Comic Books and Hulu

Here’s where the non-American contingent checks out on me.

Anyone who pays attention to such things as innovations in free video content on the internet knows about Hulu. It’s almost impossible not to know about it at this point if you are into internet video. What is Hulu you might ask? Well, Hulu is a website that features video-on-demand and features television shows from NBC, FOX, and their sister cable stations. It also features some feature films. All free (just a few ads to watch). The quality and convenience are amazing. Sadly, as of right now the service is only available to people in the United States, although they are supposedly working on bringing it to Europe.

For someone like me – a guy who works all night long on the computer set-up that has two monitors — Hulu has been a godsend. I fire up Hulu on one of my monitors and work on the other and it really helps to pass the time and provides some nice background noise with which to work. Lately I’ve been blazing through old episode of The Pretender.

One night I thought to myself, “Hey, I wonder what kind of comic book content I can find on here.” And lo’ and behold I found a bunch of stuff, some of it pretty great.

Here are some of my favorites from what I found:

This first clip is probably my favorite. It’s an old Saturday Night Live sketch from very early in the show’s run and features Margot Kidder as Lois Lane hosting a dinner party with Superman (played by Bill Murray) for all of his super hero buddies. There are some surprising characters that show up in this one, and it’s really long and really funny.

Staying with Saturday Night Live, we have a sketch from a more recent episode and it’s one of their popular digital shorts starting Andy Samburg. Here, Samburg stars as a Bruce Wayne-ish character in a music video called “Hero Song.” This one takes a while to pay off but when it does, it goes from funny to absurd to stupid and then back to funny.

Next we hop over to some full length shows.

The Tick had a big cult following in the 1990s, mostly due to its very funny animated series. In 2001, FOX tried its hand at a live action version of The Tick starring Patrick Warburton and that bombed pretty spectacularly, proving once again that niche cult hits rarely translate to mainstream success. Still, the live action show was really funny and Warburton was perfect as The Tick. You can check out all nine episodes here, or watch the pilot below.

Finally, we have everyone’s favorite webhead. In 2003, MTV launched Spider-Man: The New Animated Series which featured a Spider-Man loosely tied to the movie continuity, and listed Brian Michael Bendis as a producer. He would later say that his involvement past the pilot stage was practically nil. Regardless, I really liked this show. I know that a lot of people didn’t, but I did! I liked the characterizations and I enjoyed the experimental computer animation style. I like risk takers, and this show was certainly one of them. Plus, it features some great voice talent, with Neal Patrick Harris as Peter Parker, Lisa Loeb as Mary Jane Watson, and a whole bunch of top notch guest voices which included James Marsters, Michael Clarke Duncan (playing the Kingpin, which kind of ties the show in with Daredevil), Jeremy Piven, John C. McGinley, Harold Perrineau Jr., Gina Gershon and Michael Dorn. You can check out all thirteen episode here or watch the pilot below.

Those are just some of my favorite comic book related content that I’ve found on Hulu.  If you’ve got  some favorite clips, let the people know below.  There is a lot of great stuff there to watch.Be careful when you go there, you can literally lose hours browsing around all the old TV shows that are available to view.  I know I have. 


  1. I’ve loved that SNL superhero clip since I saw it when I was 6 years old (my parents were very progressive with letting me watch this stuff in the 70s). Belushi as the Hulk is brilliant.

     And you’re not alone – I also dig the MTV Spider-Man series. Some great different takes on time-worn characters.

  2. The SNL skits were pretty cool and I used to love the Tick animated series when I was a kid.  The live action series is pretty awesome as well, I am going to waste way too much time on Hulu this summer.

  3. I’ll take your word that the first and last 2 clips are good, as I’m one of those Europeans that certain parts of the internet hate for some reason.

    However, the Samburg clip almost had me in tears by the end when I first saw. And it’s an annoyingly catchy song too! 

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Aw, man, Pretender!  That was a fun one.  I’ve got that on DVD somewhere…

  5. I worked my way through Pretender when I was studying for finals last semester.  No, it wasn’t distracting (read: I did well on my tests).  I mostly used it for background noise.

  6. I enjoyed the MTV Spider-Man series, and was hoping for another season or two. It ended on a really interesting cliff hanger. I hope Spectacular Spider-Man makes it way here. Now will the 90’s Spidey and X-Men series ever makes it way fully on to DVD or somewhere like hulu.

  7. I have the Spider-Man MTV series on DVD.  I love it and I wish there could’ve been a second season.  It’s a lot of fun.