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The Topnotch Tangler is a segment in It's All Been Done Radio Hour. It was the fourth segment conceived for the show by Jerome Wetzel, and premiered during the second live show.

One night, years ago, Ms. Kimberly Benson was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or possibly in the right place at the right time, depending on your perspective. Pelted with rays no one fully understands (though she did, before the accident), she was transformed into a modest superhero with a ton of powers, but a few less smarts. Kim chose her ability to tangle and untangle things, whether they be ropes or problems, as the one power to highlight in her moniker, though she can also fly, has x-ray vision, etc.

Set in Tipp Town, Kim is joined by her one-time boyfriend, Commissioner Carl Darling, head of the Tipp Town Police Post, and his assistant, Lt. Adam Carson. Carson is superhero obsessed, while Carl rarely knows of the superheroes and villains they face before they face them. Carson would love to be a super sidekick, a notion Kim discourages.

Besides the rotating crop of super-powered people, Kim frequently runs into Greg, a henchman who escapes as his bosses are brought down, always finding a new villain to serve. She also sometimes interacts with the scientists of Pymer Labs.

The Topnotch Tangler is a comedy with a soap opera bend in how it handles romance. It is also known for its frequent use of alliteration.

The theme song is composed by Nathan Haley with lyrics by Jerome Wetzel. It is performed by Nick Arganbright, Samantha Stark, and the cast, and audiences are encouraged to join in for the chorus parts.


Main Characters

  • Kimberly Benson / The Topnotch Tangler played by Samantha Stark. Kim is fearless and compassionate, wanting nothing more to look out for her fellow men and women, despite being a billionaire businesswoman with a day job. Kim is in love with Carl Darling, saddened that her hiding her identity from him has torn them apart, and has rebuffed offers from others in the meantime. It is unknown why she is so against Carson becoming her sidekick.
  • Commissioner Carl Darling played by Keith Jackson. Carl is soft-spoken, brave, and good at his job. He's slow to anger, but equally slow to forgive when someone lies to him, hence why he's not still with Kim. Carl tends to take things as they come and roll with it, but doesn't hesitate to jump into action if he can do some good. He sees Kim as a superhero, not someone in need of protecting, and defers to her in most cases. He gets annoyed by Carson's over eagerness.
  • Lt. Adam Carson played by Joe Morales (seasons 1-3, 5-present; recurring season 4). Carson has a Southern accent and a big heart. He looks up to Kim and all super-powered people, inspired by their strength and their do-goodness. Carson dreams of being like them some day, unhappy with his lot, though he does the best job he can.
  • Officer Michael Vern played by Virgil Von Hartzel (season 3, recurring season 4 to present). Vern is Carson's hand-picked replacement, should he ever leave his post. Which he wants to do. Vern seems a lot like Carson, though perhaps a bit less excitable.
  • Lt. Christine Smith played by Katie Boissoneault (recurring season 3, main season 4 to present). Smith is also from the South and takes a liking to Lt. Carson when villain Bad Rap pairs them up. She'd like their relationship to be more than professional, but Carson isn't interested.

Major Recurring Characters

  • Greg played by Nick Arganbright. Greg is a loveable henchman, who gets along well with The Topnotch Tangler, despite being on the wrong side of the law.
  • Captain Comptroller played by Chase McCants. Captain Comptroller is noble, too, but works the 'good' side of town, so mainly deals with petty crimes, far beneath what his powers (described only as 'many and varied') warrant. He enjoys working with Kim, but did not enjoy playing her fake boyfriend when Carl appeared to be moving on.
  • Bad Rap / Emily played by Anna Leeper. Bad Rap likes to rap a capella as she does evil things. She murders lots of people, which is unusual among villains in the series. She also takes an immediate shine to Lt. Carson, dumping toxic waste on him because she likes him.
  • Frank the Waiter played by Dallas Ray. Frank was Kim's friend and owner of her favorite restaurant. When he learned of Kim's secret identity, he became quite irate and tried to kill her. He is now in jail. It is unknown if his accent is real.
  • The Pall played by Dan Condo. The Pall is a superhero from Sentry City with a gravelly voice. First luried to Tipp Town when one of his foes relocated there, he doesn't seem to be very good at stopping supervillains, nor at wooing Kim.
  • Hella Zanni played by Kristin Green. Hella Zanni hails from Sentry City, but found Tipp Town more to her liking. She is insane, unpredictable, and loves to stab things, especially people who don't do what she wants them to do.
  • The FIimflam Floozy played by Katelyn Hamilton and Colleen Dunne. The Floozy and The Topnotch Tangler bonded when Kim arrested her. After frequent visits in jail, Kim believes she could rehabilitate her, making the Floozy her sidekick. It seemed to have worked when the Floozy sacrified her life to save Kim's.


Main article: list of The Topnotch Tangler episodes

The Topnotch Tangler consists mainly of stand-alone adventures, with bits of ongoing relationship drama seeded into most installments.

Season one ran from August 2015 through February 2017 for a total of ten episodes. It introduced many villains and established the central trio, as well as dealt with the fall-out between Kim and Carl involving secret identities. It also introduced Pymer Labs, a mysterious scientific research facility.

Season two ran from March 2017 through December 2017 for another ten episodes. New villains appeared and old ones popped back up. Carl tried to move on by dating Kam, a woman very similar to Kim except she lacked Kim's best assets. The Floozy became Kim's sidekick near the end of the season.

Season three ran from March 2018 through May 2019 for thirteen episodes, including nine regular installments, an improv crossover, and three out-of-continuity shorts. It is driven by Carson's transformation into a super-powered sidekick and his love triangle with Lt. Smith and villain Bad Rap. The team also finds a way to come back together.

Season four ran from August 2019 through July 2020 for nine episodes, the finale being a feature-length special. It began with Glamorous Gal's death and Hella Zanni breaking The Sting Ray out of prison, as well as Carson leaving Tipp Town for Sentry City with Bad Rap (the two becoming The Pall's sidekicks). It ended with Kim and her friends facing off against Hella Zanni and a massive supervillain teamup. The whole story only covered about six weeks from the Tangler's perspective.

Season five will premiere December 2020.

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