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I have no idea how these people got their dogs stuck in their superhero TV show or why.
September 27, 2012 1:10 PM   Subscribe

The television program Adventures of Superman aired in first run from 1952 to 1958. When it ended, producer Whitney Ellsworth -- not that one -- sought to produce a follow-up series, The Adventures of Superpup. The show concerned an anthropomorphic super dog, Superpup, whose secret identity was mild-mannered reporter Bark Bent. (Bark was assisted by ace reporter Jimmy Olsen, who was now a mouse hand puppet living in Bark's desk drawer.) Naturally the producers cast little people in dog masks, as one does.

Bonus thematically related images of baffled dogs in costume, which have nothing to do with the show but are nonetheless awesome.
posted by ricochet biscuit (30 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
And you say this wasn't picked up for a full season?
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:17 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and they say Japanese television is weird, but I never saw anything stranger than this.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:24 PM on September 27, 2012


....???????
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The term hero WTF is used far too loosely these days...but seriously WTF!

I remember the first time I saw Superpup. I don't remember much about it. But I thought I was SO HIGH! And I was absolutely sober.

My "tolerance" for Superpup has not changed at all. I'm absolutely certain I'd get a DUI if I tried to drive home right now.

Seriously, though, Terry Bite is hilarious to me.

If you can't make it through much of "of Superpup" video, please fast forward to 4:45, where the evil doers call Penelope Poodle pretending to be a society dame Mrs. Gotrocks.. the voices are so worth it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:39 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also a point (around 7:50 of the same video) where "Jimmy Olsen" pops up to explain to the audience why the evil doers are in a different car this time.

That's the kind of canonical attention to details that the big budget shows are often missing these days.

Maybe Doctor Who should get a tiny mouse puppet to play the next secondary companion who also delivers asides to the audience.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:42 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I guess Krypto refused to associate himself with this production.

Back in the 90's I read a wonderful fanzine that had interviews with guys like Siegel and Shuster and Curt Swan, and a complete list of all the Superman films and TV shows that existed up to that time. In the pre-Internet days this was the first time I'd ever heard of movies like Atom Man Vs. Superman... and then there was the Adventures of Superpup. There was only a brief description with no pictures, so I had no idea how insane it really was until right now. Thanks for clearing up a longstanding misconception, ricochet biscuit! This is easily the most bizarre Superman adaptation.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:43 PM on September 27, 2012


Hey, cool: a secret origin for Mighty Mouse!
posted by mediated self at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2012


I guess Krypto refused to associate himself with this production.

I refuse to associate Krypto with this production, now that you bring it up.

I read the line "An animated series with a somewhat similar premise, Krypto the Superdog, aired on Cartoon Network decades later." in the Superpup Wikipedia entry, and I was super offended for the cartoon -- similar premise my ass.

One is about a dog from Krypton (sometimes) who lives in Superman's world; the other is about an anthropomorphic dog dressed as Superman who lives in a world of similar dog-persons.

I refuse to live in a world where these are considered "similar premises." You might as well remake Charlotte's Web starring Peter Parker and a ham sandwich.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:06 PM on September 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


OK, OK, so the Lingerie Football League was real, but I know y'all're punkin' me this time.
posted by Zed at 2:08 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Peter Porker, surely?
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your logic is irrefutable, MCMikeNamara. Dogs that explain their actions in thought bubbles are not the same as anthropomorphic dogs.

But Krypto has worn glasses before, so this show wouldn't have been a stretch.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


One is about a dog from Krypton (sometimes) who lives in Superman's world; the other is about an anthropomorphic dog dressed as Superman who lives in a world of similar dog-persons. I refuse to live in a world where these are considered "similar premises."

In rhetoric, this is known as the Pluto/Goofy Dichotomy.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:26 PM on September 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


I have that mega-mondo-ridiculous DVD set that came out after Superman Returns, and it's kind of precious the way they treat this "era" in the character's television history in all the various and sundry documentary pieces the set includes. It's like, they want to acknowledge that it happened so it won't be conspicuously absent...but they're really regretting that they have to.
posted by trackofalljades at 2:33 PM on September 27, 2012


This is one of the things I love about the modern internet.

Insane ideas and creations that were previously available to just a few lucky people are now easily accessed by almost anyone who is interested.
posted by freakazoid at 2:34 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've only glimpse at the mouse puppet and I'm already scared for life.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:35 PM on September 27, 2012


Peter Porker, surely?

