In old Super Friends PSAs, Wonder Woman was the ambassador of banality

Illustration for article titled In old Super Friends PSAs, Wonder Woman was the ambassador of banality

Life in the 1970s was hard. One minute you're minding your own business, and — the next thing you know — Wonder Woman and her invisible jet come screaming out of the gossamer to lecture you on crosswalks. Nosy Amazon!


In old Super Friends public service announcements, Wonder Woman was the mouthpiece for all behaviors salubrious and healthful. Never mind the fact that she was way more qualified to take down The Legion of Doom than say, the Wonder Twins, Wendy and Marv, or heck, even Aquaman. No, it was the other Princess Di's job to teach dumb children that they shouldn't eat plastic cups or strange plants growing in their backyards. Let's take a look at the first clips...

What did we learn from the following commercials?

"Traffic Safety" - Wonder Woman is watching you always and will reward your servility with a handshake.
"Plant Safety" - Don't eat random plants you find growing in vacant lots. Also, if you invite Wonder Woman to dinner, she'll laugh it off like the supercilious ice queen that she is.
"Dog Safety" - Don't be afraid to prostrate yourself before strange animals. Wonder Woman says it's fine.
"Germ Safety" - If you're a deranged child who eats styrofoam cups, Wonder Woman will get all up in your shit rather than overthrowing some equatorial junta.

Here's the next salvo of ads. In this series, Wondy pontificates on eye care and emergency numbers...

Other than the fact that Wonder Woman is strutting around the state fair in her unmentionables, I have no quarrel with the first ad. The second ad is a roiling maelstrom of "Huh?" Dubya-Dubya doesn't assist the fire department and encourages a nonplussed child to scrawl emergency numbers on his kitchen wall. We're not even going to get into Wondy's arts and crafts excursions. Seriously, she'd break into your house on a rainy day and teach you how to make a rocket.

No matter how nosy or unhelpful Wonder Woman was, at least her commercials had a narrative. The same can't be said for this Black Vulcan oral hygiene ad, in which B.V. rides the lightning into a little girl's bedroom uninvited (and pantsless) after she starts yammering to no one in particular about halitosis.

Or how about this Superman ad? Who in God's name sponsored this spot? Friends of the Letter "S"? The Alphabet Defense League? The American Association of Plural Nouns?



This hilarious promo for the Cartoon Network from a few years back has a great punch line at Wonder Woman's expense.