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Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Updated on May 27, 2008

The Ultimate Birdman Fan Lens!

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a television show that first began airing in 2001 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. Birdman is a superhero from an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon who now works as a lawyer at the Sebben&Sebben law firm. His clientele includes The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Secret Squirrel, and other oddballs from 60s-70s Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The show is a mix of classic cartoon parodies and surreal comedy, and is one of my most favorite TV shows ever.

Voice talent for Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law includes: Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, Mark Hamill, Tom Kenny, and many others. The show ran four full seasons and ended in July 2007, but had 5 additional interactive episodes produced for the Wii/PS2/PSP game released in January 2008.

This lens covers everything you need to know about Harvey Birdman!

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio was a Hanna-Barbera animated series that ran from 1967 to 1969, and is the basis of the Birdman characters. The show consisted of two "Birdman" shorts with one "Galaxy Trio" short wedged in-between. Many of the show's villains have become rival attorneys in Harvey Birdman's present-day world, and other Hanna-Barbera characters are now his allies or clients.

Birdman's alias in the original show was "Ray Randall," and he was a human endowed by a sun god with the power of flight and the ability to use solar rays as weapons or shields. The downside was that Birdman had to recharge himself every so often by spending some time in the sun. He had a tendency to call his own name whenever he went into battle, sort of like a 1960s version of Pokemon.

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law was preceded by a few other shows on Cartoon Network's late-night block that used old Hanna-Barbera characters (even to the point of putting the old character animations on new backgrounds) in new surrealist comedies, most notably the long-running Space Ghost: Coast to Coast series.

The creators of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Michael Ouwuleen and Erik Richter, were also heavily involved in Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. Many of the voice talents involved with Birdman (ex. Mark Hamill, Lewis Black) had also previously shown up as guests or voices on SG. Stephen Colbert originally auditioned for the role of Birdman himself rather than Phil, and the Volume 1 DVD contains an extra feature with alternate voice actors for all the characters (including, yes, Colbert-Birdman).

The series employed traditional cel animation for the first season, but afterward switched to Adobe Flash animation common to many other Adult Swim original programs. HB:AAL employed over 30 digital artists and animators in its lifetime.

Harvey Birdman Games and Toys

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law has a large cast of recurring characters as well as a pool of Hanna-Barbera favorites that are brutally altered from their original family-friendly incarnations. Some of Harvey's cases are based on old rumors about some of the characters (ex. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are stoners). Other figures that don't appear to have a connection to Harvey or Hanna-Barbera also appear, such as George Washington and Jesse Jackson.

Typically an episode will end with all the characters featured in that episode gathered in Harvey's office. Often something untoward will happen to one of the characters (for example, in one episode Bandit the bulldog from Jonny Quest gets caught and carried off by Avenger), and everyone in the office will laugh. No one said Birdman was full of "nice" humor.

The following sections detail all the recurring characters in Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. For more about Harvey's clients, visit the Clients and Episode Guide.

Voice: Gary Cole

Occupation: Lawyer

Age: 36

Description: Well-meaning but usually caught up in his own issues. Often under the boot of everyone at Sebben & Sebben, Harvey has always been struggling for a promotion or raise but never obtains either. He's also rather dumb, asking Peanut in one episode if he should put a paper that says "EVIDENCE: DO NOT DESTROY" on it in the paper shredder. Likely to be a virgin, and is a classic example of "Nice guys finish last."

Quotes:

  • "I'll take the case!"
  • "Get ready to feel the power... of attorney!"
  • "He does all the legal stuff and I do, uh, everything you need a thumb for."
  • "Hmm. It says here that if a person's not married by the time he's 35, he's got a better chance of being robbed at gunpoint by a desperate and somewhat bloated Christian Slater."
  • "Oh big falcon deal."
  • "Wow... that's a man kiss."
  • "Biiiiiirdman!"

Previous Identity: Birdman/Ray Randall, superhero and agent of the Inter-Nation world police

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Birdman:

The introduction to the original Birdman shorts.