The Spectacular Spider-Ham
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:35 PM on September 27, 2012


I think my favorite part of the episode comes when Professor Sheepdip dabs a tiny amount of his explosive liquid on the paper airplane, throws it out the window, watches the stock footage of a goddamn atomic explosion, then spills half the stuff while trying to fill a bottle.

So much what packed into so little footage.
posted by Spatch at 2:40 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also a point (around 7:50 of the same video) where "Jimmy Olsen" pops up to explain to the audience why the evil doers are in a different car this time.

The Jimmy Olsen mouse hand puppet is a large part of the appeal, and is the moment that the production transcends being an ill-advised venture and moves to a higher plane of dream-logic strangeness. In my view, it is the same as Michael Anderson in a red suit dancing backwards.

Why a mouse? Why does his name alone not change to a lousy pun? Why such a crappy puppet? So many unanswered questions. I want very much to fire up Photoshop and address the shameful, Stalinesque omission in this lineup. Indeed, here is a more complete lineup, but I suspect changing a 4x2 grid to a 3x3 would call The Brady Bunch to mind all too quickly.

By the way, an image search for "superman comparison" yields some inexplicable and disturbing results.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:59 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why does his name alone not change to a lousy pun?

This really, really bothers me.
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


image search for "superman comparison

Just fuck. It's like Superpup couldn't be the most disturbing Supe-related thing you brought to the table today so you had to double it.

Which is good -- because at least it gives me something to be upset about from this thread, because I've decided, too, that Superpup is my favorite thing. Like Spatch gets at, I can't believe it's just 20 minutes of video. There's about 15 pounds of crazy shit in 5 pound bag.

I'm pretty sure my favorite parts are when Terry Bite (still funny) jumps up onto the desk when he gets upset.

Also, I think it's really hard to come up with a Jimmy Olsen-like mouse related pun. Trust me, I've been trying.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:16 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I see the next Cinematic Titanic episode...
posted by wittgenstein at 3:57 PM on September 27, 2012


Noel Neill was the mother of someone I went to high school with. This girl was unapproachably cool, in a sorta post-beat, proto-hippie way. A lot of us speculated how special it must have been to be to with it, and to be the daughter of a TV star.

Well, after decades, I know this woman now, and she will have NONE of that talk. Between her mom having a string of boyfriends (a different man in the house every week), the alcohol, the general vanity and insecurity of a working actress, it was special, alright, but not in a good way.
posted by Danf at 4:00 PM on September 27, 2012


Maybe Doctor Who should get a tiny mouse puppet to play the next secondary companion who also delivers asides to the audience.

Also, CSI and American Idol.

Insane ideas and creations that were previously available to just a few lucky people are now easily accessed by almost anyone who is interested.

Is my favorite thing about it too. Before it was mostly the things created by Big Media Men who decided what most people would see, and thus be influenced by. The internet is weird people's minds in ways we can only imagine, and will only really become evident in twenty or thirty more years, when those kids who grew up in a net-saturated environment get the opportunity to make weird things of their own. And in future generations this effect will compound upon itself, into a kind of insanity signularity. Most sensible futurists* predict the Earth will turn into a giant eggplant some time in 2080.

* I can say this without fear of contradiction because there are none.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 PM on September 27, 2012


The Spectacular Spider-Ham

I see Cerebus did some moonlighting.
posted by JHarris at 4:11 PM on September 27, 2012


Also, I think it's really hard to come up with a Jimmy Olsen-like mouse related pun. Trust me, I've been trying.

Mousy Holesen?
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:17 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mr. Mxyztplk/Mxyzptlk would have been an ordinary human being named Mr. Jones.

"Give up, Superpup! You'll never trick me into saying Senoj... crud." [walks off-screen]
posted by BiggerJ at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You might as well remake Charlotte's Web starring Peter Parker and a ham sandwich.

Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig. Does whatever a Spider-Pig does.
posted by scalefree at 8:29 PM on September 27, 2012


This is beyond classic. Although I kept waiting for the clock face to show 4:20 and thereby answer a lot of questions.

We as a nation support a Whitney Cummings television show, but turn our backs on this? God, how we've fallen.
posted by the sobsister at 8:51 PM on September 27, 2012


I have eyes and ears, and I must scream.
posted by Mezentian at 7:06 AM on September 28, 2012


I watched this again last night -- making my partner do the same. I'm not saying the fact that he laughed at all the right parts is THE reason we're together, but it's definitely A reason.

(Also, he didn't make fun of me for watching all 20 minutes 3 times in one day -- that's the type of understanding soul you have to keep close for the long haul.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:20 AM on September 28, 2012


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