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Ducking Into a Nearby Phone Booth

I was recently wondering about the origin of Superman finding a phone booth to change in. I found one source on the origin and it was surprising.

Why was I wondering about this in the first place? It’s because I was thinking about the John Williams soundtrack from the 1978 movie. I recalled the scene where Clark Kent stops and glances at the little hood-like phone booth and keeps going, looking for a place to change. I wondered where the changing in a phone booth meme came from since I didn’t recall Superman ever actually changing in a phone booth in any of the comics or TV shows, etc.

A quick search online pulled up some interesting history including a post by Steve Younis on called ‘Superman and the Phone Booth.”

In the Golden Age of comic books Clark Kent didn’t use a phone booth to change into Superman. Actually right throughout every era of Superman comics the phone booth change has rarely been seen.

The first time Superman changes is (spoiler):

The answer lies way back in 1941.

To my knowledge, Clark Kent first changed to Superman inside a phone booth in “The Mechanical Monsters”, the second of 17 Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures. It was released to cinemas on November 28 in 1941.

I was pretty much unaware of the Fleischer Studios Superman animations. They’re very well done and influenced some of the more recent TV animations in style.

I recommend finding “The Mechanical Monsters” on Youtube and watching it.

Superman and the Phone Booth Superman 1940s cartoons)