Voice: Erik Richter, Frank Welker, Adam Lawson, Andre Sogliuzzo ("caw" is a very nuanced language)

Occupation: Legal Secretary

Description: Exceptionally fierce and generally loyal to Harvey. Enjoys scaring the weak-minded and is slightly defensive about clerical abilities.

Quotes:

  • "Caw."
  • "Caaaaw!"
  • "Caw-caw-caw!"

Previous Identity: Avenger, Birdman's sidekick

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Avenger:

Birdman and Avenger in "Avenger for Ransom"

Voice: Thomas Allen

Occupation: Legal Clerk

Description: Peanut is Harvey's wily, perverse, and calculating aide. He defies fashion tradition that states a pink-and-green sweatshirt automatically removes your "cool" status. In nearly every episode with an attractive female present there is some moment where Peanut is whispering sexual comments to her or about her, and he has far more success than Harvey with dating. The only time in which Peanut is shown to be the brunt of jokes (rather than the one taking advantage of other characters, especially Harvey) is when he goes through the superhero version of puberty.

Quotes:

  • "Who's feeling Peanutty?"
  • "First taste is always free with the P to the N-U-T."
  • "Who rollin' with da nut?"
  • "It is considered customary in our culture, once a business deal is concluded, to blow something up. Kampai. Peanut."
  • "Hi, I'm Peanut. You can be butter, and oh gosh, I guess you can be jelly, and, this is just off the top of my head, how about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"

Previous Identity: Birdboy, revived and adopted by Birdman after he was found on a shipwreck as the only survivor

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Peanut

A Spanish-language version of "Monster of the Mountain," starring Birdman and Birdboy. Seems appropriate given Peanut's multi-lingual status in Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Voice: Stephen Colbert

Occupation: Owner of the Sebben&Sebben Law Firm

Age: 32

Description: Phil is Harvey's pervasive and not-quite-omniscient boss. He can easily appear out of nowhere and operates his business with practices that would easily be ruinous or illegal in real life (ex. filling a legal office with polo ponies). He is the series' most surreal character, and is often doing something completely outrageous while talking to Harvey or others. He is able to summon the entire law firm by hitting a speakerphone on his desk and yelling "Everyone, get in here!" Phil ends up marrying his sister Phyllis, who has his face with a mustache and long, wavy blond hair, as well as a very large bosom. Like Peanut he is somewhat perverse, often shown in short clips participating in bondage or other illicit sexual activities.

Quotes:

  • "Everyone get in here!"
  • "And for everyone's safety and security, and to preserve our way of life, I'm taking a drastic step and putting up a security camera. Just one... for safety, security, and omniscient, unblinking information gathering of everyone's activities."
  • "While I consider myself to be a benevolent-ish dictator, I have no choice but to introduce a battery of oppressive security measures."
  • "Tell me I'm pretty. I'm a pretty little girl... you didn't hear that."
  • "I'm no Fred Flintstone but I'm gonna make your bed rock!"
  • "[While taking an eye exam] F!, U!, C!... I can't make out that next one."
  • "Well, I'm not a vet, but I do have these pliers!"
  • "Ha ha! Last laugh." (final line of the series)

Previous Identity: Falcon-7, Birdman's boss from Inter-Nation

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Phil:

Falcon-7 lays down the law for Birdman in "The Quake Threat"

Judy Ken Sebben - Birdgirl

Voice: Paget Brewster

Occupation: "Trusty Legal Sidekick!"

Description: Birdgirl, like Avenger, is one of the few characters in the series loyal to Harvey. One might say that in Birdgirl's case she is a little too eager to be perfectly legal and heroic, often referring to Sidekick Handbook that she carries with her everywhere on how to deal with adversity. She is desperate to maintain her secret identity as Judy Ken Sebben, Phil Ken Sebben's daughter. Unfortunately Phil falls in love with her (or at least obsesses over her) leading to a number of uncomfortable moments. Phil almost marries Judy, only to leave her at the altar for her Aunt Phyllis. At times Birdgirl can have a very strong temper, and Harvey seems to be inclined toward looking at her as his own daughter (though this also gives him a few uncomfy moments).

