On this day in comedy on August 6, 1993 The Meteor Man was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
This super hero comedy was written, directed by and stars Robert Townsend as the title character, who gains his powers after a meteor crashes into him and puts him in the hospital. Townsend starts off as a peaceful school teaching living in a gang infested neighborhood in Washington, DC, but one night he’s had enough. He tries to stop some thugs from attacking an old lady only to find himself turning tail and running for his own life. That’s when the meteor gets him; when he emerges from hiding in a dumpster. Townsend heals miraculously and leaves the hospital with a variety of super powers, such as flight, strength and the ability to gain a book’s knowledge by his mere touch and talk to animals.
The Meteor Man cleans up his hood, but there’s a downside to his abilities – they wear off. Soon he’s just another victim of the gangs again, but this time they know his secret identity and he’s a marked man. Fortunately for him the local bum also got a chunk of the meteor and when the moment is right the bum spills it into the street and this sets up the climactic battle between the neighborhood gang lord and The Meteor Man. Of course The Meteor Man wins, but not before inspiring the community to fight its own battles just before he loses his limited powers for the last time.
The Meteor Man is populated with comedians, rappers, singers and actual actors. It co-stars Marla Gibbs, Eddie Griffin, James Earl Jones, Sinbad, Robert Guillaume, Don Cheadle, Big Daddy Kane, Naughty by Nature, Cypress Hill, Nancy Wilson, Luther Vandross, John Witherspoon, Roy Fegan, Frank Gorshin, Biz Markie, Faizon Love, Tiny Lister, Wallace Shawn, Another Bad Creation and Bill Cosby as the bum.
The film spawned 6 comic books from Marvel Comics and grossed $8,016,708 domestically from a $30 million budget.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: