June 10, 2017

"Oh! Oh! Oh, no!" gasps a young woman on State Street this morning in Madison, Wisconsin.

She's wearing a tight black dress that's heavily embroidered in metallic gold in the 80° heat, and she looking at her iPhone and pausing to give her girlfriends time to strain to see what has happened.

She relieves their anxiety: "Batman's dead!"

(The actor, Adam West, TV's Batman, has died at the age of 88.)

44 comments:

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

An awful lot of people on my Facebook who weren't even alive in the 60s are wailing and keening.

Um, what?

People are so damned bizarre about celebrity deaths.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe it was Batgirl in her civvies.

St. George said...

Ah, back in the days when the most lurid thing on television was Ginger on Gilligan's Island. One shudders to think what children are exposed to now.

Known Unknown said...

"One shudders to think what children are exposed to now."

Nothing terrible if you are a mindful parent.

rhhardin said...

I never understood the Batman thing. Donald Duck was my speed.

However the last scene in Dark Knight Rises (2012) was good.

Ann Althouse said...

I preferred Daffy Duck.

Yancey Ward said...

Holy Covfefe!

rcocean said...

Holy R.I.P!

Adam West was the best Batman ever. He seemed like a cool guy off-screen too.

He did something on Family Guy - but I never watched it.

Yancey Ward said...

He also appeared recently in Big Bang Theory as himself discussing the rankings of the various Batmen from himself to Ben Affleck.

Yancey Ward said...

Yeah, but did you wait until you got home to shoot him?

tcrosse said...

I preferred Daffy Duck.

That's despicable

MisterBuddwing said...

At its best, the 60s TV series "Batman" was a delicately balanced work of adventure and camp.

I once had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Adam West at a meet-and-greet. I told him that as a kid, I found "Batman" exciting, but that as I got older, I realized how funny it was.

"Then we succeeded!" West replied with a flourish.

RIP, Caped Crusader.

Humperdink said...

"One shudders to think what children are exposed to now."

One of the esteemed US Senators from New York dropping the F-bomb (twice) to the chil'ren at NYU. Classy.

Glen Filthie said...

'Gotham' is a current prequel to the batman story. In it, The Penguin is a homo with a crush on The Riddler. This is what your kids watch now.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
An awful lot of people on my Facebook who weren't even alive in the 60s are wailing and keening.

I'm getting the same thing on a couple of hobby related forums I belong to. I think it's the next thing in virtue signaling.

Bob Ellison said...

What is Gotham?

The Internet says mostly it's a fictional city, the home of Batman, and maybe the nickname of NYC. In the Batman lore, Gothman seems half NYC and half Chicago.

Jeff Teal said...

First show I ever saw in color.The man's deadpan delivery of some of the most inane lines ever are so ironic that eventoday they bring a smile to my face.And who can forget Frank Gorshin Burgess Meredith Yvonne Craig Julie Newmar Eartha Kitt Cesar Romero. A.and so many others.RIP buddy.

Gunbunny62 said...

If God wore a belt, it would be the Bat Belt.

Ambrose said...

@jeff teal. Me too! A friend and I went to his grandmother's house and they had a big old color TV. Julie Newmar's Catwoman's pink outfit was the first thing in color I ever saw on TV. I was sold right away and I was only 5.

Ann Althouse said...

"Batman" was so popular and so much fun in its time. The later movies can be pretty good, but they're nothing like the great TV fun of the 60s.

Bob Ellison said...

The Dark Knight is a great movie.

The 60s Batman never did it for me. Maybe I was born too late. Horrible writing, crappy acting, hyper-saturated color, dumb direction. I would've canceled it faster than three seasons.

Adam West was a good guy, though.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

We were not allowed to watch TV during dinner, except for Batman, the only time in my life that I used TV trays.

William said...

There's currently a show on tv called Riverdale. It's about Archie and the gang. Miss Grundy is a cougar who sleeps with her students. Moose is a jock who engages in dilettante homosexuality. Archie is on the varsity football team (as a sophomore!) but really wants to pursue his music. Jughead is an alienated intellectual who's writing a novel. Veronica's father is a Madoff type figure. Veronica and Betty share a lesbo kiss. They claim it was a faux lesbo kiss--whatever that is. This isn't the way I remembered the Archie comics. I only got through one episode and that only because of morbid fascination........The actors all look like they're in their mid twenties, and the parents and teachers look to be about five to ten years older. This takes away from some of the depravity and absurdity of the plot hooks, but, jeez, this is nothing like high school or Archie comics as I remember them.

Bob Ellison said...

Ann Althouse said, "Batman" was so popular and so much fun in its time.

No, it wasn't a success in its time. It became a success later, because sophisticated people liked to enjoy the humor in a show they had hardly ever seen. Campy and all that. We love camp, because we're required to love it.

tcrosse said...

Back in 1965 we used to gather at the old Kollege Klub on State Street in Madison to watch Batman and drink beer, and whatever else we college kids got up to back then.
Holy Heilemann's, Batman !

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

So I googled Batman Catwoman kiss and there are so damn many Batman Catwoman kisses you wouldn't believe it.

The first one (I think) was Adam West and Julie Newmar. Except it was interrupted. Boy blunder!