Quotes:

  • "I'm Birdgirl! Your trusty legal sidekick!"
  • "Daddy!"

Previous Identity: Birdgirl, a young woman who is hypnotized into participating in a plot to discredit Birdman

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Birdgirl:

"Birdman Meets Birdgirl"

Voice: Chris Edgerly

Occupation: Attorney at Law

Description: Potamus is rude, crude, and has no real place in a law firm. However, this is Sebben&Sebben so naturally he fits in perfectly. Like many other characters, Potamus is perverse, and there are indications that he has affairs with almost every female character introduced, including Gigi and Jane Jetson. He drives a flying balloon that he likes to park in Harvey's spot. When angry he can turn green and huge like The Incredible Hulk, and this transformation is usually triggered when someone tells him no, they didn't get the thing he sent them.

Quotes:

  • "Did you get that thing I sent you?"
  • "Hey, hey, there he is!"
  • "Gigi! You look absolutely... [He sees she is pregnant.] Gotta go!"

Previous Identity: Peter Potamus

Previous Show: Peter Potamus

Classic Potamus:

The introduction from the 1964 cartoon Peter Potamus

Voice: Stephen Colbert

Occupation: Attorney at Law

Description: Reducto is a confidante of Harvey's who makes use of his Shrink Gun to change the world as he sees fit. He is obsessed with the size of things: the Inch-High Private Eye compels him to attack, while a music academic's tiny feet turn him on. He tends to shrink people that provoke him (and some who don't), but is otherwise one of the more intelligent and suave characters in the Birdman series. Though he is usually against Birdman in the courtroom, the two are still good friends.

Quotes:

  • "Back-off!"
  • "I'll make you fun-size!"
  • "I'll make you travel-size!"
  • "The key Birdman, are the three R's. Reduce... I forgot the other two."
  • "Big bosoms make me nauseous."
  • "I feel shrinky, oh so shrinky, I feel shrinky, and dinky..." (to the tune of "I Feel Pretty")

Previous Identity: Reducto, a nemesis of Birdman's

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Reducto:

"Birdman Meets Reducto"

Voice: Debi Mae West

Occupation: Floozy/Gold-digger

Description: Gigi shows up at Sebben&Sebben and proceeds to sleep with every male there (except Harvey). She may be a nymphomaniac or may simply being doing it for attention/money. She marries Harvey (along with a few other people) and moves into his apartment, but refuses to do so much as kiss him even though she says she loves him. Gigi is a master of manipulation, or at least she's good at pulling a fast one on dumb old Harvey.

Quotes:

  • "[Asked if she's comfortable by Mentok.] Not with these clothes on. They're so tight and...clothesy. [Rips her dress off.]"

Previous Identity: Gravity Girl, an extraterrestrial superhero with the power of (you guessed it) manipulating gravity

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic Gigi:

The first Galaxy Trio short, "Galaxy Trio and the Sleeping Planet"

Voice: Peter MacNicol

Occupation: Birdman's Stalker

Description: X was once Birdman's arch-nemesis, but after failing to get his crest so many times he fell into a state of degradation, becoming fat and obsessed with Harvey. When he finds out that Birdman is now an attorney, he relentlessly stalks him. X has Birdman posters, bedspreads, even a bobblehead Birdman phone. He used to live with his mother, but in the final season moved in with another villain (Zardo). He is whiny, fussy, super-geeky, and probably as virginal as Harvey.

Quotes:

  • "It is I: X, the Eliminator!"
  • "If I can get the crest, I can do anything, because I'm a winner! [He does a split and his pants tear open.]"

Previous Identity: X the Eliminator, a more athletic nemesis hired to assassinate Birdman

Previous Show: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Classic X:

"X the Eliminator"

Habeus Corpus

Who is the best character in Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law?

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Episode 01: "Bannon Custody Battle"

Client: Benton Quest (Dr. Quest) from Jonny Quest

Case: Race Bannon has challenged Dr. Quest for the custody of the children; Harvey must make Dr. Quest out as the better father.

Episode 02: "Very Personal Injury"

Client: Apache Chief from Super Friends

Case: Apache Chief wants to sue Javalux Coffee after he spills coffee on his lap and loses his superpower of growing to colossal size.

