Comics On TV: ‘Spidey Super Stories’

by Ryan Rigley

With the trailer for the highly-anticipated “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel now officially attached to “Thor: The Dark World,” Spidey fans all across the country have been making their own trailers in preparation for the actual thing. On that same note, last week, screenwriter Alex Kurtzman sat down with iamROGUE and talked briefly about the unanswered questions raised by “The Amazing Spider-Man” and how the sequel addresses them.

“It’s interesting because the first movie asks all these questions and what I loved about it in so many ways is that it didn’t answer them,” explains Kurtzman. “The villains emerge from a lot of the unanswered questions at the end of that movie and none of them are random at all.” Sounds like we’ve got a lot to be excited for in the “Amazing” sequel. While on the subject of Spider-Man, we thought it best to take a look back at Spidey’s first live-action television debut: “Spidey Super Stories.”

Series Statistics
Network: PBS
Broadcast Date: 1974 – 1977
Episodes: ~30

Not so much a TV series as it was a re-occuring series of short skits, “Spidey Super Stories” premiered during the fourth season of the PBS children’s TV series “The Electric Company.” Starring dancer and puppeteer Danny Seagren as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, the shorts revolved around Spidey as he foiled the petty crimes of various small-time criminals.

Unlike the other televised incarnations of Spider-Man, the masked hero that appears on “Spidey Super Stories” only spoke via word balloons encouraging younger viewers to practice their reading skills. In addition to not speaking, Spidey also never took off his mask. Hence, the bizarre lyrics in the theme song:

Spider-Man, where are you coming from?
Spider-Man, nobody knows who you are!
Spider-Man, you’ve got that Spidey touch.
Spider-Man, you are a web-slinging star!

Notable Episodes

A Night at the Movies

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Guest starring Morgan Freeman as Count Dracula, a series regular on “The Electric Company,” Spidey must put a stop to the crazed vampire before he can manage to bite the neck of an innocent movie-goer.

Dr. Fly
When a half-human, half-fly hybrid plans to turn the entire world’s population into fly/human mutants via poisonous hot dogs, Spidey saves an unsuspecting customer by trapping Dr. Fly in his webs.

Spidey Meets the Funny Bunny
After a bully sits on her Easter basket, a woman dressed in an Easter bunny costume sets out to steal every child’s Easter basket and disrupt the annual White House Easter Egg roll. Luckily, Spider-Man is there to save the day!

Spidey Meets the Tickler
As a bitter, failed comedian begins tickling and mugging people who won’t laugh at his corny jokes, Spider-Man must pretend to laugh at the Tickler’s jokes until the cops can arrive to arrest him.

The Beastly Banana

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The last skit of the series, Jennifer of the Jungle enlists the help of Spider-Man due to her friend Paul the Gorilla’s recent stint of strange behavior. Soon, Spidey discovers that Morgan Freeman has been tainting Paul’s bananas. With that, Spidey traps Morgan Freeman in his web.

This is Comics On TV, the column that celebrates the classic comic book TV series that blazed the trail for modern day hits like “Arrow,” “The Walking Dead” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” If you have any favorite episodes of this week’s series, let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!