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Rowby He-Man Filmation StudiosWhen I finished writing Filmation's "Fat Albert" series, the series producer Arthur Nadel came to me and said next we we would be starting a new season of He-Man.  I thanked him for having me write Fat Albert and prepared to pack my bags.

But Arthur wanted me to stay and write He-Man.  I told him that I had no idea what the show was about and was certain I could not write that type of fantasy adventure cartoon. But Arthur said He-Man could use some comedy and asked me to stay.  He said my episodes could focus on comedy.  I reluctantly said okie dokie and went home with a bunch of He-Man scripts.

The more I read the scripts the more I was certain I could not write one. For one thing there were several seasons of He-Man history that I had no idea about. And some of the characters, especially "Man at Arms" made no sense to me. But I had had challenges with scripts before. After all, I did write "Pink Lady and Jeff" -- a show where the two lead Japanese singers spoke no English at all -- and survived.

The first thing I did was look at each character and see what had I written in the past that I could base that character on.  For He-Man I chose Tony Orlando, who had a great figure then.  For Skeletor I remembered my Emmy-Winning work on Hollywood Squares, and patterned him after Paul Lynde. And so on.

So I arrived at the Filmation Offices the following Monday all prepared to watch my version of He-Man. The rest is history. 

You can read a great interview about my experiences at He-Man by Dave Newman at He-Man Org at this link. 

In general my He-Man scripts skewed towards humor. Decades later some diehard He-Man fans felt that my comedy version of He-Man were sacrilege to the He-Man tradition.  I mean I had Skeletor shot out of a circus canon in "The Greatest Show on Eternia".  However I look at it this way.  If I hadn't left Filmation after writing several He-Man scripts (to Story Edit "The Berenstain Bears") and stay on writing my comedy versions of He-Man, the He-Man series might have skewed to comedy altogether, and I would have been hailed as the comedy genius that turned He-Man into one of the greatest comedy-action adventure cartoons ever.

It's not too late.  Put me in charge of the next incarnation of He-Man and I will create the "Slapstick Adventures of He-Man".  I bet it would be a huge hit!

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