Episode 03: "Shaggy Busted"

Client: Shaggy and Scooby-Doo from Scooby-Doo

Case: Harvey has to prove that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo weren't getting high when they fled from police.

Episode 04: "The Unabooboo"

Client: Boo Boo from Yogi-Bear

Case: Harvey must defend Boo Boo from accusations that he is an anarchist sending politicians and corporations heads gift baskets filled with explosives.

Episode 05: "Shoyu Weenie"

Client: The Chan Clan from The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan

Case: The band Shoyu Weenie wants to sue The Neptunes (from Jabberjaw) for copyright infringement when they find a song by The Neptunes that sounds like their own hit song.

Episode 06: "The Dabba Don"

Client: Fred Flinstone from The Flintstones

Case: Harvey must defend Fred Flintstone against accusations that he is a mafia boss in charge of a criminal ring.

Episode 07: "Deadomutt (Pt. 1)"

Client: Harvey Birdman

Case: Harvey is arrested for the murder of Dynomutt.

Episode 08: "Deadomutt (Pt. 2)"

Client: Harvey Birdman (defended by Blue Falcon)

Case: Harvey is convicted and sentenced for the murder of Dynomutt.

Episode 09: "X the Eliminator"

Case: None.

Client: None.

Episode 10: "Blackwatch Plaid"

Client: Secret Squirrel from The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show

Case: Harvey must defend Secret Squirrel against accusations that he exposed himself.

Episode 11: "Trio's Company"

Client: Inch-High Private Eye from Inch High, Private Eye

Case: Inch-High Private Eye wants to sue his employer after he is fired for being too short.

Episode 12: "The Devlin Made Me do It"

Client: Ernie Devlin from Devlin

Case: Harvey must defend Devlin when he is sued for "imitatable acts" that lead to a young boy's complete paralysis.

Episode 13: "High Speed Buggy Chase"

Client: Speed Buggy from Speed Buggy

Case: Harvey must defend Speed Buggy from accusations of reckless driving.

Episode 14: "SPF"

Client: Ding-a-ling from The Huckleberry Hound Show

Case: Ding-a-ling is suing a porn site for using his name in their URL.

Episode 15: "Back to the Present"

Client: The Jetsons from The Jetsons

Case: The Jetsons are suing modern people for causing global warming, which in the future causes a catastrophic flood.

Episode 16: "Grape Juiced"

Client: Grape Ape from The Great Grape Ape Show

Case: Harvey must defend Grape Ape from accusations that he used steroids in the Laff-a-lympics.

Episode 17: "Peanut Puberty"

Client: Doggie Daddy from The Quick Draw McGraw Show

Case: Harvey must defend Doggie Daddy from accusations that he bit someone.

Episode 18: "Gone Efficien...t"

Client: Yakky Doodle from The Quick Draw McGraw Show

Case: Harvey must help Yakky Doodle petition to change his name.

Episode 19: "Droopy Botox"

Client: Plastic Surgeon

Case: Harvey must defend a plastic surgeon against Droopy's (from Dumb-Hounded) accusation that he botched Botox injections.

Episode 20: "Guitar Control"

Client: Quick Draw McGraw from The Quick Draw McGraw Show

Case: Harvey must defend Quick Draw from a concealed weapon allegation.

Episode 21: "Booty Noir"

Client: Wally Gator from The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series

Case: Harvey must defend Wally Gator from the accusation that he is a redneck.

Episode 22: "Harvey's Civvy"

Client: Harvey Birdman

Case: Potamus defends Harvey against villains that accuse him of crippling them and destroying their homes in his superhero days.

Episode 23: "X Gets the Crest"

Client: Ricochet Rabbit from The Magilla Gorilla Show

Case: Harvey must defend Ricochet Rabbit from the accusation that he destroyed half of the town of Hoop'n'Holler in a fit of hyperactivity.

Episode 24: "Bird Girl of Guantanamole"

Client: Morocco Mole of The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show

Case: Harvey must defend Morocco Mole against the accusation that he is a spy.

