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Funnyman

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Funnyman
Funnyman 01
Cover of Funnyman #1

Real Name

Larry Davis

First Appearance

Funnyman #1 (1948)

Original Publisher

Magazine Enterprises

Created by

Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster

Golden Age Origin

TV Comedian Larry Davis was convinced by his girlfriend and manager, June Farrell, to do a superhero-like publicity stunt where Larry would defeat Happy, an actor playing a criminal, as a crime fighting clown. However, Larry ends up defeating a real criminal by mistake.  He decides he likes being a hero, and becomes Funnyman, the Comic Crimebuster, protector of Empire City -- much to the chagrin of June and Happy, who are the sole people who know his secret.

Using his practical joke themed gadgets, Funnyman battled villains such as Lazar, Cheval, Slippery Sam, Doc Gimmick and his assistant Torgo, "Ants" Plants, Flathead Floogie, and Monsieur Cheval. Others included the robotic Kute Knockout, Timidio the Timid Menace, Giggles Cain, Leapin' Lena, and Hee-Haw Johnson. In his final issue, he fought Schemer Beamer and his gang: Bug-Eyes, Crusher, Rockjaw, and the Curve.

Funnyman also had two superhero imitators, Comicman and Laffman, who wanted to drive their rival out of the funny superhero business. While they were not villains, they were not allies of Funnyman. Funnyman also had an adversary on the police force named Sgt. Harrigan, who disliked the crimefighter and was tired of him constantly stealing his thunder.

Vehicles

Funnyman employed several vehicles in his crime fighting endeavors, including a scooter that had his face on it. His car, Jet-Jallopy, used photo-electric cells to give it intelligence and was equipped with oil slick, water hoses, bullet-proof glass, voice activation, flight, and a mechanical scoop.

Golden Age Appearances

  • Funnyman #1-6
  • Limited run in a newspaper comic strip of its own after the comic series ended.

Notes

  • This character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster, the creators of Superman. The two had left DC comics (National Periodicals) after a dispute over rights over Superman and tried to start a new character at a new magazine company. The character didn't gain too much popularity.
  • The character is loosely based on comedian Danny Kaye. Scholars have theorized the character is less allegorical than Superman, but more straight-forward Jewish-Proud.
  • DC comics featured a cameo of the character in the series "52", as one of the heroes carrying the coffin of Booster Gold.

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