The Adventures Continue

TAC Table of Contents
Contact Information

Lou Koza of W. Babylon, New York

Lou Koza and Jim Nolt

Hello, my name is Louis Koza, and I have been a Superman fan since childhood, most especially as portrayed by George Reeves. For the past dozen years, I have enjoyed the tremendous amount of information uncovered by the many individuals associated with The Adventures Continues. Had Jim Nolt asked me to contribute my answers to the following questions ten years ago, I believe the answers would be very different in comparison to today. Ten years ago didn't think I could add anything new that hadn't already been described in wonderful detail by so many other fans. I've always enjoyed reading other comments from people, there is always something new to learn.

Over the past tens years some interesting things have happened to me because of TAC's inspiration. I interviewed I Love Lucy's Keith (Little Ricky) Thibodeaux, met Mr. Jack Larson in Metropolis, and I actually walked through the house at 1579 Benedict Canyon Drive (what a super souvenir that would make). Aside from Jim Nolt, I met some other terrific people who also have made contributions, personally or via telephone conversation: Jim Bowers, Randy Garrett, Janeen Christensen, Tom Nagy, Milton Storey, Steve Maurer, Danny Fuchs, Chuck Harter, Jan Alan Henderson and Michael J. Hayde to name a few. Being involved with TAC almost from the beginning, I now feel I have something to say.

What was your first reaction to George Reeves and/or the Superman series?
To be perfectly honest, I don't recall which I discovered first, Superman on TV or the Superman in the comic books. I can't even tell you which episode I saw first. I do know it was around 1960 and it was easy for me to notice the differences. The illustrations of Superman flying were certainly not as dramatic, no Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen had different color hair. I watched the show every day, and to me Superman stood out from every thing else on television. Every time I turned the TV on, every time I changed the channel, I was motivated by the hope Superman was on. Watching the shows really captured my attention, I was glued to the box. What was great, I had brothers and sisters and when Superman was on we never argued over the TV. I never tired of the shows and seeing them over and over was and still is just as exciting as seeing them for the first time.

What are your ten favorite episodes?
I have to say, I truly like them all, each one has merit. I certainly could never list ten least favorites. Ten hours would be difficult to answer let alone ten episodes.

  • Around the World - a shared number one favorite with Jim Nolt.

  • Superman on Earth

  • The Haunted Lighthouse

  • Ghost Wolf

  • The Evil Three (uncut)

  • Shot in the Dark

  • Semi-Private Eye

  • Clark Kent, Outlaw

  • The Big Freeze

  • The Perils of Superman

PS: can anyone identify the power Superman used to stop the buzz saw from cutting Perry White in two in "The Perils of Superman?" This has baffled me for years.

What are some of your favorite scenes from the series?
There are so many because of the efforts delivered by the supporting cast, so I will only name three from each.

  • Phyllis Coates
    1) The cave scenes of Lois trying to save Pop Polgase in "Rescue."
    2) Telephone booth scene in "A Night of Terror."
    3) Lois slapping Bet a Million Butler in the face in "The Human Bomb."

  • Noel Neill
    1) Firing the crooks machine gun in "Jimmy Olsen, Boy Editor."
    2) Getting pulled into the water by Clark in "The Golden Vulture."
    3) Lois feeling sad over Superman's marriage to Sgt. O'Hara in "Superman's Wife."

  • John Hamilton
    1) Yelling on the phone at Inspector Henderson in "Crime Wave."
    2) Yelling "You young whippersnapper" at Jimmy Olsen.
    3) Perry's reaction to the life like figure in "Mystery in Wax."

  • Jack Larson
    1) Jimmy yanking on a tide up Hercules whiskers in "The Clown Who Cried."
    2) A terrified Jimmy in the "Haunted Lighthouse" and equal performance in "The Evil Three."
    3) Jimmy falling smitten for Steve Carr's Madame Charpentier in "Double Trouble."

  • Robert Shayne
    1) Playing darts with Clark Kent in "The Man in the Lead Mask."
    2) Being chased around the office by Superman in "The Face and the Voice."
    3) Eating dinner in the hotel room in "Czar of the Underworld."

  • George Reeves (as Superman)
    1) Superman flying Ann Carson around the world.
    2) Superman delivering the line "It's more than you deserve" after saving Luke Benson's life.
    3) Superman's fake display of being hurt in "Crime Wave."

  • George Reeves (as Clark Kent)
    1) Clark Kent pleading with the Silsby townspeople in ""The Unknown People."
    2) Clark Kent coming out of the rain at the end of "Ghost Wolf."
    3) Clark Kent in action on "The Golden Vulture."

  • Steve Carr
    1) Dressed up as Madame Charpentine.
    2) As Dr. Hadley and taking it on the chin in "The Mind Machine."
    3) Just about everything he did was terrific.

What interesting mistakes or inside jokes have you detected?
So much more than I ever noticed has already been identified. One that stood out was in the classic "Panic in the Sky." With Jimmy Olsen behind him, Clark Kent opens his shirt and reveals the Superman suit with out sleeves. And another, in "The Jolly Roger." If you watch real close as the pirates attack Superman, a sword breaks over Superman's chest and is flung behind at a fairly rapid speed hitting Jack Larson. I guess Jimmy didn't know how invincible he was also. When I met Jack Larson in Metropolis a couple of years ago, I asked him if he recalled this minor moment. I got the impression he didn't, I recall him saying something like "we were all subject to dangers on the show all the time, fortunately no one was seriously hurt."

