My life changed on Saturday morning, September 8, 1973. That was the day I woke up early and rushed to the TV to watch the debut of the uber fantastic cartoon caviar that is was and will be THE SUPER FRIENDS. This show made its debut on the ABC-TV network 39 years ago today. (*Here's hoping there is a huge celebration of its 40th Anniversary NEXT year!!)
Say it with me, in your best Ted Knight impersonation: Superman. Wonder Woman. Batman (and Robin, the poor kid never got equal billing!). Aquaman.
And those Junior Super Friends Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog. (Oh well, you can't have it all.)
These original shows didn't really stand up in my memory. To me Wendy & Marvin brought the first season down. The Wonder Twins, the special guests, and still later, The Legion of Doom, all were better remembered in my consciousness than the original series. It was good, sure, but it wasn't great.
Then a funny thing happened. I actually watched these episodes again. Not only is the theme song AWESOME in the extreme (I had forgotten!!) but the one hour format allowed each of the Super Friends to have their moment to shine, and nobody hogged all of the action. The shows were good! The villains were not great, no, but the stories were actually entertaining! Don't believe me? Go to the library and borrow one of the first season DVD collections. Or buy one of them (they are broken up into two sets). You'll soon see that these were not terrible cartoons. Sure, they aren't The Legion of Doom, but, hey, nothing else is, all right?
Besides, just look at them! They were basically the Justice League in animated form! If they hadn't been successful, we never would have gotten the Legion of Doom! So what's not to love?!
Thank you, Hanna-Barbera and ABC-TV, for making this cartoon series. Without it, I may not have found out about comics. I owe you a debt I can never repay.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUPER FRIENDS!!!