Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Holy Rusted Memories, Batman!

I was working on my post about Guy and Kilowog for Sally when I got distracted by something else I have very fond recollections of.

The Adam West Batman tv show. :-)

I loved that show as a kid. I'd watch practically religiously. I'd stare intently at the credits trying to will Yvonne Craig's name up there, so that it'd be a Batgirl episode. I was also happy if it were a Catwoman episode. I was particularly fond of the Julie Newmar Catwoman for some odd reason, though I liked them all. (Nowadays, I favor Eartha Kitt. No one is as awesome as Eartha Kitt. NO ONE!)

I always loved the sets for that show. The commissioner's office with that phone. (I loved that phone. I love the Bat Signal too, naturally, but I liked that they had other ways to communicate with Batman. In case of bad weather. Or, you know, daylight.)

And the Batpoles! I love the Batpoles! They were so cool!

And Batgirl had a wig! I always thought that was impossibly clever! Who'd ever suspect the masked long-haired redhead to be the girl with the short brown hair! (Why don't more superheroines wear wigs? Even Black Canary traded hers in for hair dye. It's a much less effective disguise!)

And for years I thought that Star Trek episode where the bad guy turned Chekov and Ensign Cannon Fodder into cubes by taking out all their water was a bad ripoff of that one movie.

I need to watch that movie again. It's been years, I'm ashamed to admit.

When I was seven, I'd get in arguments with the neighbor boys, none of us being comics readers at the time, whether Batman's costume was blue (like the tv show) or black (like the movie). Now that I've read comics and seen that the 1990s version did indeed appear to be more blue-ish, I'm retroactively gloating. Take that, Bobby and Eric!

I think a part of why the show was so fun because everyone involved seemed to be having such a blast, villains and heroes. And there was punching. Punching and kicking. Yay.

Oddly, I never got around to seeing the Green Hornet. Which is funny as my mother apparently loved it. Every time I start babbling about Green Lanterns, she asks me about Kato. Every time. It's entertaining. (And much less traumatizing than that time she was reading over my shoulder and complimented the size of Hal Jordan's package. I've still not gotten over that, MOM...)

I'm sure I'll like it. I like pretty much every cheesy comic-related tv show. Except Smallville, no idea why.

Clearly I must go a video-renting!

((And I promise to post the Guy-Kilowog thing soon!. As well as that review I owe you. I promise!))


  • At February 02, 2007 6:31 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said…

    Linda (Supergirl) wore a wig. Her hair was brown, so she wore a blonde wig.

    I miss her. :-(

  • At February 02, 2007 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd actually love to hear Adam West read the dialogue from All-Star Batman and Robin. It won't redeem the material in any way, I'd just think it be really funny.

  • At February 02, 2007 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember getting into a fight in elementary school over that show. Some kids tried to tell me that Robin was dead. Can you believe the nerve?!

    "No he isn't!" I responded. "He was on tv last night!"

    "Jason Todd is too dead!" they say.

    "Well good because I don't know who Jason Todd is and he isn't Robin, so Robin isn't dead!"

    And, uh, over a decade later I found out that there actually was a Jason Todd and yup, he's dead.


    The Batman tv show was required viewing for me and my (girl) cousin back in the day. We had the towel capes and everything. Watching Bats while wearing a towel as a cape increased the enjoyment at least 200%.

  • At February 02, 2007 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmm...I could have swore super girl wore the brown haired wig as Linda Danvers...

  • At February 02, 2007 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Julie Newmar was so much more awesome than Eartha Kitt--although admittedly Eartha Kitt was a lot more awesome than Lee Meriwether.

  • At February 02, 2007 9:07 AM, Blogger Tom Bondurant said…

    I have nothing but love for the Batman TV show. It even had a red-haired Robin (speaking of wigs) when Jill St. John impersonated the Boy Wonder in the first two-parter.

    As for Supergirl, Kara Zor-El has always been blonde, but in the pre-Crisis days wore a brown wig as Linda Lee/Linda Danvers. The Linda Lee wig had braids.

    The Peter David Supergirl was a blonde Matrix/Supergirl merged with a brown-haired Linda Danvers, so Supergirl actually changed shape and hair color when she turned into Linda and back. Matrix (whose Supergirl form started out looking like Lana Lang) lost the rest of her shape-changing powers when she merged with Linda.

  • At February 02, 2007 9:07 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    Speculating: The reason you don't like Smallville is that it's not really about Superman, or even Clark Kent. It's a male version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which is not a bad thing to be, but it may have frustrated your expectations.

  • At February 02, 2007 9:24 AM, Blogger joncormier said…

    Any TV show with Bruce Lee is worth watching - get some Green Hornet shows if you can.

    I still love the fact that Bruce Lee refused to lose to Robin during the cross-over episodes so the writers made it a draw.

  • At February 02, 2007 10:35 AM, Blogger D.Bishop (aka Mr. Allison Blaire) said…

    The part I really loved about Batmn was coming back to see how they solved their dilemna at the end of the episode. I'd get mad if I missed seeing them come back from being skeletons or melted. I even remember one time Alfred donned the suit to prove Bruce wasn't Batman. I liked the Green Hornet show just as much. Batman was goofy and Hornet was kickass. I loved the Black Beauty car too.

  • At February 02, 2007 11:43 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Oohhh oh...Guy/Kilowog coming up! I'm doing my happy dance around the room.

