Saturday, June 15, 2013

Legends of the Superheroes (1979)

Directors: Bill Carruthers, Chris Darley

Starring: Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin, Jeff Altman, Charlie Callas, Gabriel Dell, Howard Morris, Mickey Morton, William Schallert, Garret Craig, Howard Murphey, Bill Nuckols, Rod Haase, Barbara Joce, Ruth Buzzi, Pat Carroll, June Gable, Brad Sanders, Alfie Wise, A'Leisha Brevard, Marsha Warfield, Gary Owens, Ed McMahon

More info: IMDb

Plot: A team up of some of DC Comics' greatest superheroes together, for 2 specials: a race to stop the united supervillains' plot to destroy the earth, then later a roast in tribute to all of the heroes hosted by Ed McMahon.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No thank you.

You're going to have to like the 60s Batman TV show to come close to liking this.  Having this shot on video and with an annoying laugh track is painful to watch.  Hanna Barbera made two TV specials with these characters & actors.   Here's the breakdown of the two specials with my favorite (least painful) moments.


I've never not enjoyed Frank Gorshin.  His impersonations are fantastic.  Here when he's playing The Riddler you can hear his Kirk Douglas coming through which makes me laugh.  My favorite moments were Sinestro (Charlie Callas) pretends to by a gypsy fortune teller to delay The Green Lantern.  It's a ridiculously silly scene but many of the jokes were funny (as was Callas).

Batman (West) and Robin (Ward) had some fun with a used car salesman (Altman).  There were a lot of gags that had me laughing like one were Batman pulls out a fifty dollar bill and says he only carries as much money as he can afford to lose.  They end up with a motorcycle with a sidecar which has some funny as shit moments later on.

Frank Gorshin is back and he's posing as a psychiatrist to stall Captain Marvel from getting to the villains lair and he's totally channelling Richard Burton as a Sigmund Freud type.  Outstanding.  Again, the laugh track hurts my ears but what that man is doing is priceless.


Ed McMahon beautifully performs his duty as the host. I say beautifully because this episode proves how talented and professional he was.  He plays his part, bad jokes and all, very well.  Pat Carroll comes out and kills as Hawkman's mother.  She rags the shit out of him and it was pretty damn funny.

Ever hear of the lesser known super hero, Ghetto Man?  Neither had I.  I'm sure this was his only appearance...if we're lucky.

He actually had some reasonably funny bits.

These two shows have their moments, some shining brighter than others.  It's worth a watch as a curiosity but not for much more than that.  Damn that laugh track! [cue laugh track]

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