Super Dave Osborne
Super Dave Osborne was a character created and played by comedian Bob Einstein. Einstein's comedic depiction is of a naive but optimistic stuntman who frequently appears injured when his stunts go spectacularly wrong.
|Super Dave Osborne|
|First appearance||The John Byner Comedy Hour|
|Created by||Jim Ault|
|Portrayed by||Bob Einstein|
Super Dave is billed as an "accomplished" stuntman, though he rarely succeeds when performing the stunts depicted on-screen. Typically the character will perform outrageous daredevil stunts which often go disastrously awry and result in the appearance of grievous bodily injury. These include such mishaps as being knocked off the top of the CN Tower after determining it too windy to do a cabled jump, and being run over by a steamroller after failing to escape from a locked trunk. After such a mishap, Super Dave would usually appear torn apart, stretched, or otherwise injured. Although Super Dave initially exhibited and was injured during wild stunts, as time went on, he would often be injured in mishaps during much more mundane events during which danger was not anticipated.
His signature logo, a drawing of his head in a crash helmet directly atop a pair of shoes with no visible body, was from an iconic early sketch, "Balloon Ball". The "stunt" consisted of his standing in a hole in the ground reciting "balloon ball" as a repetitive mantra which was supposed to imbue him with the ability to not be harmed by anything, as a mobile piledriver rammed the top of his head. When pulled out of the hole, he was as his eventual logo depicted: his helmeted head sitting directly atop his running shoes, the whole of his body supposedly compressed between shoes and neck.
Super Dave is often accompanied on his various exploits by loyal friend, sidekick and assistant stunt coordinator Fuji Hakayito (comedian Art Irizawa), and his segments introduced and commentated on by former sportscaster/actor Mike Walden. It is usually left to Fuji to set in motion whatever stunt Dave is performing. Super Dave runs the fictional "Super Dave Compound" — a combination resort, theme park, learning center, and anything else needed for the plot-line of a particular episode. Many of his misadventures were based on demonstrating various aspects of the compound.
Trademark components of the Super Dave character include his frequent thumbs-ups and his many uniforms — most of which include red, white and blue, yellow stars, and stripes - which are reminiscent of those worn by Evel Knievel. It was commonly pointed out that Osbourne's safety harnesses or seat-belts were made of "genuine Saskatchewan sealskin bindings" . Seals are not indigenous to the landlocked province Saskatchewan, and are therefore part of the comedic juxtaposition predicated on the eventual failure of the stunt by being both "genuine sealskin" and from Saskatchewan.
- The John Byner Comedy Hour (1972), first appearance of the character
- Van Dyke and Company (1976)
- The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour (1977)
- Bizarre (1980–1985)
- The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1980s), recurring guest
- Late Night with David Letterman (1980s), recurring guest
- Super Dave (1987–1991)
- Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire (1992)
- In Living Color (1993)
- WWE Monday Night RAW (1994–1995)
- Super Dave's Vegas Spectacular (1995)
- Super Dave's All Stars (1997)
- Hollywood Squares (1998–2004), recurring guest
- Super Dave's Spike-Tacular (2009)
- The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (November 11, 2009)
- TNA Impact! (November 12, 2009)
- Norm Macdonald Live (March 26, 2013)
- Anger Management (April 2013)
- Super Dave was featured in Nike commercials in 1990, comparing his latest dunking contraptions to the Nike Air Flight basketball shoe, and appearing with such NBA stars as Reggie Miller and Gerald Wilkins (whom he called Roger and Harold, respectively, and got corrected). When his contraption went wrong, he either went through the wall, the ceiling, or face-planted into a backboard, then he would say he hurt or broke an unusual part of his body, to which Walden would optimistically go, "Well, of course you did!"
- On several occasions in the late 1990s, he has appeared in commercials for Haggar Clothing. Some notable stunts he was in were going through an extreme car wash, and falling off a motorhome with lots of heavy debris landing on him to show that their cotton-based clothing will never wrinkle.
He was referenced by Richie Rich in Tupac Shakur's song "Rather Be Ya Nigga", in the line, "Smoke blunts, but leave them stunts up to Super Dave," in the Ice Cube song "Wicked", with the line "We'll have to break his ass up like Super Dave," in the A Tribe Called Quest song "The Chase, Part II" with the lyric, "We flippin' on niggas like we Super Dave," in the Cool Calm Pete song "Lost" with the line "You(r) fake stunts that's strictly for Super Dave". On Fat Joe's song "Bet Ya Man Can't (Triz)," Cuban Link raps, "We do maneuvers like Super Dave, always with a group of babes" and as well as in the line "At the hot tubs making a gang of waves, Hoe in the cunt doing stunts like Super Dave" in the song "She's Just A Freak" by The Luniz.
Damon Wayans' character Jimmy Dix in the 1991 film The Last Boy Scout says after being thrown off an overpass onto a parked car below, "It's okay, folks. Thank you. Danger is my middle name. Don't try this at home, folks. I'm a trained professional. There's me, and there's Super Dave." Wayans also had a recurring character on In Living Color, "The Head Detective", that was similar in appearance to the Super Dave logo.
On the ABC television show Happy Endings, Super Dave Osborne is referenced in season 1 episode 8 entitled, "The Girl with the David Tattoo".
- "Mike Walden, L.A. Sportscaster and 'Super Dave' Interviewer, Dies at 89". hollywoodreporter.com.
- "Super Dave Osborne is up to his old stunts". Content.usatoday.com. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "Notorious Daredevil Returns in Spike TV's 'Super Dave's Spike-Tacular'". Reuters. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "Super Dave On Conan!". SPIKE. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2012-11-29.