Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
The series focused on a
group of teenagers who, in their travels, solved mysteries and foiled crimes
perpetrated by monsters and evil masterminds in their dune buggy dubbed The
Wolf-Buggy. Comprising this group was the handsome Biff (Jerry Dexter); his smart
girlfriend Kim (Susan Blu); the stocky Puggsy (Bart Braverman), who tended to
make up words constantly; and tall, lanky simpleton Sherman “Fangs” Fangsworth
(Frank Welker, patterned after Joe E. Ross). Puggsy and
Sherman were heavily based on Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall from The Bowery Boysseries. However, this group had a bit of a twist: one of them
was a werewolf.
Monster vs. Monster.
Indeed, the Fansworth
family had a curse placed upon it where once every 400 years a member of that
family would be born a werewolf, as explained in the opening narration by John
Stephenson. Whenever Sherman was exposed to the full moon—be it real or merely
an image when the kids needed to call upon their “secret weapon”—he transformed
into Fangface: a furry werewolf with a single giant fang. Conversely, whenever
Fangface saw the sun or its image, he’d revert back (usually at the most
Fangface would always ingest Puggsy whole, holding him in his mouth until Biff
or Kim rubbed his foot to calm him down (this also happened whenever Fangface
saw or heard anything remotely related to food). This was a subconscious
reaction to Puggsy’s constant taunting and teasing of Sherman’s cowardice while
in his human form. You see, they were essentially two separate people with
contrasting personalities, as Fangface was much braver than Sherman, and
neither knew of the other’s existence. Despite always being almost eaten,
Puggsy was constantly teamed up with Fangface whenever they kids would split
up. Fangface also somehow retained his trademarked baseball cap despite losing
the rest of his clothing (which reappeared whenever he changed back to human
form. Hey, this IS a kid’s show!) from which he could pull a variety of items
out of in various situations.
Sherman’s sole role was
comic relief on the show, but whenever he became supremely scared he came up
with a brilliant idea to save himself. Fangface didn’t take away from that role.
He had the propensity to howl whenever he saw his own reflection and enter into
a feral state whereby he ran only on instinct often leading him to attack
Puggsy. The kids did manage to turn this state to their advantage in a case
most of the time, letting him loose on the bad guys. Despite being a werewolf,
the public at large didn’t seem to acknowledge that fact, treating meeting
Fangface as an everyday normal occurrence.
Sherman, Baby Fangs, and their alter-egos.
Fangface ran on ABC for a single season beginning on September
9, 1978. It failed to gain the ratings or notability of the Scooby franchise.For the following
season, Ruby-Spears tried to give their creation a second life by including Fangface as a segment of The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show. The segment retained the
mystery solving format, however episodes were shortened to 11 minutes rather
than a full 22. The segment was renamed Fangface and Fangpuss as a new character was introduced: Baby Fangs (also Welker),
Sherman’s infant cousin who, despite the original opening narration’s
declaration, also inherited the ability to transform into a werewolf called
Fangpuss. Sherman was also unaware that Baby Fangs was Fangpuss,
becoming scared whenever encountering him in wolf form. However, unlike
Sherman, Baby Fangs remembered his time as a wolf. Fangpuss also seemed to
share his cousin’s affinity for inflicting pain on Puggsy. Unlike the previous
season, the werewolves’ sun weakness was never exploited.