Thursday, June 17, 2010

Newsradio - 1998

I was catching up on episodes of the NBC show Newsradio, and in the Fifth Season episode "The Lam", we catch a glimpse of Matthew (Andy Dick) reading a Casper comic book, supposedly belonging to his boss Dave (Dave Foley) when he was a child. With a little detective work, I was able to determine the book in question is Casper's Ghostland #40, cover-dated Feb. 1968.

I always enjoy seeing real comics show up as props in TV or movies, but I really like it when a prop department bothers to get it right--this comic was on sale in late 1967. Since this set is the boyhood home of Dave Nelson, that means that the character would have been about five or six when this published, which lines up perfectly.

I'm sure it would have been easier just to grab any comic book and use it for the scene, because who else but obsessive nerds (cough) would notice? But they bothered to make the effort. Nice job, Newsradio Prop Department!


Michael D Walker said...

Hi Rob,

What a fun site you've got! Love it!

Really enjoyed reading your post about Casper appearing in NewsRadio and how the comic belonged to Dave.

Coincidentally, Dave Foley is a big fan of writer Thorne Smith (creator of Topper) who in turn influenced Seymour Reit (one of the creators of Casper).

So, now I wonder if that comic might be Dave Foley's in real life?

Now you've given me even more more reasons to contact Dave Foley for an interview. I'll report back if I'm successful in contacting him.

Keep up the great work!

Best regards,


Michael D Walker

rob! said...


Thanks for the kind words. I'm a big fa of Mr. Foley's, I'd love to know if he's a comics fan!

Richard said...

Well done on your freeze-framing and identifying that cover! It's sterling effort like this that separates folks like us, well-adjusted and stable individuals? And indeed, someone involved with the show is one of us as well. As you point out, it would have been vastly easier to have used a current comic instead of an appropriately dated one; it's extremely unlikely for this to have been an accident.

Paul Castiglia said...

I'm with you, Rob - I love it when comics are used on TV or in movies, but only when they are used accurately. An example of accurate is "Catch Me If You Can," which features a "Flash" comic (that inspires the main character's nickname) that is authentic to the 1960s setting of the film. On the other hand, "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" features a character in the 1970s who fancies himself a cartoonist but draws comics that come to life via animation... and those drawings and animations were designed by Todd McFarlane, whose drawings look anything but 1970s! Not blaming Todd per se - more so the producers for not trying to (or maybe not even realizing they should) match up the look of the comic doodles/animations to the time period in which the film is set.