In the 1960’s ABC had a hit with Batman in the sit-com format. So naturally the other 2 major networks wanted to cash in on the superhero comedy fad. On January 9, 1967 CBS premiered the show Mr. Terrific. Not the DC comic version but their own Mr. Terrific. I don’t know how they kept from being sued by DC but they never were that I am aware of. It starred Stephen Strimpel as Stanley Beamish. He was a young man who was part owner of a service station. His best friend and the other owner of the station was Hal Walters played by Dick Gautier. There were almost no secrets that these two kept from each other. I say almost because Stanley did have one that he never shared with Hal. With the aid of a special pill he could be come the crime fighter Mr. Terrific. When ever the Government needed his help two Government Agents, played by John McGiver and Paul Smith, would arrive at the station and give Stanley a pill. After taking his power pill there would be a flash followed by a puff of smoke and Stanley would emerge as Mr. Terrific. He would have special powers and a shiny sliver costume for one hour. Sounds like they combined Mr. Terrific and Hourman into one. DC’s lawyers must have been out of town when this went on the air. Of course there were some cliffhangers as Stanley would get so involved with his work that he would forget how much time had past. Sometimes he would take a booster pill good for 20 more minutes but other times he would revert to normal at the wrong time and get captured. Now why would the government only select a nice, soft spoken, naïve man like Stanley to be a super powered agent. The pill would only work on a certain body chemistry. Stanley was the only man they found who had that type of body chemistry. The pills would only work on him.
This show was fun to watch when I was 6 but even to my young eyes it was odd to see how he was able to fly. He had to flap his arms. Why couldn’t he be like Superman and just jump into the air? The show did not do mush for Mr. Strimpel’s career as I have never seen or heard him again. Mr. Gautier has been on other shows and movies since then. So had Mr. McGiver but he had done well in the movies before this show. Paul Smith did better on his next TV show. He co-starred on the Doris Day show.
The same night Mr. Terrific premiered another Superhero comedy started on NBC. I will tell you about that one in another posting either later today or tomorrow.