I tell you, every time I turn on the news, it’s another embarrassment from our President and from his hand-picked cronies. Even today’s news just makes my blood boil. What’s today’s scandal, you say? Doesn’t matter… just know that there’s one. It’s as bad as you think it is … and then some.
Which is why I’m surprised that I came across this piece of footage during my YouTube searches. Way back in 1969, you could get at least a good five hours of Saturday morning animated programming from the then-three major networks. Get your bowl of Cocoa Krispies and sit your ass in front of the TV set, and just watch all morning – or at least until your parents came downstairs, told you to stop sitting so close to the TV set or your eyes would have problems, then they’d turn the TV set off and tell you to go play outside. Get some fresh air, they said.
Anyways … in 1967, the DePatie-Freleng cartoon production company produced this animated series, called Super President.
I am not joking.
No, seriously, I am not joking. I’m not talking those “X-Presidents” cartoons from Saturday Night Live.
This is some real shit.
Now do you believe me?
In fact, the show would last for about fifteen half-hours, with each half-hour show containing two six-minute adventures of James Norcross, the President of the United States – who, in his secret (??) identity as Super President, could control his molecular structure and change his body chemistry from human to stone, or to gas, or to water. In other words, he was essentially Marvel’s Vision superhero. Sorta, if Vision was able to be elected President.
And what’s funny when watching Super President today is … well … check out this episode’s plotline.
A “Billion-Dollar Bomber”? Is that with or without Russian oligarch money?
And check this out. Who needs tariffs to control grain shipments to Indonesia, especially when what looks like a maniacal Taliban leader has an army of remote-controlled locusts ready to destroy your humanitarian shipments?
And what about protections for the steel industry? Especially when there’s a 30-foot-tall steel machine man rampaging the country and kidnapping your very own press secretary – who has a very uncanny resemblance to Sean Spicer?
I said that each half-hour of Super President featured two Super President episodes, the middle segment of eachshow featured another superhero, Spy Shadow, a man who could control his shadow. And no, I don’t mean he could make hand puppets against a wall.
Check this out.
Yeah, this isn’t exactly Playhouse 90.
In addition to being poorly written and poorly animated, Super President also had to deal with various children’s television watchdog groups, who complained that a program about an invincible superhero who also doubles as the leader of the United States would be too jingoistic for young viewers.
Plus, there was a glut of animated superhero shows airing during the 1966-67 Saturday morning television season. You had action-based superhero shows like The Fantastic Four, Samson and Goliath, The Herculoids, Space Ghost and Dino Boy, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, Shazzan! and Spider-Man – not to mention the comedic superhero shows like Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles, The Super 6, The Atom Ant / Secret Squirrel Show … damn, that’s a lot of violent animated cartoons for kids that early in the A.M.
Although no new episodes were produced past the original fifteen half-hours, the show aired for a year and a half on NBC. After airing for its first year at 8:30 a.m. on NBC, the show was shoved off to a 12:30 run in 1968-69, before leaving the NBC schedule three months later.
Of course, if you do want a cartoon featuring someone who claims he can save the world against the forces of evil…
Well, NBC did run another cartoon of that nature.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it…
Something called … The Apprentice.