Robot 6

From a dusty corner of comics history comes the ’90s comic book TV series Bob

After being largely forgotten for the past 19 years, CBS is releasing the comics-related oddity show Bob on DVD. Starring comedian Bob Newhart, the show explored the real-life oddities of working in the comic industry in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Newhart played a veteran comics creator who was bringing back his 1950s super-hero Mad Dog after being canceled in light of the Comics Code and Wertham-era investigations on comics.

During its two-season run in the early 1990s, it was looked at by comics readers as a potential bright spot in a fallow time for comics on TV screens. It’s comedy circled around the idea that publishers wanted Newhart’s character to revive the jovial Mad Dog as a dark vigilante in the vein of Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns,with a compromise being reached to resume publication but the simmering tension going on as the series progressed.

Although comics fans initially hoped the series would be a bright light in the fallow dearth of comics-to-TV hits in the early 90s, the retro-stylings of the show seemed out of place with the current tastes of comics fans. The series is notable for having a bustling amount of comic creators as guest stars, including Jack Kirby as seen here:

While Christmas is almost a year away, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up in more than a few stockings of comic book fans. The DVD collection is due in April.



If my internet-addled brain is remembering correctly, Mark Evanier did some writing for this show, which may explain the Kirby appearance.

My particular favorite part of this whole thing was the tie-in comic Marvel produced. It was a flipbook where one side was a ’50s style cornball superhero comic done by Ty Templeton while the other half was a more ’90s-esque modern story of the character. I think the latter was actually written by Evan Dorkin, so I wonder now whether that was as much a parody as the Templeton stuff, but it’s been years since I’ve read those.

Yes the first season was about a comic creator but then it got changed to a greeting card company worker

Fairly funny premiere show, where Bob is talking to the slick new publisher. He gets his first sight of the new Mad Dog and is appalled.

Bob: Where’s his little pal Buddy (Mad Dog’s kid sidekick)? And… what’s that bloody rag he’s holding?
Harlan, the Producer (Grinning): That’s his little pal Buddy!

I’ve said it on another site, and I’ll say it here: EEEeeeeeEEEeeeEEEEEeEEeE!!!

Seriously, this and Darkwing Duck is what introduced me to comic books when I was a young El Santo.

Why have I never heard of this before? Although, I suppose that back when this show aired I was more interested in the the excellent superhero cartoons of the era than a live action show about comics creators.

Anyone else remember Marvel’s Mad Dog series? A flipbook with the ‘classic’ version by Ty Templeton and the ‘modern 90s’ version by whoever the hell.

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives