Thursday, August 23, 2007

DIVER DAN

Enough with the middle-aged navel-gazing, already! When I was going through that old VHS tape the other day, I snagged an episode of an obscure Eisenhower-era syndicated kiddie show called "Diver Dan."

The geniuses who produced this show came up with an amazing idea. "We could do a show about a deep-sea diver, the kids'll love it! And to simulate the characters being underwater, we can film the whole thing through a tropical aquarium!"

Which is just what they did! Pretty effective for being a no-budget kiddie show.

Here comes our hero, Diver Dan, fighting his way through the papier-mache coral reefs on the ocean's floor.

Oh, did I mention the marionette talking fish? Here are Sturgeon The Surgeon and Finnley talking to the beauteous Minerva Mermaid!


With the glasses, mustache and puffy eyes, I imagine this is what I would look like if was a fish!


Owing to the fish-tale mermaid outfit, Minerva was basically doomed to just sit on an undersea rock and chat with the puppets. There was no budget to suspend her from wires and make it look like she could swim, I suppose. Still, I ain't complaining! R-r-r-r-owr-r-r!

Diver Dan hatches a plot with Finnley.


The soundtracks were pre-recorded like a radio show and the "actors" mouthed the lines! Allan Swift did all the male voices, e.g. Diver Dan and the fish. The guy behind the mask must've thought he was getting a big break by starring in his own TV show! (It's heart-breaking, when you think about it.)


Yay! Here are the villains! That's Baron Barracuda on the left, with his henchman, Trigger Fish on the right. The Baron spoke using a bargain-basement Lugosi impression. Trigger was pure, "Duh, OK, Boss!"


Here's a close-up of Trigger. Yep, he kept a cigarette perpetually dangling from his chops. Sweet!

Every exchange between the Baron and Trigger ended the same way:

Trigger: Duh, OK, Boss!

Baron: Trigger!!! I've told you to call me "Baron", Mullethead!

Trigger: Duh, OK, Baron Mullethead!


Well, that's enough TV cultism for now. Anybody else remember weird shows like this from their childhood?
HERE is a link to a nifty webpage all about our hero. WOOT - Diver Dan is da bomb!

17 Comments:

Blogger weatherchazer said...

Sorry, I came along the time of the original Dr. Who...what's that noise...yikes, a telephone booth!

August 23, 2007 8:54 AM  
Blogger russkal said...

A kiddie show featuring a smoking fish?

Damn, that must've been fun. Then again, I'm a dad so it's wrong!

How are you dude? I've been gone for quite some time and now I am finally back.

And no, I am not familiar with Diver Dan the TV show but it sure reminded me of Ed Wood's B movies.

Keep in touch!

August 23, 2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

Without you, Craig, how would I ever come across such fascinating bits of history? Diver Dan sounds infinitely better than the preachy moralistic blather in so many of today's cartoons.

And where was I during the airing of all of these fine shows?? All I remember was Mighty Mouse.

August 23, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger furiousBall said...

Minerva gets me all riled up, even if I was in that diver's suit.

August 23, 2007 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Ian House said...

Boy, that Minerva sure is easy on the eyes! ... But she seems a little bossy barking out those orders (Ann-erva perhaps?)

_ _ _

I didn't spend my childhood underwater. In fact, just the EXACT opposite: I spent many glorious hours in outer space with Dave Thomas and Promo the Robot of "Rocketship 7" fame (well, regionally famous, that is :-)

August 23, 2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Allan said...

I used to sell Jolly Roger VHS tapes at 1990's SciFi Cons...someone asked for DD-I had never heard of it- and when they described it, Ijust shook my head and wondered...but it's REAL! They weren't makin' it up!

August 23, 2007 5:06 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Actually that looks kind of interesting. I wouldn't mind watching an episode.

August 23, 2007 9:41 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Not bad, for my first visit to your place....:)

August 24, 2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I was trying to get to pepper's blog!

Yes, Pepper is enjoying time with Micah and the Bauman family.

Oh, you must be green with envy.

He-he...

Her and her mom are simply good folks. I wish everybody was here for this...

Nice to have have Russkal back too, eh?

August 24, 2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger Gale said...

Now I am sad, having missed this kind of show as a kid. I feel abused.

August 24, 2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Gale said...

hmmmm looks like you need to set security a little higher on your comments or get rid of the anonymous option all together.

August 24, 2007 10:22 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Excellent suggestion, gale.

I couldn't even scroll through that mess using my dial-up connection! I hope that was just a random "drive-by" and not someone with an axe to grind.

What anyone reading "missed" was a bazillion-word screed about, well, I don't know what it was about!

So, I may make some changes to my comments section. We'll see...

August 25, 2007 8:14 AM  
Blogger Merelyme said...

oh did you get that crazy comment too? i was wondering about that!

hey there...just wanted to tell you that i am gonna write from my one blog from now on. sorry to be a pain.

August 25, 2007 9:17 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

Craig,
You weren't the only one who got that comment. I think it's BS spam, not a direct attack.

August 25, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Whew! I figured it was just someone from crank.net with too much time on their hands.

But then again, Diver Dan is usually a "lightning rod" for controversy!

Duh, OK, boss.

Trigger, I've told you to call me "Baron" repeatedly!

Duh, OK, Baron Repeatedly!

August 25, 2007 8:26 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I haven't seen DIVER DAN in eons! Baron Barracuda used to scare the heck outta me! But Diver Dan always came through. Great piece of nostalgia. It was also one of the very few American shows I ever saw the ITC logo plastered on.

May 18, 2009 4:20 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

You can get Diver Dan episodes on DVD at the .99 Cent store in California.

May 05, 2010 12:37 AM  

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