Sandy had some great characters.
Here's a short list:
a good-natured simpleton who was guided through his day by a voice-over
(also played by Becker). His fans remember a great pun in which Norton
(who was baking a cake) was told to get 'the little bottle that says 'vanilla''.
Sure enough, the bottle of vanilla extract was squeaking "Va-NEE-la! Va-NEE-la!".
The voice invariably concluded, "Norton, you've done it again..."
Kevin Butler remembers a Superman parody in which Norton played "Clark
Nork", a tropical-fish expert who would fight crime and protect the defenseless
(both people and animals) as "Supernorkulease"! In one skit he had to remove
a dangerous fish from a tank of rare tropical fish... Does anyone know
more about this character, or about other Norton Nork parodies?
Hambone was a loony disk jockey-- sort of based on Wolfman Jack, Cousin
Brucie, etc. He wore a pith helmet with a decorative plume, a drum major's
uniform, and a pair of goggles that looked like a set of binoculars attached
to his face (actual prescription lenses, by the way). He was given to saying
things like "The sea is deep so the fish can sleep! YEAAAAAA--"
A takeoff on the Lone Ranger, of course. He had an Indian sidekick (named
Arthur Arrowroot) with a speech impediment, who called himself "Ah-thuh
Awwow-woot". Arthur kept trying to introduce the Ranger to modern concepts,
but without much success. The Ranger always asked Arthur, "How are you
able to do these things, Arthur?", and Arthur would reply, "Because me
strongest member of my tribe!" Hambone once appeared in one of their skits;
in exchange for a drink of water, Hambone gave Arthur some records by a
band called "The Bagels". The Ranger was off visiting the doctor at the
time; when he returned home and asked Arthur what had happened while he
was away, Arthur told him about the strange man who had stopped by and
given him some black bagels. Arthur then proceeded to cook the 'bagels'
on a potbellied stove... (thanks to Kevin Butler for the correction
He was a melodramatic villain resembling the Shadow... but he wasn't much
of a villain. He was too sympathetic. In fact, in one episode Simon had
an imaginary (?) double, and he maintained his belief by singing "I Believe
EECOPS(?) From Outer Space (also known as Sputnik):
One of Sandy's puppets. He was an imperious, bald-headed, pointy-eared
character from the planet Zircon. When he got mad, his eyes would flash
on and off. "We of the people of Zircon are angry! Angry! ANGRY!!!!"
Gnatman and Nitboy:
A takeoff on the "Batman" TV series. The characters were so small that
they almost drowned in a bowl of soup!
""Nitboy" was played by Tim Moriarty Jr. Mr. Moriarty also played
"Sinister Sidney" (Sinister Simon's good-boy son) and "Clyde Calaminty
Clem" during the run of the last "Sandy Becker Show"." --Kevin Butler
For Tim Moriarty's recollections of working on Sandy's show, click here.
"Max" was a little cartoon character (a burglar in a striped shirt, carrying
a bag of loot) who used to run along the bottom of the screen at random
intervals. The first viewer to phone WNEW after seeing Max would win a
prize. Norton Nork was once able to catch Max, though not in the way he'd
expected. Click here
A mad-scientist character whose assistant was a big-headed dummy named
who spoke in gibberish and was a bit scary...
The Big Professor was always introduced to the strains of 'Pomp and Circumstance'
by Elgar, followed by a drum roll. He answered arcane questions sent in
by viewers and gave away Golden Book Encyclopedias as prizes for the best
Phonetically, it means "Too bad" or "What a shame" in Spanish. Lastima
was a dishevelled, Spanish-speaking kid's-show host in a Panama hat; Spanish-speaking
viewers got a kick out of his in-jokes. He used to give away prizes as
well; they invariably went to... "Mi Madre!!!" Lastima had an assistant
named Miguel, who once appeared in "Catch Miguel", Lastima's own version
of "Catch Max".
Sandy also did cartoon voices on the "Underdog"
show, especially in the "Go Go Gophers" segments. He played both the sergeant
(Okie Homa, the one who was always 'beggin' the Colonel's pardon...') and
the gopher who talked in gibberish. On the "Tudor Turtle" show, he was
the voice of Mr. Wizard, who used to save Tudor at the end of each episode
by chanting "Drizzle drazzle drozzle drome-- Time for this one to come
home!" The line occasionally pops up on "Mystery Science Theater 3000".
Sandy also provided the voice of Captain America on the "Marvel Superheroes
TV Cartoon Show".
Special thanks to David Miesel for the animated logo!