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Merman & Mermaids

Miss Minerva - Beautiful golden-haired mermaid queen featured on the live-action children's marionette adventure DIVER DAN/SYN/1961.

Suzanne Turner as Miss Minerva the Mermaid - DIVER DAN
Miss Minerva, Trigger Fish & The Baron

Beneath the waves of the Sargasso Sea, the kind Miss Minerva (Suzanne Turner) interacted with Diver Dan (Frank Freda), an intrepid human who explored the ocean depths in his metal-domed diving outfit.

Their nemesis was Baron Barracuda and his stooge sidekick Trigger Fish who live in a cave by Teetering Rock. They were continually hatching plans to take over the bottom of the sea.

Other fishy friends of Miss Minerva   included: Finley Haddock; Gabby the Clam; Gill-Espie, a bongo-playing beatnik fish; Glow Fish who lived by the Bottomless Pit; Goldie the Goldfish; Hammer-head Shark; Hermit Crab; Sawfish Sam; Doc Sturgeon; Georgie Porgie; Scoutfish who sported an Indian tomahawk and feathers; Sea Biscuit the Seahorse; and Skipper Kipper. Allen Swift provided the voices for all the marionettes.

The DIVER DAN show was produced by Hal Tunis and Louis Kellman. The program was inspired by the comic strip Fish Tales created by John Ferlaine.

To achieve a real watery experience, the show's cameras filmed the action through an aquarium filled with real fish.

Filmed like a serial with cliffhanger endings, the locally syndicated program consists of 104 episodes that ran seven minutes in length.

Puppeteers John Caracciolo, Martin Kreiner and Harold B. Taylor manipulated the show's marionettes.


Frank Freda as Diver Dan

"The Ballad of Diver Dan"
(written by Jack Sky)

Below in the deep there's adventure and danger;
That's where you'll find Diver Dan!
The sights that he sees are surprising and stranger
Than ever you'll see on the land!
He moves among creatures
Of frightening features:
Flashing teeth, slashing jaws,
Flapping fins, snapping claws!
He protects and he saves
His friends under the waves;
That's where you'll find Diver Dan!

Diver Dan Show


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