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#103 Pop vs Camp: Which is Batman ’66?

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

Release Date: 02/07/2019

#134 What’s My Crime? Bob Dozier’s Joker Drafts show art #134 What’s My Crime? Bob Dozier’s Joker Drafts

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

Scripts are back! After many months resting our script-research muscles, we're back to tackle the first two drafts of Robert Dozier's The Joker is Wild — originally called The Joker's Utility Belt, after the comics story the script is based on. Oddly, this first draft seems to also have scenes that are based on Lorenzo Semple's Hi Diddle Riddle! Holy carbon copy! As usual, draft first-season batscripts tell us much about the show finding and defining itself, and also help us notice some imperfections in the broadcast episode that we hadn't realized were there. They also lead us to a mini...

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#133 Scott Sebring is here! Holy Bat-cyclopedia! show art #133 Scott Sebring is here! Holy Bat-cyclopedia!

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

Hey Batfans! Want details on what kept the show out of home video for so long? Want to know where the building called Gotham Plaza was, and what other shows that same structure was used for? Wondering about the background on the missing narration at the start of Hi Diddle Riddle? Have questions about the history of the all-seeing, all-knowing 66 Batman message board? There's only ONE MAN (OK, maybe two men) we can call: Scott Sebring! He joins us this time to discuss all this and more. "We do know when we need him… and we need him now!" Then Tim presents a Bat Research Lab study that...

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#132 Women of Season One: Not Just #132 Women of Season One: Not Just "Poor, Deluded Girls"

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

TV in the '60s was, of course, dominated by male characters. It'd be tough to find a series that would pass the "Bechdel Test." How does Batman fare from a woman's point of view in the year 2020? To help us investigate this question, we invited novelist Nancy Northcott to join us this time and screen selected episodes from the first season. Plus, Tim and Paul have identified five "rules" for how women (molls in particular) are portrayed on the show. Also, "Bat Attack '89" (a Keaton-cash-in-cover of Hefti's Batman theme), and your mail on episode 129 "The Show's Ratings, and Rating...

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#131 1970: Batman goes solo and gets spooky show art #131 1970: Batman goes solo and gets spooky

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

The 1964 "New Look" facelift and, of course, our beloved 1966 TV show created a boom in Batman comics... briefly. The sales numbers dropped to their lowest point yet after the show was cancelled. Meanwhile, diehard fans of the comics, whose vision of Batman couldn't have been farther from how he was portrayed on the show, were fed up and demanding a darker version of the character, a return to his roots. These fans, many of whom read, and wrote for, the Batmania fanzine, were cheering for the darker look that new artist Neal Adams was giving the Caped Crusader in The Brave and the Bold....

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#130 Reading Fan Letters in the Wayne Living Room show art #130 Reading Fan Letters in the Wayne Living Room

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

In 1966, one sure way to make money was to tie your product to the Batman TV show in some way. Bill Adler was an expert at riding the latest wave, and in that year he released Bill Adler's Funniest Fan Letters to Batman, a collection of real (?) fan letters sent by fans (mostly kids) of the Caped Crusader's TV show and comic books. In this episode, we discuss this book and read some of our favorite letters from it. Then Ben Bentley of 66batman.com (AAA-aa, AAA-aa) stops by to fill us in further on last episode's question regarding the similarities of various "living room" sets from the show,...

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#129 The Show's Ratings, and Rating #129 The Show's Ratings, and Rating "Godzilla"

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

At last, we're back! Week-to-week Neilsen ratings info isn't easy to come by, but some research on the ratings has been shared on the all-seeing, all-knowing 66 Batman message board by Bob Furmanek. This time we examine Bob's research and how it puts another nail in the bat-coffin of the pervasive fourth season myth. Also in this episode: A prince getting weighed? Holy Deja Vu! A review of the first issue of Your mail reacting to our season three wrapup episode Stills of Bruce Wayne, Karnaby Katz, and Lord Ffogg's living rooms - are they all the same set? (Sure looks like it!...

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BAT-ANNOUNCEMENTS show art BAT-ANNOUNCEMENTS

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

Tim and Paul explain why the next episode will be delayed a bit. Also, how you can put yourself in a drawing to win a !

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#128 Roast Godzilla show art #128 Roast Godzilla

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

This time, a double-header! First, we finish what we started by discussing Legends of the Superheroes: The Roast. Was it a great achievement by West and Ward? (Um…) Was Frank Gorshin probably better off for having skipped it? Was the inclusion of Ghetto Man racist? Is it really a roast at all? Is it, you know, funny at any point? We discuss all these questions, the big and small names that appeared in the credits, and more. Then, we talk to Eric Elliott, who's in charge of a project to turn a 1960s treatment for an unrealized movie into an online comic! Plus Toma Lazarov's , and your...

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#127 It’s a “Challenge” Just to Sit Through “Legends” show art #127 It’s a “Challenge” Just to Sit Through “Legends”

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

In January 1979, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshin reprised their '66 roles in two specials that barely registered in the Nielsen ratings. The first was "Legends of the Superheroes: The Challenge," in which Batman, Robin, and other DC Comics heroes went up against a group of villains (including the Riddler) who, for no clear reason, were plotting to destroy the world. Adam looked sub-par in his "gila cowl," and all three struggled with a script that only the laugh track found funny. In this episode, we take one for the team to explore this highly unmemorable program. Also, we go all the...

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#126 Season Three Wrapup: The Problem with Batgirl show art #126 Season Three Wrapup: The Problem with Batgirl

To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

We've finished season three (and the series), so it's time to examine the final year of Batman. It's not a task we relish; so much of season three is a disappointment, from the writing to the production values, the head-scratching cliffhanger-free episode tag scenes to the phoned-in acting. And then there's the introduction of Batgirl. While Yvonne Craig was always a delight, the execution of introducing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl into a show that had just been cut back to once a week, and sometimes one-part stories, left a lot to be desired. Where did the show go wrong in its approach to...

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More Episodes

Egghead and Olga

Bring your Coleman stove! Grab your sleeping bag! "Go to the creek and brush your teeth!" It's time for a serious "Camping Trip"!

Back in episode 12, we took time to examine the idea of "camp" and why Batman '66 is often described as "campy." Producer William Dozier and others involved with the show rejected that label because of its "gay" associations, and instead maintained that it was an example of Pop art.

Listener Dan E. Kool pointed us recently to an essay by Sasha Torres, a professor at the University of Western Ontario. The essay is called The Caped Crusader of Camp: Pop, Camp, and the "Batman" Television Series, and it has inspired us to record this episode, on the idea of camp and Pop art as defining aesthetics for Batman '66. Is Batman camp or Pop? What tradeoffs do you make by designating it as either one?

Also, now that we're in season three, do we still agree with our idea in episode 12 that Batman is a "sitcamp"? Has it totally become a sitcom by this point? Has the level of camp since season one become lower, or higher?

Also, the Johnny's Jackey Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets version of the Batman theme, and your mail!