Watch Young Joaquin Phoenix as a Daydreaming Geek in ‘The Adventures of Superboy’

This isn’t exactly a hot news item, and it’s not really an unearthed treasure from the history of television obscura, but it’s just too good not to share.

While reading John Kenneth Muir’s insanely comprehensive The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television the other day, I came across something very interesting in the episode guide for the first season of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s syndicated series The Adventures of Superboy.

The show’s 19th episode, entitled “Little Hercules” and first airing on April 15, 1989, revolved around a bullied kid named Billy Hercules who inadvertently triggers a U.S. submarine’s nuclear missile launch sequence, and obviously only Superboy can save the day. Blah blah blah, whatever. The most interesting thing about this episode, and therefore the most interesting thing to be found in the first season of The Adventures of Superboy, was the actor who played the hapless geeks who dreams of becoming Superboy just so he can show those meanies what for: Leaf Phoenix, or as he’s better known these days, Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix.

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