Slim Goodbody ("the Superhero of Health", also known as Mr. Goodbody) is a fictional character created and performed by John Burstein. Burstein created the character in 1975. He performs wearing a sometimes white, sometimes flesh colored unitard with various tissues, organs and organ systems painted in biologically-accurate locations and sizes. Each costume costs $4,000.
Burstein was born on December 25, 1949 in Mineola, New York and grew up in Lawrence, Nassau County, New York. While working at The Floating Hospital in New York City he began writing songs and skits to entertain the children there and to teach them about anatomy and the workings of the human body. He eventually added an organ-painted body suit to the design, dubbing his alter-ego "Slim Goodbody".
Burstein's sister, Karen Burstein was a New York State Senator and Judge.
Burstein soon took his character outside the hospital. In his earliest days, he mainly did personal appearances and guest spots on shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America. His skits also focused on exercise, personal hygiene, and nutrition. Between 1976-80 he appeared twice a week on the CBS show Captain Kangaroo.
Slim Goodbody eventually received his own television series in 1980, Inside Story on PBS. The program mainly consisted of Burstein's live-show Slim Goodbody sketches, though other children's show celebrities such as Captain Kangaroo would sometimes make guest appearances. The show soon became the station's second-highest rated program, and Burstein landed roles on other stations, including Nickelodeon. Since then, Slim Goodbody has featured in several other series, as well. At one point Slim Goodbody began making educational shorts on such subjects as the fear of visiting a hospital, amongst others. One of these shorts featured Burstein's son, Devin, as a child learning about hospitals as he overcomes his fears of an upcoming operation.
Beginning in 1982, the character has also appeared in books published by McGraw-Hill, Putnam, and Fairview Press. A series of educational shorts featuring Burstein's character were produced in 1985. Titled, Well, Well, Well! with Slim Goodbody, these were aimed for school children grades K-4.
In 2014, Slim Goodbody appeared in a Radio Shack commercial advertisement during the Super Bowl XLVIII.
Today, Burstein tours the United States and Canada dressed as Slim Goodbody and performing in Bodyology. School-based shows, performed by other actors, include Musical Health Show and Lighten Up!
Burstein has written a number of small, informational children's books (as Slim Goodbody) including:
- Slim Goodbody, the Inside Story ISBN 0070092400
- The Mind (Wonderful you) ISBN 1577490207
- The Astounding Nervous System: How Does My Brain Work? ISBN 0778744280
- Can We Get Along?: Dealing With Differences (2009) ISBN 0778747883
- Captain Kangaroo (1976-1980)
- The Inside Story with Slim Goodbody (1980)
- Well, Well, Well! with Slim Goodbody (1985)
- Music City Tonight, 1 episode (1995)
- Oddities, as customer (2013)
- RadioShack: "The '80s Called" (2014)
- "Slim Goodbody still educating children". Associated Press. 2005-07-13. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "John Burstein". IMDb. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Klemesrud, Judy. "This Song and Dance Routine Is Really a Class in Anatomy", The New York Times, April 16, 1975. Accessed July 13, 2017. "And he is 'Mr. Slim Goodbody', a 25‐year‐old singing, dancing, one-man anatomy class.... His real name is John Burstein, and he is the self-styled 'black sheep' of his achievement‐oriented family of six children from Lawrence, L.I."
- "Well, Well, Well! with Slim Goodbody". Agency for Instructional Technology. 1985. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "John Burstein". IMDB. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- "Oddities Episode: "Slim Goodbody's Anatomical Adventure"". TV Guide. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Jones, Nate (2 February 2014). "Celebrating Every '80s Reference in That RadioShack Super Bowl Commercial". People. Retrieved 25 May 2017.