The Adventures of Snooperman (The Lost Episode)

My Dinner with Lois Lane…
Like nearly every kid in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, I was a huge fan of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. It was already in re-runs by the time I saw it, but I didn’t know that then. And I probably wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me because I knew that nothing could stop Superman.
To me, it was more than a TV show. It was…the realization of everything I wanted to be true.
Or—as the show summed so snappily explained—Superman was the embodiment of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
Sure that’s corny—now. But back then it was exciting stuff. And on many levels it still is for me. Because I’m still a bit giddy that last weekend I dinner with Noel Neill the actress who played Lois Lane on the show.
Noel and her biographer/friend Larry Ward were in Seattle for the Emerald City ComiCon and my wife (Shelagh) and I joined them for dinner near their hotel. I gallantly (I thought) let Shelagh sit next to Noel while I sat across the table next to Larry. This proved to be a nearly great decision since Noel and Shelagh really hit it off.

noelshelagh2009verycropped1Noel and Shelagh in Seattle after the Emerald City ComiCon 2009.

What kept it from being a truly great decision is that since I was sitting kitty corner across the table from Noel I had a lot of trouble hearing Noel because: 1) Noel’s very soft spoken; 2) the restaurant’s music was a little loud; and 3) I’m slightly hard of hearing; and 4) I was too shy to tell Noel that I couldn’t hear her.
Fortunately, I’d met Noel earlier this year and I was able to chat with her a couple of times later during the weekend. And talking with Larry during dinner was a real pleasure. Interesting guy: a mental health conference promoter and former bar bouncer. Now that’s not a combination you come across often.
While she’s best known for her stints as Lois Lane (TV and movies), Noel has appeared in about 100 movies with a zillion different stars; was a dancer popular pinup girl during WW II; sang with Bing Crosby’s band; and…oh, gosh, she’s just so darn cute.

noelneilljohnlustig

Noel Neil and John Lustig at Comic Con International 2009.

At one point during dinner, Larry told me that he’s trying to get Noel to cut back on her public appearances. Noel’s 88 and she’s comfortably fixed enough so that she doesn’t have to depend on her convention income to live, according to Larry.
So I said to Noel, “So you’re mostly going to conventions for fun…not for the money?”
Noel’s eyes got big as if she’d just heard someone declare that the world was made of cream cheese. This time she spoke up so that even I could hear: “If you think that then you don’t know me very well.”
It totally cracked me up.
Gosh, I hope when I get to her age, I’m still having fans thrust money into my hands at conventions–and I’m as cute, funny and charming as Noel. That’d be super.

More about Noel Neill:

beyondloislane

Larry Ward’s books about Noel!

The Adventure Continues (Major Noel Neill site).

Fan site about Noel.

Wikipedia entry for Noel

IMDB listing of many (but not all) of Noel’s film credits.

↓ Transcript
CAPTION: The Adventures of Snooperman (The Lost Episode): Snooperman's pals Jimminy Oldson and Lois Loon are investigating a story! But...

Panel 1:
JIMMINY: Gosh, Miss Loon, FOLLOWING A KILLER INTO A HAUNTED HOUSE IS ALWAYS FUN! BUT WHAT IF it’s a trap?

LOIS: It better be! Nobody’s tied me up in days!

Panel 2:
LOIS: Now Let’s go, Jimminy! And don’t forget...when
Snooperman rescues us…

Panel 3:
LOIS: I’m the only one who gets to thank him with a kiss!

JIMMINY (thinks): ???


7 Comments

  1. Hi John, After reading about your meeting with Noel Neill (the actress who played Lois Lane on the Superman show) I was just amazed to see that she was easy to recognize after all these years as the young “Lois” and it was really nice to scroll down to see that “Yes” indeed it really was her and she still looks great. Me and my brothers and sister (all baby boomers) used to rush home from school in the afternoons to get “square eyes” watching the old Superman reruns amongst the many other enjoyable American exports on our black and white TV . It was just magic.

    Australian TV relied a lot on American TV re-runs in those days and gave us good memories of those times, sometimes I think I’d love to meet up with some of the actors from the various series like that but it’s almost as good when somebody else does it and writes about it. Keep up the good work. Cheers, Lesley M.

    Reply
    • I had her picture on the inside of the lid of my foot locker during the war. Better looking than Grable.

      Reply
  2. What a great opportunity! And she’s still got style, just the way Lois Lane always should! I ran home to watch the reruns too, but in particular I remember getting up early later on when I was at the University of Washington, annoying my roommate when I’d turn on the TV to watch the same episodes (even though I’d make sure the volume was very, very low). That was decades ago, and she STILL reminds me about that.

    Reply
  3. Wow, she’s as beautiful as ever. One of my favorite horror movies as a kid was Roger Corman’s LIttle Shop of Horrors. I now get to count the original Audrey as a good friend. So I know what a thrill it is to meet those childhood b&w faves. Here’s to many more years of conventions for Ms. Neill. PS. Love LAST KISS!

    Reply
  4. John,
    Jimminy ‘s expression in the last panel in priceless!
    Thank you!
    Yours,
    Jeffrey

    Reply
  5. Yeah, Noel looks amazing. I didn’t realize she was a pin-up model in WW II until recently. I’ve seen some of those pin-ups now and wow! Yes, she must’ve given Grable some major competition.

    And she can still step into the part of Lois Lane. Larry Ward (who’s spent years going around with her to conventions) told me that Noel was asked to play the part of Lois in a revival radio show awhile back. He was used to Noel’s regular speaking voice. But, as Noel spoke into the microphone, the hairs on the back of Larry’s neck stood up. It wasn’t Noel’s voice. It was Lois Lane’s. Not too surprising maybe since she’s an actress. But for her to just let the years drop away and become Lois again is pretty neat.

    Reply
  6. I’ve only done San Diego, with its crowded fast pace, so charming stories like this seem more hard to come by nowadays. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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