In "When We First Met", we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, "Avengers Assemble!" or the first appearance of Batman's giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man's face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.
Reader Ruben R. wrote in to ask:
I was wondering, when did Perry White actually say "Great Ceasar's ghost" or his other catchphrase, "don't call me chief"? It really drew my attention and I thought you might have covered in one of the "When we first met" articles, but, having skimmed through most of them, I don't think you have. So, if you know when those catchphrases first appeared, can you cover it in another post of "when we first met"?
Perry White, as you may or may not know, really made his debut on the Superman radio series. That was the same series that made Jimmy Olsen a regular member of the Superman supporting cast. A little kid had been shown in an issue that has retroactively been dubbed "Jimmy Olsen," but really, it wasn't until the popular radio series came about that Jimmy and Perry White became regular cast members.
However, interestingly enough, Jimmy Olsen was STILL not a regular cast member in the comic book. It took the Adventures of Superman TELEVISION show to finally get Jimmy Olsen to be popular enough that he not only became a regular member of Superman's supporting cast, but he actually ended up getting his own comic book in mid-1954, a couple of years after the Superman TV series debuted.
But anyhow, when did he first say "Great Caesar's Ghost"? It occurred on the radio show on November 26, 1946, early in "The Secret Letter" multi-part storyline. Perry White was voiced by by Julian Noa.
Due note that the phrase was a relatively common phrase at the time, so it wasn't like this was something that was made up for Perry White.
However, the phrase did not translate to the comic books at all. Perry White was just his standard gruff self, with no catch phrases to speak of...
Heck, Perry even got his own spotlight story and yet no catch phrases...
Then the TV series started up in 1952 and John Hamilton's Perry White said it a lot. Here is a compilation of Hamilton's Perry White shouting at Clark Kent, including a couple of "Great Caesar's Ghost" exclamations thrown in there.
The characters were becoming more popular than ever, hence Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane both getting their own spin-off series off of the success of the TV show.
So it was bound to change things. When DID things change?