Super Dave Osborne

Bob Einstein

Super Dave Osborne was a character created and played by comedian Bob Einstein. Einstein’s comedic depiction is of a naive but optimistic stuntman who frequently appears injured when his stunts go spectacularly wrong.

Super Dave is billed as an ‘accomplished’ stuntman, though he rarely succeeds when performing the stunts depicted on-screen. Typically the character will perform outrageous daredevil stunts which often go disastrously awry and result in the appearance of grievous bodily injury. These include 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 by a catapult 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.

His signature logo, a drawing of his head in a crash helmet directly atop a pair of shoes with no visible body, was from his most iconic and early sketch ‘Balloon Ball.’ The ‘stunt’ consisted of his standing in a hole in the ground reciting ‘balloon ball’ as a repetitive mantra which was supposed to imbue him with the ability to not be harmed by anything, as a mobile piledriver rammed the top of his head. When pulled out of the hole, he was as his eventual logo depicted: his helmeted head sitting directly atop his running shoes, the whole of his body supposedly compressed between shoes and neck (‘…I’ve got my balls in my throat. Can you get me out of here please? I’m in pain, okay?’).

Super Dave is often accompanied on his various exploits by loyal friend, sidekick and assistant stunt coordinator Fuji Hakayito (played by comedian Art Irizawa), and his segments are introduced by former sportscaster/actor Mike Walde. It is usually left to Fuji to set in motion whatever stunt Dave is performing. Super Dave runs 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—which are reminiscent of those worn by Evel Knievel. He was also known for using ‘only Genuine Saskatchewan Sealskin bindings’ in the manufacture of his safety harnesses or seat-belts (not that they ever did him any good, and seals are not indigenous to the landlocked province Saskatchewan).

Super Dave was featured in Nike commercials in 1990, comparing his latest dunking contraptions to the Nike Air Flight basketball shoe, and appearing with such NBA stars as Reggie Miller and Gerald Wilkins (whom he called Roger and Harold, respectively). When his contraption went wrong, he either went through the wall, the ceiling, or face-planted into a backboard, then he would say he hurt or broke an unusual part of his body, to which Walden would optimistically go, ‘Well, of course you did!’ On several occasions in the late 1990s, he has appeared in commercials for Haggar Clothing. Some notable stunts he was in were going through an extreme car wash, and falling off a motor home with lots of heavy debris landing on him to show that their cotton-based clothing will never wrinkle.

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