Everything Is Going Swimmingly
For those unfamiliar with ADULT SWIM, the folks at Cartoon Network decided to take advantage of the 25-40 something audience they seemed to be attracting (mainly nostalgia buffs for the old Hanna Barbera cartoons) and provide new and irreverent cartoons with lots of adult humor (sex jokes aplenty!) to target that crowd and air them late at night. The decision paid off, and what was an experiment in 2000 has turned into a late-night line up with a cult following.
So how did Birdman, who debuted in 1967 in the Hanna Barbera cartoon BIRDMAN AND THE GALAXY TRIO, transmogrify himself into "HARVEY BIRDMAN: ATTORNEY AT LAW?"
Well in 2000, the creators of the new show, Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter basically re-imagined the adventure series created by Alex Toth for Hanna Barbera. First thing they jettisoned? His name! Ray Randall was now officially Harvey Birdman, or Mrs. Magilla Gorilla if you saw the episode "United States vs. Birdman." Harvey (voiced by Gary Cole) was now a third-rate defense attorney at the lawfirm of Sebben & Sebben, defending twisted versions of Hanna Barbera owned characters in the courtrooms of Judge Mightor and Mentok the Mentalist.
Some of Harvey’s key cases over the course of the show?
* Defending Apache Chief against the "Starbucks-like" company that scalded his groin with coffee, costing him his "manhood."
* Defending Shaggy and Scooby against possession of an illegal controlled substance.
* A custody battle between lovers Race Bannon and Dr. Quest over Johnny Quest
* Helping the "Dabba Don" Fred Flinstone beat a mob rap. Check out the dancers at the Bada-Bing inspired "Dabba Doo" club!
The show frequently features Apache Chief and Black Vulcan, has made Peter Potamus a lecherous evil nemesis, and transformed the Blue Falcon into Senor Falcone. In one memorable episode, everyone managed to boink good-time Gravity Girl (of the Galaxy Trio) except for Harvey! As for Harvey’s sidekick, the once innocent "Birdboy" is now the sociopathic PEANUT, who strung Harvey out on addictive tanning cream.
Meanwhile , Palisades is adapting Harvey’s supporting cast into plastic? First up, Phil Ken Sebben, (Formerly "FALCON 7" on the old series) who’s Harvey’s boss at the firm, and a sex-crazed ego-maniac. Phil Ken Sebben is 5" tall, and has 9 points of articulation (neck, ball-jointed shoulder x2, elbow x2, waist x2, and knee x2).
Phil comes with nameplate, shot glass, vase, intercom, urinal (from when Harvey’s office was relocated to the Men’s Room), bust of Phil, and figure stand.
Also included is the ubiquitous BEAR, who first appeared in the Apache Chief episode. Bear has 5 points of articulation (neck, arms x2, legs x2).
And on deck in Wave 2… Judge Mentok and Prosecutor Reducto!
The only bad news? The figures are NOT to scale with Toynami’s classic 6′ Birdman and Avenger boxed set! One can only hope that a 5′ Harvey in a suit is on his way!
Ah yes, another Alex Toth show, in this case, the little-seen SEALAB 2020, with an ADULT SWIM spin.
In the year 2021, deep below the ocean, a high-tech futuristic undersea science lab is manned by…idiots, sluts, and robots. The leader of this formidable force of boobs? Captain Hank Murphy…as selfish as he is stupid, Captain Murphy often goes mad with credit card purchases and once survived a year trapped under a dingus dew soda machine, attacked repeatedly by vicious scorpions and surviving only on cans of Dingus Dew.
The rest of the Sealab crew? There’s Marco (voiced by Erik Estrada) who sports "bacne," the evil radioman "Sparks," the pudgy "Dolphin Boy" who speaks in gibberish, and the dimwitted Stormy.
The one brain in the group is Dr. Quinn (who in one episode is revealed to be a robot), whose main squeeze is Debbie the party girl, who likes to get topless and sleep around.
In one memorable episode, Debbie’s biological clock is ticking and she tries out the crew to see whom would produce the best offspring!
Sealab Wave 1 includes 5" versions of Debbie and Dr. Quinn… each has 10 points of articulation (neck, shoulder x2, elbow x2, wrist x2, waist, hips x2). Accessories include various bottles of booze, a dolphin (Debbie loves Dolphins!), a viewscreen, a can of Dingus Dew, figure stands, a piece of diving equipment, and Debbie’s biological clock.
On deck in Wave 2 are Captain Murphy and Sparks…A sad side note, in 2003 the actor who voiced the distinctive and dimwitted Captain Murphy, Harry Goz, died. He was replaced on the show by his son, Michael Goz, as a new character…a former football coach named Shanks. The series came to an end in 2005, but the first two seasons are available on DVD.
The rest of Wave 1 of Adult Swim includes "Mom" and "Dad" from THE BRAK SHOW, and characters from AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE.
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