    Ahem...back to the Batman show, which I LOVED! I was a kid when it first came out, (yes, I'm old) and somebody had spray-painted the little Bat insignias on all the road signs on the way to Rancho Santa Fe (I lived in a little beach town in southern California)

    Julie Newmar was my favorite. I think possibly because she was so TALL! And impossibly elegant. I also liked the Riddler because he was completely nuts. And King TUT!

  • At February 02, 2007 1:07 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    See I somehow did things backwards so even when I was ten I knew Batman in the comics was grim-n-gritty TO THE MAX!!!1!OMG!!!RADICAL!

    Hence the Adam West TV show frustrated the heck out of me, especially because when you're ten you can't really understand the concept of deliberate camp.

  • At February 02, 2007 2:58 PM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    Definitely Eartha Kitt.

  • At February 02, 2007 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    SallyP's post made me remember the awesomeness of King Tut! Every damn show he was on he'd get conked on the head at the end and revert back to his normal Professor persona. Then he'd always say "Oooh, I've got to get back to my museum!", and Batman and the police would just let him wander off to go back. I always wondered why another villain without multiple personalities didn't try that song and dance to get off scot free. The funniest part about it was that even though they let King Tut go, they still took all his goons to jail!

    The Cesar Romero Joker was awesome too! Even though Mark Hamill's laugh is the best, I'll always have a soft spot for that ridiculous "hoo hoo hoo" that TV Joker did. :D

    And oh yeah, Julie Newmar. Eartha Kitt is a very respectable second though.

  • At February 02, 2007 6:28 PM, Blogger Richard said…

    It's just so unexpected and cool that today's kids will know Eartha Kitt from her amazing voice work in cartoons like The Emperor's New School, while their parents will think of her as Catwoman, and presumably their grandparents will remember her for "Santa Baby." Not too bad for someone whose career was supposedly over in 1968...

  • At February 02, 2007 9:06 PM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    Honestly, I just can't watch the Batman TV show. It's just too antithetical to how I think Batman should be.

    Re: Catwoman: Kitt and Newmarr tie for me. Kitt is a little bit ahead because of her ironically appropriate name.

    Re: Smallville: Perhaps it's because it takes itself altogether too seriously and won't admit how silly it is.

    For the most part I don't care for Caesar Romero's Joker, and yet he brought a certain over-the-top mania to the character that not even Mark Hammil could match.

  • At February 02, 2007 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Julie Newmar was the sexiest one, Eartha Kitt had the sexy drawl.."Purrrrfectly done, boys!"...but the most entertaining character was Frank Gorshin's Riddler: that laugh, the breathless way he'd talk when the Riddler was plotting...loved the famous people in cameos as the Dynamic Duo climbed walls and the famous people who played villains: Joan Collins as Siren, Vincent Price as Egghead, Milton Berle as Lucky Louie, Otto Preminger as Mr. Freeze, Roddy McDowell as Bookworm...I'm sure I'm forgetting a few...anyone watch "Back to the Batcave", that special based on the behind the scenes book by Burt Ward...came out a few years ago...Julie Newmar still looked good in the catsuit...hope I look that good in my seventies...

  • At February 02, 2007 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Also, the Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast episode "Bat-Mantis" is one of the greatest 15 minutes of television ever, second only to Flipmode from the same series.

  • At February 03, 2007 11:30 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    I always loved how everything was clearly labeled, from the Bat-Computer, to whatever easily-escapable death-trap the villain had set up that week. Heck, I'm amazed Batman didn't have a large sign on him.

    King Tut was hoot, did he ever show up in the comics? I think he's an untapped resource for good-craziness.

  • At February 03, 2007 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I loved that show as a kid, too -- especially the Batgirl episodes. Alas, I fell in love with the character (in the 1980s) just as she was falling out of favor with the Bat-editors at DC. By that time, the version in the comics had become pretty dull, especially compared to Yvonne Craig's vivacious TV incarnation (and that fabulous purple costume!).

    Awhile back I came across two Batgirl video clips that I'd never seen before; I thought you might get a kick out of them:

    A promotional short from 1968:

    and a terrific PSA from 1974:


  • At February 03, 2007 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oops! If those URLs get cut off in the browser window you can triple-click on them to select the entire address.

    (Great blog by the way. I've been lurking here for months and finally decided to speak up.)

  • At April 17, 2007 2:12 AM, Blogger VP81955 said…

    SallyP said...
    Julie Newmar was my favorite. I think possibly because she was so TALL! And impossibly elegant.

    Every tall woman over the last 50 or so years owes something to Julie Newmar, who helped make all women of stature seem sexy. (And she did this long before slipping into the catsuit, as her stage and screen turns in both "L'il Abner" and "The Marriage-Go-Round" (she won a Tony for the latter) attest.

    I met and interviewed Julie at a memorabilia show about 10 years ago; she was still lovely, bright and funny (and you almost wished she had been born 30 years earlier so she could have worked in the Golden Age of Hollywood alongside the likes of Lombard and Loy, and probably would have had some vehicles worthy of her talent as much as her "superstructure").

    What's interesting is that Julie now looks nowhere as imposing as she did in her prime; age may have something to do with it, but I think it's more of a new generation of statuesque actresses (Lucy Lawless, Laura Prepon, Uma Thurman, Brooke Shields) for whom Julie paved the way.


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