How do you view the series today as an adult, differently from when you were a child?
Compared to today, we were exposed to so much less back in the early sixties. So the impressions made were much more amplified. I do feel there were a lot more quality shows on television than there are today, and
The Adventures of Superman is a perfect example. Other examples include the Dick Van Dyke Show, McHales Navy, Phil Silvers Show and the Andy Griffith Show. Not to get on a soapbox here, but the writers had to work with standards designed for wholesome family entertainment. Now shows have adult position innuendoes, which I feel doesn't take a lot of talent to write or exploit. I think it is unfortunate the Superman TV show is not currently broadcast everyday in the late afternoon for the kids when they get home from school like it was when I was younger. The show is very much an American tradition without the propaganda. I view the show still much as I did at age seven, but with more appreciation of the time it was made. Knowing so much more about the show today makes me appreciate it very much. I remember when we got our RCA color TV in 1965 how rich the Superman episodes looked. The blues and reds really jumped off the screen. The colors were extremely brilliant, and the episodes looked like new productions. I have all the episodes on VHS, I like to turn the clock back before color and turn the color setting to B&W. For me it really captures the childhood feel of watching the shows. Try it and I'm sure you will find the same effect. In the late 80s, Channel 9 (WOR), televised the episodes on Saturday mornings, two episodes back to back. There were a couple of episodes I had never seen before then, so this was an extra thrill. The first never-before-seen episode was "The Dog Who Knew Superman." Seeing Clark drive up in his Nash-Healy sports car and then seeing Superman plunge into the ground was great. At first I thought that when Clark dropped his glove it was a blooper, but learned quickly it was part of the story. The episode ended with Clark having a sincere talk with Corky. It is a really nice episode. The second, "The Machine That Could Plot Crimes." Seeing Superman allow the villains to get away by moving the truck out of the way. I thought, what's going on here? These scenes were actually shot on the back streets of LA. Seeing both of these episodes as an adult for the first time, it brought out that little kid in me. Ah, no I didn't start flying around the living room with a bath towel wrapped around my neck, but I wanted to. Another thrill came when WOR broadcast a Superman coming attraction. Action! Adventure! and Mystery! and I got it all on tape, what a catch. In the early 1990's Nick-at-Nite, broadcast the uncut version of "The Evil Three." I'm sure they didn't know what they had in their stockpile, which was an episode not broadcast complete in over thirty years for very specific reasons. Now watching it uncut, the show makes complete sense. By the way, I was watching this episode with my ten year old daughter and I had to peel her off the ceiling when the ghost of George Taylor appears at the window. And this is the 90's. How about that, proof the show still stands the test of time.

Why have you continued to watch the series and why do you consider yourself a George Reeves fan?
I love the show. I still find time to watch the
The Adventures of Superman and collect articles and memorabilia. I love all the character actors throughout the series. Whether they appeared once or several times over the years: Dan Seymore, Ben Weldon, Pierre Watkin, Lucien Littlefield, Jane Adams, Joi Lansing, Tris Coffin, Judy Ann Nugent, John Eldredge, Maurice Cass, Jane Frazee, Philips Tead, Gloria Talbot, Elisha Cook Jr., Frank Jenks, and many others. By the way, I was disappointed the character "Candy" played by Frank Jenks never returned. His character in "The Stolen Costume" seemed to be played as a long time friend of Clark's. I wonder what the thought process was with this character?

I cannot conclude without complimenting the ongoing efforts of Don Rhoden, Jim Nolt, Chuck Harter, Jan Alan Henderson, Michael J. Hayde and Paul Mandell. These individuals have devoted a tremendous amount of time to share accurate information about George Reeves and The Adventures of Superman. George Reeves lead an interesting life, and I still hope that evidence will someday prove Mrs. Bessolo's instincts were right. It is hard to believe any other version of Superman is the more true to the character than as portrayed by George Reeves. When the cameras were rolling George Reeves never gave the character the superficial treatment, he was sincere and genuine in his performance. What I like most about the George Reeves' Superman is that the character is somewhat limited in powers as compared to the most other versions, especially in our more modern times. An example of this display is during the airplane scene at the end of "The Mind Machine". He struggles to get the plane back on course and save Dr. Hadley.

Like you, I admire Mr. Reeves. However I think he lacked business instinct to protect his career. Many actors don't give in to studio demands without negotiating a deal for a project more suitable to showcase their craft. It is a shortcoming that I feel has been overlooked when dissecting his career. I'm not an expert on the Hollywood culture during the 50's, so maybe the art of negotiation was more one dimensional at that time. It was documented in Variety that George would not return to the role of Superman unless his salary was increased substantially in 1954. Had he negotiated a deal for more flexibility, which allowed for other roles in lieu of immediate monetary returns he may have found a higher gain and more control of his own destiny. There is a picture of George in Jan Alan Henderson's Speeding Bullet, on page 42, top right side. When I see this picture, George has a look so unlike any other picture of him. I see a man with deep thoughts and concern for his destiny.

 "Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"