Holy Mush!

Ann Althouse said...

"No, it wasn't a success in its time."

That's not how I remember it.

Saint Croix said...

109 Holy Exclamations! From season one

Saint Croix said...

Batman was so popular it ran 2 shows a week, on different days. And both shows made it into the top 10.

St. George said...

Made the cover of LIFE Magazine, and I think inspired Susan Sontag to write about 'camp.' From low art to high art.

Rt1 Rebel said...

In one (actually 2?) episodes, the Penguin schemed a switch of racehorses, substituting the nag Bumbershoot for the champion Parasol. I mention this only because I know that our Hostess is fascinated with etymology.

LordSomber said...

Adam West's "Lookwell" pilot from 1991 is genius deadpan comedy. Created by Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien.
Too bad it wasn't picked up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBQ3HbB0c8Y

rcocean said...

Just saw "Lockwell" - it's hilarious.

Why wasn't it picked up? My guess, women didn't like it and Hollywood execs are morons.

DanTheMan said...

>>Ah, back in the days when the most lurid thing on television was Ginger on Gilligan's Island.

Barbara Eden begs to differ....
:)

Kathryn51 said...

Ann Althouse said...
"No, it wasn't a success in its time."

That's not how I remember it.

I'm the same age as Althouse and I agree with her. I still remember going to school the day after the premier/first episode (junior high?) and EVERY SINGLE STUDENT was talking about the show. This was back when there were only three major networks plus PBS - not a great deal of choice.

It was new, it was fresh (BAM! POW!) and the ratings were off the chart for a couple of years. I recently was channel surfing and came across an old episode - still in reruns on one of those "nostalgia" type channels. Adam West was a class act (Burt Ward, not so much).

Saint Croix said...

The Adam West Batman was notorious in comic book circles as the small ear Batman. Tiny, tiny ears!

Now I'm not saying the Batman TV show was heavily influenced by ancient Greek art. But maybe it was!

If Batman's ears are phallic, then the Adam West Batman was rather like David or Hercules.

the ideal (Bat)man was rational, intellectual and authoritative. He may still have had a lot of sex, but this was unrelated to his (ear) size, and his small (ears) allowed him to remain coolly logical.’

Spock, of course, would turn this philosophy on its head, with his big pointy ears symbolizing cool logic.

Not surprisingly, after Star Trek won all the nerd love, the Batman lost his small ears and he was big-ear Batman from then on.

The Godfather said...

I was in my first year at Columbia Law School when Batman started. One of my friends had a portable TV in his dorm room, and when Batman was on, the room was packed. Someone up thread said it was on twice a week -- I don't remember that; if it's true I'm surprised I didn't flunk second semester. Was it in color? I saw in on a B&W TV and didn't know I was missing anything. I loved the scenes where Batman and Robin were rappelling up a wall and it was so obvious that they were on a horizontal surface and the camera tilted the image 90 degrees. The show taught a lesson that we aspiring lawyers needed to learn: Don't take yourself too seriously.

Saint Croix said...

Someone up thread said it was on twice a week -- I don't remember that; if it's true I'm surprised I didn't flunk second semester.

Batman was always "to be continued." So two shows a week would make sense.

When I saw it, it was in re-runs. Five times a week! And I was always missing one of the shows.

You remember when Batman was staked out to the ground and a herd of cattle was going to stampede right over him? I still don't know how he got out of that one.

Unknown said...

I took the Adam West "Batman" very seriously. I didn't realize it was a comedy until years later. Possibly the best single sequence from "Batman" (the movie):

Bomb!

West and Ward reunited with Newmar & Gorshin for an amusing "Back to the Batcave" TV movie ten or so years ago: "We'll take my car; it's already been established.."

And finally the Dynamic Duo was together for one last time in last year's <a href="http://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/Qh4yH8BMa5eUkHwWt0b_l8QAAAFclTOE1gEAAAFKAZb9gt4/https://www.amazon.com/Batman-Return-Caped-Crusaders-Blu-ray/dp/B01KYRX23U?imprToken=d64ODSv8Cjc0XYhyEbiddQ&slotNum=0&tag=althouse09-20&linkCode=w13&linkId=IFNQD6FYIV3JIVSQ&ref_=assoc_res_sw_us_dka_crp_c_result_2&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Falthouse.blogspot.com%2F</a>

Unknown said...

Gah. Link didn't take. Try that again: Return of the Caped Crusaders

exhelodrvr1 said...

It was twice a week- Wed and Thu I think.

Anthony said...

I always liked Adam West. Decent guy who got totally typecast by that show. I can't say how good of an actor he was, but he handled the aftermath like a true gentleman.

When I was a kid it was thrilling TV and I thought it was AWESOME.

Later on when I was a young adult it was campy and funny and I thought it was AWESOME.

As an older adult I noticed how cheaply it was made -- even the theatrical movie (a family of ducks in the water are just little wooden floaty things) -- but it had some really somewhat avant-garde techniques about it that totally captured the era, not to mention oodles of period-specific (and some rather naughty) jokes and I thought it was AWESOME.

0_0 said...

The first season was quite good, the second fell off some.
The third season was mostly crap.