THE MR. TERRIFIC
scientist both wise and bold
it was found this power pill
they found made them squeamish
For the record, the recitation of these immortal words was performed by the late, great cartoon voicemaster, Paul Frees.
- Michael Scholl
"I saw them both and frankly can't believe your comments about Mr. Terrific. I found it to be about as cornball as any TV sitcom could possible be. Perhaps production values were high but quality of writing and comedy was not!
"On the other hand, Captain Nice was an outstanding program, particularly the comedy writing and situations. In my opinion, Captain Nice was quite a bit funnier than Buck Henry's own Get Smart.
is sad if you can actually occasionally see reruns or snippets of Mr.
Terrific (what a bore) and I have never seen anything of Captain
Nice after it went off the air. Is there any video anywhere of any
"In Germany 'Mr. Terrific' was a "must view" when we were kids...
"Indelible impression... it was called 'Immer wenn er Pillen nahm' (Whenever he took pills) and ran together with 'MaxwellSmart', 'Moonbase Alpha', and 'Raumpatroille'."
"Mr. Terrific", "Run Buddy Run" and Mel Brooks' "When things Were Rotten" are among my fondest TV show memories from my early childhood.
"Since you have the original song from Mr. Terrific on your site, here's the German version (I was living in Germany at the time):
"The show was titled "Immer wenn ER Pillen nahm" (sort of "Whenever he was taking pills"):
Ein Wissenschaftler um die Natur zu verbiegen
- B'rgds, Rolf
The illustration at the top of this page was done for the promotion of NBC's Captain Nice by comic book legend Jack Kirby.
"About your forgotten shows, I remember liking the TV show "Mr. Terrific" with Wally Cox. I always believed this to be the forerunner of the "Underdog" cartoon series. I don't know this as a fact, but always enjoyed thinking this." - Tom Ludwick
Mr. Terrific debuted on CBS January 9, 1967 and ran until August 28 of that same year - but it was Stephen Stimpell that starred as gas station geek turned superhero Stanley Beamish, not Wally Cox.
Wally Cox actually starred in a show called Mr. Peepers fifteen years earlier, and no doubt served as the meek and mild model for the Beamish character. He was also the voice of TV's Underdog.
Batman was the number one show in the nation at the beginning of 1967; two shows debuted mid-season to try to cash in on the 'camp' superhero craze but both Mr. Terrific and Captain Nice were gone by fall.
Mr. Terrific told the story of nerdy Stanley Beamish, who, as part of his job with the Bureau of Special Projects in Washington DC, swallows an enormous jawbreaker sized "Power Pill" that turns him (and only him) into a superhero with tremendous powers - for one hour.
Trouble comes when the pill wears off and timid Stanley Beamish is forced to face the crooks without his mighty powers. Mr. Terrific can even fly during his brief hour of power - but he has to flap his arms to do it!
Also appearing on the series were Dick Gautier ('Hymie the Robot' from Get Smart) as Beamish's partner in the gas station Hal and John McGiver as the head of the government Bureau.
Typical plots: Stanley finds himself with a miniature transmitter implanted in his tooth when he visits a spy dentist, while the president's plane flashes an SOS. In another tale, Stanley Beamish is busy seeing a psychiatrist about his inability to fly and in another episode he impersonates a safe cracker that is his exact double. (I told you they were typical plots!)
You can still see Mr. Terrific occasionally - several episodes of the show were combined to make a TV-movie currently offered in syndication called 'The Pill Caper.'
The episodes are generally entertaining and the production values are far and above even some of the best shows on television today. Unfortunately, because the main character gets his powers by taking drugs, this show has never been offered by the studio for syndication.
The very same night that Mr. Terrific debuted (right after it went off the air in fact), Captain Nice hit the airwaves over on NBC, brought to you by the creators of Get Smart.
This show starred William Daniels (St. Elsewhere) as Carter Nash, a police chemist that develops a serum giving him basically the same powers as Mr. Terrific, except Captain Nice didn't have to flap his arms to maneuver the friendly skies. Oh, and it was Carter's mom who made his dopey-looking costume.
The pilot was written by creator Buck Henry. Alice Ghostley co-starred as Nash's mother and Ann Prentiss portrayed policewoman Candy Kane, the Lois Lane type.
In a bizarre twist, Ann Prentiss (sister of star Paula from He & She) was convicted by a Santa Monica, CA court of battery in 1998 - for assaulting her 86 year old father, solicitation of murder, assault with a firearm and making terrorists threats toward Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss' husband and TV co-star.
Typical plots for Captain Nice: a psychotic doctor kidnaps Candy Cane, injecting her with a lethal tropical poison and Carter tries to become Captain Nice, only to find his mother drank all of the formula.
Captain Nice went off the air on August 28, 1967, the same night Mr. Terrific flapped his last.
"When MT's buddy Hal or anyone else would take the pill, instead of becoming super-powered, lens effects were used to make their head shots briefly become wider/thinner. Very clever for 1967 TV.
"Another running gag was the "jet blast" effects with unfortunate results whenever MT took off. It was corny, yes, but very amusing all the same. Captain Nice had very few scenes of the cap flying. The producers must have had budget or production problems. When he did fly, usually shown in very short spurts, there was a good sound effect, a bit like that of Hanna-Barbera/Alex Toth's Mighty Mightor.
"The movie Boogie Nights had a scene in which an extra was dressed in a Captain Nice costume! This little homage blew me away when I saw it, that anyone would remember and care enough to do that, knowing that very few viewers would 'get it'."
- David Kaufman
"Do you know how Captain Nice/Carter Nash got his super hero name? The initial chemical explosion conveniently ripped Carter's business suit down to cutoff pants over long johns (that his overbearing mother made him wear) and his suit coat was reduced to a swatch of cloth hanging down his back. A witness to his first adventure pointed out and asked him about his monogrammed 'C.N.' belt buckle.
"Carter made up the name Captain Nice off the top of his head (and almost immediately regretted doing so). His mom made his dorky costume and made him wear it before letting him go on his next mission."
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