The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show (1979– )
|Creator||Charles A. Nichols|
|Genre||Animation, Adventure, Family|
|Content Rating||TV-G (TV-G)|
|Company||Ruby-Spears Productions, Filmways Television, Warner Bros. Television|
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show is an animated television series produced by Ruby-Spears Productions from 1979 to 1981; it was shown right after Super Friends on the ABC Network.
The show featured various adventures of the DC Comics superhero Plastic Man. The anthology show included several components, including Plastic Man, Baby Plas, Plastic Family, Mighty Man and Yukk, Fangface and Fangpuss, and Rickety Rocket.
By the 1980-81 season, it was shortened from 90 to 30 minutes, jettisoning the extra components and retitled The Plasticman/Baby Plas Super Comedy. The show was repackaged by Arlington Television into 130 half-hour episodes, and released into national, first-run-off-network daily syndication in 1984. The Plastic Man Comedy Show was produced and directed by Steve Whiting and featured a live-action "Plastic Man", played by Taylor Marks.
The origin of Plastic Man (voiced by Michael Bell) was never expressly stated on this series, but it was implied he was originally the small-time crook Patrick "Eel" O'Brian who reformed after he was left for dead by the mob and gained plastic stretch powers. Plastic Man, his girlfriend Penny (voiced by Melendy Britt), and his Polynesian sidekick Hula-Hula (voiced by Joe Baker) travel the world and are given their assignments from the Chief (also voiced by Melendy Britt) to stop any threat to the world. Plastic Man often retains his sense of humor even in dangerous situations, such as a giant octopus capturing Penny and Hula-Hula causing him to comment "What Scout troop did he belong to"?
Only Plastic Man villains Doctor Dome, Doctor Honctoff, and Carrot-Man came from the comics while every other villain was created for the series.
In early episodes Penny has a crush on Plastic Man, who chooses to ignore it as he himself has a crush on the dark-haired female Chief. However, in the second season Plastic Man reciprocates Penny's crush on him and the two marry. The marriage produces a son (voiced by Clare Peck) who has the same powers as Plastic Man and spawns a lighter series of episodes featuring "Baby Plas" doing things such as saving his friends from neighborhood bullies.
Besides Plastic Man, Baby Plas, and the Plastic Family, the rest of the original lineup in the first season consists of:
- Mighty Man and Yukk - The adventures of a tiny superhero (voiced by Peter Cullen) and his talking dog sidekick (voiced by Frank Welker) who wears a doghouse-helmet because he is so ugly that he can destroy practically anything just by looking at it. The two of them protect their city from various villains when called in by the unnamed Mayor (voiced by John Stephenson).
- Fangface and Fangpuss - This second season of Fangface is about a reluctant werewolf (voiced by Frank Welker) and his baby cousin (also voiced by Frank Welker) who also turns into a werewolf and their adventures with Fangfaces friends Biff (voiced by Jerry Dexter), Kim (voiced by Susan Blu), and Puggsy (voiced by Bart Braverman).
- Rickety Rocket - An artificially intelligent rocket (voiced by Al Fann) was created by a group of African-American kid geniuses consisting of Sunstroke (voiced by John Anthony Bailey), Splashdown (voiced by Johnny Brown), Cosmo (voiced by Bobby F. Ellerby), and Venus (voiced by Dee Timberlake). They solve mysteries in the future, in the vein of Speed Buggy.
By its second season, it was cut down to 90 minutes and everything except Plastic Man and Baby Plas replaced by three new segments in the lineup:
- Dingbat and the Creeps
- Thundarr the Barbarian
For each of the shows, the cast list is the same. Taylor Marks (a pseudonym of stand-up comedian Mark Taylor) played Plastic Man in the program's live action segments in syndication.
- John Anthony Bailey – Sunstroke
- Joe Baker – Hula-Hula, Professor Friday
- Michael Bell – Plastic Man, Dr. Astro, Marak, Junior Macintosh, Half-Ape (2nd Time), Gearshift Swift, Krime Klown, Nefario
- Susan Blu – Kim, Sally Jones
- Bart Braverman – Puggsy
- Melendy Britt – Chief, Penny
- Johnny Brown – Splashdown
- Peter Cullen – Brandon Brewster/Mighty Man
- Jerry Dexter – Biff
- Bobby F. Ellerbee – Cosmo
- Al Fann – Rickety Rocket
- Clare Peck – Baby Plas
- Michael Rye – Main Title Narrator, Dr. Lazarus Web, Skullman
- John Stephenson – Mayor, Fangface Narrator, Weed, Royal Rajah, Computerhead (2nd Time), Anthead, Big Mouse, Magnet Man, Catman, Dr. Rufus T. Gadgets, Marble Man, Mr. Van Pire, Dr. Decay, Dr. Lash, Ironmask
- Dee Timberlake – Venus
- Frank Welker – Sherman Fangsworth/Fangface, Baby Fangs/Fangpuss, Yukk
Note: John Stephenson is listed twice in the credits.
- Story editors: Mark Jones, Elana Lesser, Cliff Ruby
- Story: Mark Jones, Elana Lesser, Cliff Ruby, Mark Evanier, Gary Greenfield, Michael Maurer, Jon Kubichan, Steve Gerber, Norman Maurer, Sid Morse, Buzz Dixon, Jeffrey Scott, Ted Pedersen, Chris Vane, Gordon Kent, Shelly Stark, Roy Thomas, Larry Alexander, Larry Parr, Creighton Barnes
- Directors: Rudy Larriva, Manny Perez, Charles A. Nichols
Mighty Man and Yukk
Fangface and Fangpuss
On October 20, 2009, Warner Home Video (via DC Entertainment, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) has released The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show: The Complete Collection, featuring the 35 Plastic Man cartoons on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. However, the Baby Plas, Plastic Family, Live Action intro segments, and other segments from Season 1 were not included and have yet to be officially released. The pitch and speed that were presented in the R1 Complete Collection DVD set were the international PAL versions, due to expensive costing issues when about to use and remaster the original NTSC film elements, with correct speed and pitch.