WEEK OF AUGUST 11
This week in 1945: A second attempt at launching the Hoverboy radio series is tried by the Mutual network. Only the words " Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls Hoverboy is on the air..." was broadcast before being interrupted by a newsflash announcing the Japanese surrender, and the end of the second world war. After the FIRST attempt (broadcast the day of Germany's surrender in Europe) the executives at Mutual began to believe that Hoverboy's radio show had magical powers to end conflict, and episodes were broadcast to the Korean peninsula in May of 1950 to calm local tensions following the Daegu Uprising. Sadly, it resulted in the communist backed army of Kim Il Sung overrunning the 38th parallel and beginning the Korean War.
This week in 1947: On this day in 1947 Bob Stark unveils his ‘new’ superhero, which he swears will, “make Hoverboy look boring.” When he unveils his creation, “Professor Pedestrian” his young wife Marge cannot hide her disappointment. Bob defends his creation saying, “What does a stupid woman know about what men like?” She later claims it was the beginning of the end of their marriage.
This week in 1967: The producers of the Batman TV show receive what appears to be real documents suing them copyright infringement. The suit claims Batman is an obvious rip-off of something called Hoverboy. The suit demands the then unheard sum of 8,000 dollars. The letter offers to settle out of court for 100 dollars. At first the letter causes consternation because no one can figure out if Hoverboy is real, but one of the series writers claims he’s heard of it. Lawyers at ABC fire back a letter to the plaintiff, Robert J. Stark International Enterprises, threatening to sue him for libel, defamation and public mischief. A letter of apology from Stark’s son Elmer, soon arrives. Elmer told several people he took away his fathers typewriter after this incident.
This week in 1973: The live-action HOVERBOY/METAL GUY ACTION HALF-HOUR premiers. Though the Hoverboy adventures featured in the first segment of this one-season show aren't particularly noteworthy, the show caused much controversy over the it's second-billing hero, Metalguy; a refrigerator repairman turned superhero. Whenever evil was afoot in Spring River, Abe Schwartz would climb into his specially modified refrigerator to do battle! Unfortunately, dozens of children tried to emulate Metalguy, and suffocated in abandoned refrigerators across the country. When the lawsuits started, the producers of the show laid the blame squarely at Bob Stark's feet, thought he claimed he never had any part in producing the show beyond licensing Hoverboy.