Disguised as Bud Collyer, mild-mannered game show host.
Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
Technically comprised of five different radio series which ran consecutively from 1940-1951, all produced by Robert J. Maxwell. Most of the episodes starred Clayton 'Bud' Collyer
, Joan Alexander as Lois Lane
, Julian Noa as Perry White and Jackie Kelk as Jimmy Olsen
. Aired for the majority of its run on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander reprised their respective roles of Superman and Lois for the Superman Theatrical Cartoons
and The New Adventures of Superman
This show provides examples of:
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The phrase, "Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound," was often misremembered as, "Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." Notably, when the phrase was used in an episode of Wheel of Fortune, two of the contestants tried to guess the phrase while the letters "A", "I", "N", and "T" had not been uncovered, while the third declined to guess. Neither of the two guesses were right.
- Canon Foreigner
- Jimmy Olsen, who later immigrated.
- Kryptonite. Not created to give Collyer a vacation, despite the myth.
- Inspector Henderson, who followed in Jimmy's footsteps and became a Canon Immigrant as well.
- The names "Daily Planet" (for Clark's newspaper) and "Perry White" (for its editor), which quickly made their way to the pages of the comic.
- Catch Phrase
- Clark Kenting: Bud Collyer shifted vocal registers to differentiate between Clark and Superman.
- Counter-Earth: Krypton is said to be this.
- Cowboys and Indians: Legend has it that this trope was ingeniously invoked to discredit the Ku Klux Klan. A journalist who'd infiltrated the KKK gave details of secret meetings, passwords, titles etc. to the show's writers to use in a Supes vs. the KKK storyline. Soon enough, there were kids running around neighborhoods all over America dressed in pillowcases, being beaten up by their friend with the Superman pyjamas. The truth of all this is uncertain but there was such a storyline on the show, which Stetson Kennedy claimed responsibility for in his book I Rode With The Ku Klux Klan.
- Cross Over: Batman and Robin appear in many episodes.
- Expanded Universe
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: One story revolves around a device that can receive sound from any past event. It isn't destroyed at the end, and the inventor helps Superman in the next story by using it. After that, it is never mentioned again, even when it might have been useful.
- For Great Justice: As stated in the Opening Narration.
- Intrepid Reporter: Everyone who worked for the Daily Planet.
- The Klan: Thinly disguised as The Clan of the Fiery Cross.
- Opening Narration: It varied over the years, but the most familiar version (since it was heavily borrowed from in subsequent adaptations) starts with the page quote and continues:
Yes, it's Superman! Strange visitor from the planet Krypton, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, race a speeding bullet to its target, bend steel in his bare hands! And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice!
- Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Collyer's Superman voice was deeper than his voice for Clark.
- Reality Subtext: Stories would occasionally completely shift focus to Batman and Robin in order to give Collyer a little time off.
- Straw Hypocrite: In "The Clan of the Fiery Cross", the Grand Scorpion is shown, near the end of the serial, to be one of these. In his own words, "Don't tell me you actually believe that 'pure American' hogwash! Riggs, I thought you were smarter than that."
- Take Care of the Kids: In this version of The DCU, Robin's father asked Bruce Wayne to take care of his son.
- Those Wacky Nazis
- Weather Control Machine:
- One of these was made by Lois Lane's uncle. He decided that The World Is Not Ready after criminals use the device to create storms so they can loot.
- In a post-war story, criminals cause a drought using a slightly more plausible method of cloud-seeding. Neither Clark nor Lois seems to remember the earlier machine.
- World War II: All of the characters were active participants in the war effort.