Watch Superman on Television!

From the pages of a 1966 Superman comic comes this reminder that Batman isn't the only superhero burning up the airwaves. At this point in history, The Adventures of Superman (1952-58) starring the late George Reeves is airing in syndication across the country, and DC offers up a handy guide to help young readers find the participating station nearest them. Can you spot the station from your home town?

For me, it would have been WRVA (aka WWBT since 1968) in Richmond, Virginia. That is to say, it would have been if I'd been old enough to tune in. As it happens, I was only one year old at the time.

My memories of the show begin with a rival Richmond station, WTVR ("The South's First Television Station!"). I still remember getting up extra early on Saturday mornings and watching the test pattern until 6:00 AM, when the announcer would say, "We now begin our broadcast day," and they'd play the Star-Spangled Banner to a video of Old Glory flapping in the wind and Air Force jets flying in formation before rolling that week's episode of Superman. I don't know, somehow the combination of the early hour, the tinny rendition of the national anthem, thedated stock footage of the jets and George Reeves in his fedora and suits with padded shoulders made it feel almost like I was picking up a transmission from another era. It was cool.

In the late 70s, I hit the jackpot when WTVR (aka Channel 6) started running the show every weekday afternoon (along with the Beverly Hillbillies and Get Smart...bliss!). Somewhat notorious (at least with me) for their many technical screw-ups and on-air blunders, I remember Channel 6 once running the video from Superman with the audio from an anti-perspirant commercial. As a very nervous Jimmy is getting the third degree from a couple of menacing thugs, the dialog is: "Gloria, you're a woman...what do YOU think of new Secret Solid?"

Wow. Test patterns, stations that went off the air at night, running home after school to catch a show in the days before VHS and DVD let you watch them whenever you wanted to...somehow, sometime when I wasn't looking, I sure got old.