Thursday, August 20, 2015
Bizarro on SUPERBOY: THE TV SERIES
Article by Rennie Cowan
Yes, Bizarro had a featured role in the Superboy TV Series. The make-up (a six piece latex mask) for the Bizarro face looked exceptionally real and all done by Rob Burman. And what Superboy fan could ever forget the classic Bizarro line: "Ah, now me remember. Me am Kent Clark, and me go to school." Bizarro was played by actor Barry Meyers (which was a stage name). He now goes by Douglas B. Meyers. The role of Bizarro actually enabled him to get his SAG card. The Bizarro mask was made out of latex and took 2 and 1/2 hours each morning to put on -- and 1 and 1/2 hours to take off at the end of the day. Surprisingly so, the mask wasn't hot as Barry Meyers himself stated to me during a discussion on facebook: "When the mask was put on it was in 6 pieces and glued to my face so there was no where for hot air to be...but the suit was a different story."
Due to budget cuts on the Bizarro costume itself, it came from the old ones which were the John Haymes Newton Superboy costumes. The special effects movie make-up glue that was used on Barry Meyers was called 455. All of the Bizarro costumes came from the first season of the John Haymes Newton year; which is obvious because the "S" emblem on Bizarro's chest was smaller (overall) like how Newton's costume was. Traditionally, Bizarro is supposed to have a backwards "S" emblem on his chest because Bizarro is from Bizarro world where everything is backwards; because he is a backwards version of Superboy/Clark Kent (and he gets the real world kind of mixed up at times). However, Barry Meyers stated to me on facebook: "Bizarro was not really the backwards Superboy he was really more the imperfect duplicate as he was made from the Professor's duplication ray...not from Bizarro world...".
On the Superboy show, Bizarro's logic is imperfect, as Meyers described it. Barry Meyers the actor starred as Bizarro in 8 episodes of Superboy the TV Series. He also appeared as a different character named Caliban in the 3rd season episode "Special Effects", the episode where Andy McAllister comes back for season 3. The Caliban make-up took 2 hours to put on, so it wasn't as much work as Bizarro. And it was not unusual for actors from different episodes of Superboy to later play entirely different characters in different seasons. You can often spot them, but it isn't always obvious. Of course, with Barry Meyers he was wearing a mask for both characters so we don't know it's him. Barry did get the chance to take off the Bizarro mask and be human as "Bill Zarro" and this was when Bizarro was cured in the third season episodes "To Be Human" Part 1 and 2. Barry Meyers also clued me in on the fact that Gerard Christopher actually passed out in Part 1, inside the transfer chamber due to a smoke lead inside the tube.
There were other Bizarros on Superboy as well. Including Bizarro Lex Luthors, a Bizarro Darla and Bizarro pigeons. Lana Lang was also made into a Bizarro-Lana by Lex Luthor because Bizarro wanted "someone to love" and that was the only way Luthor could get Bizarro to kill Superboy. But we all know that striking a deal with Lex Luthor never turns out for the better; to Bizarro's distaste, the Bizarro-Lana had a natural defect and exploded right in front of Bizarro's eyes. This occured in the two-part third season episode titled "The Bride of Bizarro" (part 1 and 2). What should be commended is Rob Burman's make-up on the Bizarro mask. Compare that with the Bizarro on "Smallville" which only has blocky pieces super-imposed on Tom Welling's face (by using CGI), you really see that the Bizarro in the Superboy TV Series is a perfact match to the comic books. Rob Burman continues to do make-up in Hollywood and worked on the latest Star Trek movie. You can view a very cool clip of him doing make-up for 2009's Star Trek movie here.
Barry Meyers began his career performing as a character called "Mr. Silver" in which he would paint himself silver and do robotic moves like what Michael Jackson did when MJ did the robot (around 1974). In fact, Barry still performs as Mr. Silver today and you can view the Mr. Silver The Performer Demo on youtube. Barry was inspired by Michael Jackson for all his robotic moves; this really shows when you watch the demo. Barry also choreographed a live show for LaToya Jackson back in 1989. He has visited the former Never Never Land Ranch and rode Michael Jackson's famous train. So he has had an interesting career and the Mr. Silver performance is quite a spectacular show. Children really seem to love Mr. Sivler so he wants to produce the character into a TV series for children. His latest endeavor has been work on the TV Show "One Tree Hill" (on the East Coast).
The creator of Bizarro was Alvin Schwartz, by the way. You can read an article about him here.
Below, watch the trailer for part 1 of "Bizarro...The Thing of Steel" (second season episode) right below, provided by the Superboy Theater youtube channel.