Wednesday, March 19, 2003

How history is rewritten - Is there a 'Superman' curse? - Mar. 17, 2003
...The first cartoon "Superman" was voiced by Bud Collyer from 1941-43...

Yes, that's true, as far as it goes. But Collyer's participation in the Fleischer "Superman" cartoons was a footnote to his history with the character, as he spent over a decade on the radio portraying the character. This is not mentioned.

(I mean, the animated Superman barely spoke at all. I wouldn't be surprised if Collyer didn't even remember he'd done it.)

I'm not too bent out of shape over this, as it is consistent with most media coverage of the Golden Age of Radio. Or, more precisely, coverage that should include the Golden Age of Radio, but somehow never does. Richard Crenna's obituary, for example, prominently mentioned his supporting role on the television series "Our Miss Brooks" -- but didn't mention that the character, and the show, began on the radio.

It's as if the medium never existed. The only reminder I ever see that radio was once the dominant medium that television now is, is a cartoon that occasionally pops up on Cartoon Network: A small child demands to be allowed to stay up late to listen to the radio, and dreams of radio personalities of the day (who appear in animated form).

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