Powdered Toast Man is a superhero seen in "Powdered Toast Man". He is an extremely dramatic and oblivious vigilante and spokesperson for Powdered Toast, the breakfast treat that "tastes just like sawdust". He was based on a Frank Zappa inspired character. Powdered Toast Man appeared in various Powdered Toast commercials within The Ren & Stimpy Show, and starred in two episodes of the show, "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman" and "Powdered Toast Man" (which had a guest appearance by Frank Zappa as the Pope). Oddly, Powdered Toast doesn't taste right unless Powdered Toast Man farts on it before it is consumed.
He possesses traditional superpowers like flying and some non-traditional ones (e.g. super-flatulence, the ability to scrape toast shavings from his head). He can fly by launching himself from a toaster, or dispensing a healthy amount of flatulence. He can fly backwards, or at an angle. His catch phrase is "Leave everything to me!" Powdered Toast Man hides his true identity behind the guise of Pastor Toastman, a "cool" youth deacon. His call to action is the shouting of his name, with significant stress on the "man".
Powdered Toast Man's voice was provided by the late Gary Owens, a voice actor and disc jockey. The act of Powdered Toast Man shouting his name is a reference to how some of Gary Owens' superhero characters like Birdman and Space Ghost would often call out their names.
Although usually voiced by Owens, according to IMDb, Darrin J. Sargent (a regular cast-member in the first season) voiced Powdered Toast Man in the first commercial, at the beginning of Robin Höek/Nurse Stimpy.
Powers and Abilities
Powdered Toast Man is endowed with various abilities and, like many superheroes, has a mysterious background and an alter ego.
Powdered Toast Man can fly, either by releasing flatulence, by inserting his head into a special toaster and launching from it, or merely by pushing off from the ground. Oddly enough, he faces backwards when flying. He can also hover in mid-air. His powers include some offensive weapons: high-velocity raisins shot from his mouth, hyper-corrosive croutons fired from his armpit, butter pats that are launched from the top of his head, and hyper-acidic marmalade from his navel. There are several signals that alert Powdered Toast Man to danger — his tongue phone, the inflation of his briefs, the dissipation of the toast particles in his head, or the reading of emergency messages encoded in slices of olive loaf.
He is apparently made entirely of Powdered Toast, as he can produce fully formed Powdered Toast by flicking his wrist or by separating his head (which is made of two pieces of toast) and scraping the interior with a butter knife. His head is therefore depicted as being made of two identical pieces of toast, each complete with a face.
By day, Powdered Toast Man is Pastor Toastman, a "cool youth deacon". His disguise is composed of a pair of thick black spectacles and a pastor's collar, a possible parody of Superman's thinly disguised alter ego, Clark Kent. Pastor Toastman's office also serves as his headquarters, and he is served by a lovely young female assistant named "Catholic High School Girl" and it is strongly suggested that the two have a romantic relationship.
Most of Powdered Toast Man's accomplishments are dubious and pyrrhic - if he ever succeeds it is usually accidentally, and at the cost of unintentionally inflicting havoc on someone else. Additionally, he fights for the sake of Ignorance and Prejudice.
- He saves a kitten from being run over, at the cost of an airliner (which he shot down), and a truck (which was flattened by the airliner). It appears no one is killed in the crash, as the occupants of the plane seem cheerful and happy to see Powdered Toast Man despite their wounds. Responding to another mission, he throws the kitten offscreen, where it is presumably run over by another vehicle (we hear the screech of tires and then a crash).
- He fights Spider-Man once, after being turned evil by the evil Dr. Donut, and Spider-Man gets Powdered Toast Man working for good again, by using milk which stops PTM being crunchy. This adventure appears in the licensed comic book published by Marvel Comics.
- He saves the pope (voiced by Frank Zappa) from the clutches of Muddy Mudskipper. Why or how Muddy kidnapped the pope is unclear, probably out of insanity, but it is clear that after Powdered Toast Man frees the pope from the barrel of TNT he was strapped to, he places Muddy there instead and ties him up.
- When the President of the United States accidentally gets his private parts caught in his own pants zipper, Powdered Toast Man frees him - in a very painful way. Though grateful, the President is incapacitated, and Powdered Toast Man steps in as Commander-in-Chief. While in office (having somehow avoided the entire line-in-wait to fill in for the Chief Executive), he heats the Oval Office with some dusty old papers, which include the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
- Powdered Toast Man responded on numerous occasions to the plight of Ren and Stimpy, when the comedic duo had run out of Powdered Toast, producing more for them with a flick of his wrist or a scrape of his head. It's implied that this is the usual method that Ren and Stimpy get Powdered Toast when they run out, because it doesn't "taste right" unless Powdered Toast Man exits with his traditional passing of gas.
- He's also a very popular figure with children. Responding to a request from sickly "Little Johnny" about being able to meet the President, he actually manages to bring the President to him. In trying to get to Little Johnny on time before his nap, the President was vaporized by the massive speed of Powdered Toast Man. He also managed to save the child out of the hands of his apparent archnemesis "Waffle Woman", at the cost of destroying most of the Earth. On one occasion, in a Powdered Toast commercial, he encounters a little boy and a girl who are flying, and reminds them that "children can't fly". The children panic and go plummeting, but Powdered Toast Man saves them at the last second.
- When carrying passengers on his backside, he asks them, "Are you clinging tenaciously to my buttocks?" before flying off.
The product named after Powdered Toast Man (or vice versa) is true to its name — toast in powder form. Why anyone would want to eat powdered toast is unknown — after eating some, one character notes how "it tastes just like sawdust." Further throwing doubt as to its appeal, toast is usually served warm, but powdered toast is room temperature. Powdered Toast comes in a can with an aerated top, allowing the toast to be "sprinkled" out in a manner similar to that of shredded Parmesan cheese. Amazingly, the powder somehow comes together, forming a piece of toast that can be consumed. Perhaps itself a commentary on the obsession of American culture with quickly prepared pre-made foods, it seems to take more time to "make" a piece of cold, sawdust-tasting Powdered Toast than it would to toast a piece of bread.
Powdered Toast is never seen being consumed with butter, jam, or cream cheese, possibly because the fragile nature of the toast could not support such spreads. Though it's "jam-packed with Vitamin F," Powdered Toast doesn't make children smarter.
In the first commercial, at the beginning of Robin Höek/Nurse Stimpy, Ren asks Stimpy, "Isn't he wonderful?" Stimpy then says, "Why, He's TOAST-A-RIFIC!"
While attending Ren's dinner party, he holds in a burp, believing it to be bad manners. The pressure of this pops off his head, which lands on the Baboon's plate. The Baboon devours his head.
Shorts and Episodes appeared
- Powdered Toast Commercial (segment from "Robin Höek" episode, prototype design)
- Powdered Toast Brand Commercial (segment from "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen" episode)
- "Powdered Toast Man"
- "Jerry the Bellybutton Elf"
- "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman"
- "Dinner Party" (dies in this episode)
- He was going to appear in Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" in a commercial for "Powdered Toast Man's Rolling Tobacco", but the segment was later scrapped due to negative reviews from old and new fans of Ren and Stimpy.