While most kids in the late 70s and early 80s were into comic book superheros such as Batman and Spiderman, another lesser known hero was also building a fandom in a very different way.
The "Superhero of Health" better known as Slim Goodbody didn't have a cape nor did he physically fight bad guys, but he was doing important work that changed the way kids viewed their bodies.
Slim Goodbody was a character that appeared on the kids TV show Captain Kangaroo from 1976 to 1980. During his time on the show, he encouraged children to make the right choices for their bodies by sharing important health facts, sometimes in the form of song and dance.
Perhaps Slim Goodbody's most recognizable features were his tight, colorful, slightly terrifying anatomy-themed spandex suit and his massive afro, all of which he put on display twice a week for his segment titled The Adventures of Slim Goodbody in Nutri-City.
"I wanted to do a body suit but I didn’t want it to be gory,” he said. “I wanted it to be superhero-esque," John Burstein, the man behind the character told Mental Floss.
Just like many superheros, Goodbody had an alter-ego (Chief Hale and Heart), secret headquarters and his share of sidekicks including Inspector Thiamin and Agent B-12. As a team of good-doers, Goodbody and his friends would go up against super villains like Sarah Bellum and Lobe to keep them from controlling children's minds.
John Burstein did such a good job as Slim Goodbody that executives at PBS offered him his own series in 1980 called The Inside Story With Slim Goodbody. Soon after Slim Goodbody turned into a hero for kids all across the country. His messages were being taught in classrooms and his songs were stuck in everyone's heads.
However, by the mid 90s, Goodbody seemed to lose popularity and ceased being a household name.
Click on the next page to find out what happened to Slim Goodbody and the man behind the costume.
After a 15-year stint on PBS and multiple appearances on other networks including Nickelodeon, Slim Goodbody began to fade into obscurity.
Turns out, John Burstein decided to return to his first passion, stage acting, but it wasn't without a twist. Burstein made slight changes to Slim Goodbody's appearance and routine and took his act on tour.
Surprisingly enough, Slim Goodbody is still entertaining kids today through his various educational programming, national tour, school assemblies and health books.
Unfortunately the afro has been replaced by a shorter hairdo, but the signature leotard remained with a few updates. According to Today, he added new parts like the diaphragm and bronchial tubes and switched the background color.
Not only does Burstein use his alter ego to educate kids across the nation, it's also helped him with his own children who are now all grown up. His 27-year-old son, Devin, is a lawyer in New York while 6-year-old Luke enjoys touring with dad when not in school.
Burstein and his wife Chrissy now live in a lakeside home in Lincolnville, Maine to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City.
At 67, Burstein has no plans to stop portraying his superhero character anytime soon.
“I’m in good shape. I love the work I do,” Burstein said. “As long as I keep evolving, keep changing and growing, I won’t stop.”
Do you remember watching Slim Goodbody on TV? Let us know in the comments!