Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Super ‘70s and ‘80s: “Legends of the Superheroes”—Chris Darley, co-producer/associate director

Introduction to series “Super ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Introduction to subseries “Legends of the Superheroes” (including list of interviewees).

What was your background before LOTS?

Directed game shows, live events. I had worked with [show director] Bill Carruthers for several years prior.

Before doing the show, what was your familiarity with these particular superhero characters?

Not very much, other than Batman and Robin. And I was always a fan of the comic books, not the TVshow.

How long were the shoots (both hours in a day and number of days)?

I think about 12-14 hours long and I believe between the two shows we shot for about five or six days.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos courtesy of Barry Koeb.

What, if any, mistakes or accidents happened during the shoots?

No accidents…some retakes with stunt doubles but nothing unusual. The normal starts and stops.

This Black Canary is a stunt double.

What did you think of the storylines of the shows?

I don’t believe any of us were very happy with the storylines but we were hindered by a severe time constraint and lack of money for this type of ambitious project. This whole concept was a last-minute substitute for another kind of project. I don’t remember the original concept.

What do you remember about the performers (as many as possible)?

Adam and Burt were really cooperative and in the spirit. Frank Gorshin (Riddler) was amazing and funny. Some of the others were very young and had little prior experience, but all worked very hard. Ed McMahon was, as always, a delight.

What were your expectations for the shows?

I hoped for better than the shows received. Time slot and, as I said, budget both figured in. A lot of people worked very hard and I doubt anyone was totally pleased.

What did you do professionally after the shows?

I continued to direct live events, game shows, specials, etc., before retiring in 2006.

Did you stay in touch with any of the other cast or crew after the show?

No, other than Bill Carruthers and Joel Stein [one of the producers]. None of the actors.

Had you heard from writers (before me) about LOTS?


What was your reaction when you heard why I wanted to interview you?

Surprised that anyone remembered those shows.

Did you know what a cult following LOTS has among fans today?

No, but again I’m surprised and very flattered. As I said, lots of people worked very hard on a project that was not easy to pull off, especially with the lack of special effects technology available at that time.

Any funny/unusual show anecdotes about LOTS that you didn’t already address?

Not really. The taping of the jet ski sequence was fun and the comedians were great to work with.

Where do you live now?


How do you look back at your experience on this show?

Very hard work. Difficult concept to pull off given the aforementioned constraints, but after all was said and done, it was a good learning experience for me, although I haven’t thought about the shows in years…

Next: Legends of the Superheroes actors, part 1 of 2.

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