the day, guys, continuity didn't account for anything, and the only interaction the Matzorileys had with the rest of the cast was in those blackout bumper skits. To Goldstar's point, rebooting the characters for the 21st century would involve having Bubbles be an auxilliary member, being Super Scuba's sidekick/gal pal, but a name change might be required since another character named Bubbles (Jabberjaw) surfaced 10 years later.

In point of fact, the Matzoriley episodes are often funnier than the bookends, if but because the recycled gags used in these bits were more appropriate than in the Super Bwoing shorts. Hmmm, seems as if I've figured out the format. Super Bwoing and the Matzorileys were meant to be funny, period, but for Bwoing being just another bumbling hero a la Maxwell Smart and Inspector Cleuseau. The rotating 3rd feature was a little closer to straight up adventure with less comic elements.