|Legends of the Superheroes|
|Directed by||Bill Carruthers|
|Narrated by||Gary Owens|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||2|
|Executive producer||Joseph Barbera|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production companies||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||January 18 –|
January 25, 1979
|Related shows||Super Friends|
Legends of the Superheroes is an umbrella title for two 60-minute live-action television specials produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions that aired on NBC on January 18 and 25, 1979. The series was loosely based on Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends animated series, then airing on Saturday mornings on ABC; it served as a reunion of sorts for the 1960s' Batman TV series, as it brings back together three of its stars reprising their respective roles. The specials were produced like standard variety shows of the time: on videotape and with a laugh track.
Legends of the Superheroes starred Adam West and Burt Ward, reprising their roles as Batman and Robin. The show also had a large ensemble cast of other DC Comics superheroes that included Garrett Craig as Captain Marvel, Howard Murphy as the Green Lantern, Rod Haase as The Flash, Bill Nuckols as Hawkman, Barbara Joyce as The Huntress, Alfie Wise as The Atom and Danuta Wesley (credited as Danuta) as the Black Canary.
Notable guest stars in the two specials included Frank Gorshin reprising his role as The Riddler from Batman, Howard Morris as Doctor Sivana, Gabriel Dell as Mordru, Charlie Callas as Sinestro, Jeff Altman as the Weather Wizard, Ruth Buzzi as Aunt Minerva, June Gable as Rhoda Rooter, Pat Carroll as Hawkman's mother, Aleshia Brevard as Giganta, William Schallert playing the Scarlet Cyclone (more commonly referred to as "Retired Man") and Brad Sanders as "Ghetto Man". Ed McMahon played himself, hosting the celebrity super-hero roast.
Both specials preempted Project U.F.O.
In the first episode, the Justice League of America (Batman, Robin, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Captain Marvel, Huntress and Black Canary) unite at the Hall of Heroes to celebrate elderly retired superhero Scarlet Cyclone's birthday. The party is interrupted by the Legion of Doom (Riddler, Weather Wizard, Sinestro, Mordru, Doctor Sivana, Giganta and Solomon Grundy), who announce they have hidden a deadly bomb in a secret location, and the heroes must follow clues to find it. It's all actually a ruse to trick the heroes into drinking Dr. Sivana's de-powering potion. Despite the fact that they now lack their super-powers, the heroes fight the villains, and manage to both disarm the bomb and recover their powers. Only after the whole battle is over, and the heroes have proven victorious, does Scarlet Cyclone arrive to give his aid.
The second episode was a celebrity roast of the superheroes hosted by Ed McMahon. All of the major characters from the first episode return. New characters featured include Ghetto Man, an African-American superhero who performs a stand-up comedy routine; Aunt Minerva, the Captain Marvel villainess who seeks a sixth husband from among the male superheroes; Rhoda Rooter, an entertainment reporter who snags an exclusive interview with Giganta and the Atom (Alfie Wise) on their engagement to be married; and Esther Hol, Hawkman's mother.
Warner Home Video's Warner Archive Collection released the specials on DVD on October 19, 2010.
In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!", Joker, Penguin, Gorilla Grodd, Kite Man, Black Manta, Two-Face, Gentleman Ghost, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Clock King, and Solomon Grundy roast (both figuratively and literally) Batman with help from a kidnapped Jeff Ross.