Saturday, November 6, 2010

Teen Titans on Miami Vice

It's always great when two of my favourite things overlap, especially if those two things are rather incongruous and seemingly irreconcilable. In this case, I'm referring to the Teen Titans and Miami Vice, that hallmark of eighties neon noir cool.

Here is a shot from the MV episode "The Fix", airdate March 7, 1986.

Yes, that is none other than Tales of the Teen Titans #60, evident from Trigon's beaming face, displayed in the van of the Vice Squad's surveillance crew of Switek and Zito. There's another comic or mag overlapping it but I can't tell what that is.

I'm almost certain the comic probably was meant to be belonging to Stan Switek, who was the relaxed hipster of the Squad, as evinced in a previous episode, "Made For Each Other", where it was shown he was a die-hard Elvis fan (though of course Crockett's pet alligator was actually named Elvis, which might mean Crockett is the bigger King fan, I suppose).

Here he is sweating it out in the van with Zito. Switek was portrayed by Michael Talbott, a somewhat weighty comedic actor who might have had a more prominent career now in the age of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Zach Whatsisname (though I realize he most resembles Chris Penn in the above pic).

I can definitely see comics being great for passing the time in a surveillance van, though certain detectives get to listen to it all from afar in the cushy, cushy offices of Miami Vice, and have other things to occupy their time such as making their hair look awesome.

Also notable about this episode is that the main villain is...Cosmo Kramer!

Yes, a young, pre-Seinfeld, pre-unfortunate rant, though post-whatever it was with Andy Kaufman on Fridays Michael Richards plays the guy trying to fix fights and get a prominent, basically good but gambling-addicted judge (Bill Russell, in the middle above) in his pocket. The vice gang is tapping the judge's line.

"Levels, Jerry!"

All of this unfortunately comes to a head when the judge decides to blow away Kramer and then himself just as Sonny arrives on the scene. Crockett must hold some kind of record for the amount of people who have shot themselves in front of him.

This episode is also notable for being directed by Dick Miller, star of such Roger Corman b-classics as Bucket of Blood, The Terror, and Little Shop of Horrors, though people who are not as into the b-movie scene will probably remember him from Gremlins and as the gunshop owner that Arnold shoots in The Terminator - "You can't do that!" "Wrong." BLAM!


rob! said...

Wow, nice catch! This is kind of stuff I like to run on Hey Kids, Comics.

I used to watch MV when it was on (who didn't?) but I don't remember that comic book bit at all.

LissBirds said...

Nice find!! I had completely forgotten about Miami Vice. And Kramer was on it? Double bonus points!

Aaron said...

That Teen Titans really flashed by, so it definitely helped being able to watch MV in the DVD format and hit pause when needed. It's fun to see who was the villain of the week or had other small parts that went on to do something bigger later.