Super Dave Osborne is supposedly an “accomplished” stuntman, though he rarely succeeds when performing the stunts depicted onscreen. His signature move is to perform outrageous daredevil stunts which invariably go awry and result in grievous bodily injury.
These include altered vehicles like the car boat and camera cars shown below as well as such mishaps as riding inside the hub of a giant yo-yo suspended from a crane (the yo-yo broke free of its string and rolled off a cliff into a ravine) and being flung inside a giant football (the catapult malfunctioned and “spiked” the football instead of throwing it). After such a mishap, Super Dave would usually appear torn apart, stretched, or otherwise injured.
One of his signature logos is a drawing of his head on top of a pair of shoes with no body. This was occasionally how he appeared after a stunt.
Super Dave is often accompanied on his various exploits by loyal friend, sidekick and assistant stunt coordinator Fuji Hakayito, played by comedian Art Irizawa. It is usually left to Fuji to set whatever stunt Dave is performing in motion. He is the inspiration and head of the fictional “Super Dave Compound”—a combination resort, theme park, learning center, and anything else needed for the plot-line of a particular episode. Many of his misadventures were based on demonstrating various aspects of the compound.
Trademark components of the Super Dave character include his frequent thumbs-ups, and his many uniforms – most of which include red, white and blue, yellow stars, and stripes, somewhat reminiscent of those worn by Evel Knievel. He was also known for only using Saskatchewan Sealskin Bindings in the manufacture of his safety harnesses or seatbelts (not that they ever did him any good). Seals are neither indigenous to nor range in Saskatchewan, and are therefore part of the comedic juxtaposition predicated on the eventual failure of the stunt by being both “genuine sealskin” and from Saskatchewan.
Super Dave made his first appearance on The John Byner Comedy Hour, a 1972 TV series. Einstein then regularly played the character on the short-lived 1976 variety show Van Dyke and Company starring Dick Van Dyke.
Super Dave received his first significant exposure as a regular on the Canadian 1980s series Bizarre. He was also a frequent guest on Late Night With David Letterman and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Einstein’s “Super Dave” series originally ran on Showtime from 1980-1985. In 1987, a variety show titled Super Dave began airing, he spun off the character into the animated series Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire, “Super Dave’s Vegas Spectacular,” and his own feature film The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave. In addition to ongoing appearances as Super Dave on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Einstein’s television credits including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Crank Yankers, and the voice of Patrick Star on Spongebob Squarepants.
Super Dave also appeared in Nike commercials in the 90′s, comparing his latest dunking contraptions to the Nike Air Flight basketball shoe. One commercial had him appearing with Reggie Miller, and another with Gerald Wilkins (mistaking their names as Roger and Harold, respectively).
Check out some videos here:
A great tie-into Mr. T