Fool and All-Around Good Guy."
That's how Roger Ramjet was introduced to his viewers every
week in this underappreciated superhero satire. The show
followed the adventures of a research scientist who, after
taking his Proton Energy Pill, was endowed with the AMAZING
power of twenty atom bombs. Each Proton Pill only lasted 20
seconds, but when the effects wore off, Ramjet's natural
weapon came forth: his unabashedly unstoppable patriotism.
Ramjet, voiced by Gary Owens of Laugh-In, was the leader of
the American Eagle Squadron, a group of four children - Yank,
Doodle, Dan and Dee (the lone girl) - who helped the hero in
his crusade against evil. Though loyal, these astute Squadron
members sometimes questioned their leader's antics. The
creators of Roger Ramjet played up their hero's American pride
to the point of ridiculousness - nearly every time his name
was mentioned, an eagle, flag or a rotating circle of stars
would magically appear on the screen - to simultaneously
celebrate and poke fun at Roger's determined Americanism.
Every superhero has an arch-nemesis, and Roger Ramjet was
no exception. Who better to continually anger our hero than
the utterly unpatriotic Noodles Romanoff and his evil
organization N.A.S.T.Y. (the National Association of Spies,
Traitors and Yahoos)?
Roger had other problems on his hands. Another superhero,
Lance Crossfire, was constantly getting in his way, as was his
mother, Ma Ramjet, who would take it upon herself to get
involved in his battles and become a major source of
embarrassment for her son. Meanwhile, his frustrated
girlfriend, "Lotta Love" (perhaps a G-rated version of a Bond
girl?) alternated between pride and worry about her
Much like The Bullwinkle Show, with which the show was
often compared, Roger Ramjet was filled with clever puns,
cultural references and Hollywood in-jokes. And like Dudley
Do-Right, Ramjet was a good role model for kids. He was
trustworthy, brave, jingoistic and always believed that he
could make the world a better place.
In total, 156 six-minute episodes were produced. Four
episodes were shown in each half-hour show.
It has been rumored that Roger's dependency on chemical
stimulants (the aforementioned Proton Energy Pill) kept the
show off the market in reruns for decades. Other theories for
the cartoon's state of obscurity include its parent-aimed
dialogue, which often went over kids' heads, and the show's
very crude animation. At any rate, Roger Ramjet was rarely
picked up for rerun syndication.
Say what you will about Ramjet, but he made a lasting
impression on those who did manage to catch his short-lived