Episode 25: "Turner Classic Birdman"

Client: None.

Case: None.

Episode 26: "Beyond the Valley of Dinosaurs"

Client: None.

Case: None.

Episode 27: "Evolutionary War"

Client: Captain Caveman of Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels

Case: Captain Caveman sues his son's public school when they refuse to teach evolution.

Episode 28: "Free Magilla"

Client: Mr. Peebles from The Magilla Gorilla Show

Case: Mr. Peebles sues to regain his custody rights to Magilla Gorilla from the People's Animal Freedom Front (PAFF).

Episode 29: "Return of Birdgirl"

Client: Race Bannon and Benton Quest (Dr. Quest) from Jonny Quest

Case: Race Bannon and Benton Quest sue to get gay marriages legalized.

Episode 30: "Mindless"

Client: Top Cat from Top Cat

Case: Harvey must defend Top Cat against accusations of troublemaking.

Episode 31: "Sebben and Sebben Employee Orientation"

Client: None.

Case: None.

Episode 32: "Identity Theft"

Client: Chemical Castration (Yakky Doodle) from The Quick Draw McGraw Show

Case: Harvey must help Chemical Castration petition to change his name back to Yakky Doodle.

Episode 33: "Mufti Trouble"

Client: Shazzan from Shazzan

Case: Shazzan sues the Mufti for locking him in a vase.

Episode 34: "Incredible Hippo"

Client: Atom Ant from The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show

Case: Harvey must defend Atom Ant against accusations that he produces unhealthy high radiation levels.

Episode 35: "Babysitter"

Client: None.

Case: None.

Episode 36: "Birdnapped"

Client: None.

Case: None.

Episode 37: "Grodin"

Client: Ernie Devlin from Devlin

Case: Harvey must defend Ernie Devlin from accusations that one of his toys hurt a child.

Episode 38: "Juror in Court"

Client: Hair Bear from Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

Case: Harvey must defend Hair Bear.

Episode 39: "The Death of Harvey"

Client: All of the previous clients.

Case: All of the previous cases.

Harvey Birdman Clips

Here are my favorite clips and montages from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.

I want your impressions of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law! Feedback on the lens always helps too. Anything you want to see added? Let me know!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sorry if you would like the bobblehead email me at 5ndime@bendcable.com

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a Harvey Birdman bobble head for $ 20.00 w/shipping if anyone would like it.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Birdman for the win! Love that guy!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Birdman for the win! Love that guy!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Go Birdman! Such a classic that everyone overlooks.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      hahaha I got a kick out of this page, I didn't know there were other people who love Harvey Birdman as much as I do!

      Tampa FL Replacement Windows

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Bird Man Rocks - he is the best Orlando Sports Nutrition

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Tampa Nutrition Store

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      tampaduilawyer 6 years ago

      Birdman is hilarious, thanks so much for doing this squidoo page it brightened my day!

      Florida Seo Design

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      tampaduilawyer 6 years ago

      If you need at Tampa DUI Attorney check out Denmon &Denmon Trial Attorneys. We also serve Brandon DUI Attorney in Brandon Florida. Call us today at 813-554-3232 or visit us at 918 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa FL 33606

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      CarlCeder 6 years ago

      Great website! I am a lawyer in Dallas...my firm is http://www.thedfwdefender.com and also http://www.carlcederlaw.com. Good luck to you birdman

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      i work at a Houston Personal Injury Lawyers office and your lens made my day ! I was sooo bored. thanks

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Fantastic series. I have purchased all of the DVDs so far. I hope they make more.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Anyone who thinks that this show has any validity is as sick and twisted as the show itself.

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      CleanerLife 8 years ago

      What a great series, the people behind the show had a ball re-using these old characters. This Lens is a great tribute!

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      They need to revive HB:AAL...we need some more new Eps...love this show.

      Ha! Ha! Ha! Game Over!

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      Hanitan 9 years ago

      Nice lens. Tonnes of information

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      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Great job on this lens! It's a definite 5 stars in my book! I'd never heard of Mr Birdman before. :)