|Presented by||Robert Vaughn|
|Country of origin||USA|
|Running time||30 minutes|
With two exceptions, each half-hour-long show consisted of two comedy segments, each a spoof of a familiar action/anthology format. The style of the comedy was somewhat similar to that of films like Airplane! and TV shows like Police Squad!
Robert Vaughn, most familiar to audiences from his role on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., was the host for each episode, introducing to camera each fifteen-minute segment with mock earnestness. The jokes ranged from humorous or preposterous dialogue to visual gags and slapstick designed to poke fun at the serious dramatic formats being lampooned.
One segment in each episode centered on a motorbike-riding, leather-clad hero called only “The Searcher", played by Diedrich Bader. A spoof of both the stereotypical motorbiking renegade from many classic movies and the “one man on a mission” format of series such as Knight Rider, Renegade, and many others, this segment is perhaps the most commonly remembered element of the series.
The Searcher would always appear coming over the horizon on his motorcycle, with a dramatic backing chorus, narrating :
“Someone needs help, so they called me. That’s what I do. I help people in trouble.......They call me: The Searcher”.
A recurring visual gag would have the Searcher conclude a scene with a quizzical stare directly at camera, utter a thoughtful, “Hmmm..”, and would then suddenly be squashed by a bulldozer, falling object, or other variant of a falling grand piano. For the actual slapstick event, it would be highly obvious that a dummy was being used in the stunt.
The popularity of this segment led to two of Danger Theatre 's seven episodes ("Go Ahead, Fry Me" and "An Old Friend For Dinner") being given over in their entirety to a 30-minute adventure for the Searcher.
In four episodes of Danger Theatre, the other segment of the show was called Tropical Punch; a send-up of Hawaii Five-O, with Adam West (of Batman fame) playing the lead role corresponding to Jack Lord’s on the original. West played the Inspector Clouseau-like Detective Morgan, a police detective with no clue as to what is really going on; this role is similar to the role he voices on Family Guy as the confused Mayor Adam West. Morgan only solves crimes because his partner McCormick, played by Billy Morrisette, does in fact know what is going on and saves him from failure constantly.
357 Marina del Rey
In the final telecast of Danger Theatre on August 22, 1993, Tropical Punch was replaced by a segment entitled 357 Marina del Rey, which starred Todd Field as Rake Rowe and Ricky Harris as Clay Gentry in a spoof of shows centered around private detectives living and working in sun-and-fun vacation locales, such as 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside Six, and Hawaiian Eye. Deciding they want to make a difference, recent college graduates Rowe and Gentry become private investigators and encounter the worst criminals in town, but take a greater interest in wearing the right fashions and visiting the local cappuccino bar than in solving crimes. Only one episode of 357 Marina del Rey was produced.
Airing history and other details
Original US airdates
Sundays, Fox, 7:30pm
July 11–August 22, 1993
Original UK airdates
Fridays, BBC2, Approx. 11.30pm (exact airtimes varied with region)
13 May - 24 June 1994
Series Produced by:
Kevin G. Cremin ....Producer
Robert Wolterstorff....Executive Producer
Please see this IMDb page for fuller cast & crew credits.
The series is not currently available commercially on DVD, although unofficial fan copies of episodes have surfaced on the internet.
- Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 238.
- Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows 1925-2010, Second Edition, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7 (no publisher indicated; not paginated).