Legends of the Superheroes – The Roast!

Having failed to defeat the superheroes in the last episode, the villains take advantage of their comedy chops by inviting them to… a roast!

Something I neglected to mention in the review for the last episode is that Hawkman, who has a body like John Cena, doesn’t say much but they overdub a weird hawk scream when he flexes in the intro. That gets used to excess in the show when he meets his mom, presumably because the bodybuilder couldn’t act to save his life.

This is filmed in front of an audience, presumably held at gunpoint, and each superhero is sat on stage behind a podium with their emblem on. Adam West looks like he’s trying not to corpse through the opening script and brings Ed McMahon, who I’m sure was there strictly for the money, to be the master of ceremonies. In a topical reference, he looks around himself at the costumes and marvels “Wow! Look at all those capes! It looks like Truman Capote’s closet!”.

Weather Wizard is first out to “roast” the superheroes, specifically Flash, by making it rain on him and then causing a storm in the cave with what looks like used toilet paper flying around. It also looks like they spent more money on his magic weather wand than on his costume. He’s followed by Mrs. Esther Hall (Hawkman’s mom), who makes lots of bird “jokes” and does the routine where she’s the embarrassing, normal mom, allowing them to use the Hawkman scream a few more times. Of note, she’s played Pat Carroll, who was Ursula in The Little Mermaid, immediately cracking the top three of most famous people in the show.

After a memo from Arnie, where he calls everyone vain, we get an absolute shocker – an ethnic superhero, Ghetto-Man. Played by Brad Sanders, who was Big Lob in the recently review GI Joe: The Movie, he doesn’t even have a costume, just platform shoes, flares, and a waistcoat with his initials on. One of the first lines he gets out, and I assume it was written for him, is “I don’t see no brothers around here! The NAACP asked you to integrate and Green Lantern doesn’t qualify as coloured people!”. Yep. He pushes for Sammy Davis JR. to be the real black superhero and can’t tell which guy is the Flash because “you all look alike to me”. I’m as sensitive as sandpaper in some respects, but that one didn’t age well!

Doctor Sivana, played by Howard Morris, turns up to do some schtick and is at least funny on account of having good comic timing, but his mask is very obviously peeling and I supposed some of it didn’t flake off when he went to have a face-to-tits conversation with Black Canary. Scarlet Cyclone, who we met last episode as the very imaginative Retired Man, gets to reminisce in a recurring gag through the show that wasn’t funny on the first go, struggling to stay awake or remember what he’s even talking about as he rocks back and forth.

Miss Rhoda Rooter, an obvious Baba Wawa parody with accent and lisp, comes out to dish the dirt and reveal the Atom and Giganta are now a couple in secret. She wonders aloud whether Atom is entering Giganta at full size or shrunken down. Who is this show written for?

Robin gets a skit where he confesses to Captain Marvel that he’s crashed the Batmobile, leading to a bit where Batman wants to head out in it and Robin is trying to hide it, leading to a game of gestures where he mimes to Bats that it’s totalled. I’m sure they planned that routine out for at least fifteen minutes before recording.

Last few appearances from the Legion of Doom, with Solomon Grundy, who in retrospect looks more like George “The Animal” Steele than Andre the Giant, beating up Ed McMahon and Sinestro, in a different outfit and with less hair this time, shooting down Green Lantern when he calls him a traitor. He also gets some awful material when you consider Charlie Callas was supposed to be a professional comedian.

The man-eating Aunt Minerva comes by, the survivor of five marriages, with two beefcakes bringing her out. She’s looking for number six, and even admits she likes a man “with spunk” – don’t they all? This is actually a real DC character and she has a literal shotgun (or handgun) wedding with Captain Marvel, but he resists until she says “SHAZAM!” and turns into a blonde stripper, which is a late in the day pleasant surprise. Mordru then gives a bizarre rendition of That’s Entertainment.

To close the show, Ed McMahon says everything tonight has been done in “good fun” – I’ll dispute that.

The Bottom Line: I have no idea what this was supposed to be. It was either written by people who knew what a roast was but weren’t familiar with superheroes or vice versa. Or neither. Thoroughly consigned to the dustbin of history and I imagine Ed had drunk his paycheck away in the green room. Maybe that’s the trick to enjoying it.