David Wise (February 1, 1955 - March 3, 2020; 65 years old) was a writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987). In 1987, Wise was given the call to develop and write a five-part animated television pilot based on a little-known independent comic, Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wise thus became one of the principal forces behind the reinvention of the darker toned black and white Mirage Studios title into a fun, bright, cheerful animated phenomenon, creating the classic catchphrase "Cowabunga, dude", and developing original characters like Krang and Rocksteady and Bebop. Wise remained on board for most of its then-unbeaten lifespan of ten years (finally beaten by The Simpsons), writing and story editing over 100 episodes.

Wise would leave the series after the ninth season, the first that would not involve most of the characters he had crafted and helped mold for much of his run.

Wise passed away March 3, 2020 from lung cancer.


  • David Wise himself stated that it occurred to him to make Michelangelo exclaim "Cowabunga!" while surfing improvisedly over an object during the very first episode, just because he vaguely recalled a similar scene that Charles M. Schulz had already done during the 1960s within a sequence in Peanuts, where Snoopy surfed and shouted that word,[1][2] thus establishing it as the catchphrase associated with the franchise thereafter.


External links[]