The Adam West Batman show has something of a bad rep, so I thought I’d make this little thread just so people can talk about the good things they like about it/favorite memories of the show
For me, it would be Frank Gorshin’s Riddler. While he may have been just as “campy” as some of the other villains, his performance also felt more “restrained” too, hitting that nice sweet spot between “I’m gonna have a BLAST!” and “I’m going to take this role seriously.” (IMO)
Oh my gosh I can’t imagine anyone disliking it. But I’m with you, Frank Gorshin stands out. I see his Riddler as sort of a proto-Joker. The wild swings between cackling insanity and growling intensity’s much more like the modern Joker than Cesar Romero’s Joker was.
I adore the Adam West Batman show myself. It’s tremendously fun and entertaining.
@biff_pow Me neither, but there seem to be parts of the Batman fandom that view it as terrible, largely because it’s not dark or gritty. I’m not going to begrudge them their opinions on the matter (we’re all allowed are own opinions, after all, as long as they’re not actively harming others), I just thought it might be nice to generate some positivity as a counterbalance
I grew up watching it. Loved it, we used our Batman beach towels around our necks as capes and slid down the bannister at my Grandmas house. My teenage uncle would say he was the Joker and lock is in the closet. When she was little my daughter discovered the show and was fascinated by Batgirl. Any who says anything bad about Batman 66 POW (figuratively of course)
Those fans that don’t like the Adam West Batman don’t realize that it was this show that saved Batman. DC comics was on the verge of cancelling it’s Batman books due to low sales just before the show hit. The show was a hit and Batman was saved.
Barbara Gordon 1st appears in Batman 66
Frank Gorshin TOTALLY ROCKED as The Riddler!!! The best live action or animated series DC villain ever.
And what needs to be said about Julie Newmar. Totally iconic and the gold standard for Catwoman. (That characterization needs to be considered within the context of the times. It was totally the next level of Catwoman and I can only wish she could be magically transported to today to be able to play a post-feminist movement version of Catwoman.) She is still the only person to play a live action comics role and truly look the part. Let’s face it, she won the genetics lottery. She quite literally had the correct proportions AND that was all OEM equipment, ladies & gents. Such beauty and grace of movement.
66 is classic and iconic and has stood the rest of time for a very good reason. It was very good and it shows the versatility of Batman. He can do camp comedy as well as dark & gritty and anywhere along that spectrum. The most versatile hero (and rouges gallery) in DC’s canon of characters.
Some things I really like about Batman ‘66
The characters look like real people wearing costumes. There’s fabric, there’s actual bodies in the costumes that may not be the ideal proportions but still look human.
Gotham City. It’s architecture, businesses and people. It felt like a real city. And it’s still before a lot of modern conveniences.
The goons. Just about every criminal had goons for the heroes to fight. None of the villains really worked alone. And the goons helped keep the show more down to Earth in a Batman: Year One way.
The villains weren’t outright psychopaths.
Some were a bit crazy or loony but they never stepped into the darkness.
And even then, most of the villains were driven more by other motivations and had their wits about them.
It didn’t take itself too seriously.
Yes, it was whimsical at times. And, yes it did have some serious moments. But it still knew it’s prime purpose was for viewers to have fun.
Showrunner William Dozier as the show’s narrator is a highlight too.
Didn’t Dozier also make a cameo in the first episode, as the hat check guy - ‘Take your cape, Batman?’
Or was it just a voice-over?
One needn’t be homicidal to be a psychopath. Egghead (loved Vincent Price), Bookworm, King Tut (when not his professor self), and Riddler were all totally psychopaths, they just weren’t dark, murdering psychopaths. That’s what made them so fun & awesome.
Vincent Price, Roddy McDowell, Victor Borga, & Frank Gorshin, all totally amazing at playing head cases.
I think Caesar Romero would have been much better as the Joker if he would have shaved off the darn mustache.
@LeonardoMyst Not only that, but Mr. Dozier was also showrunner and narrator for The Green Hornet. That show was most notable for Bruce Lee’s Kato and it’s two leads guest starring on Batman.
Yeah, I like Green Hornet.
I was always surprised that Wild, Wild West wasn’t done by him. It has a very Batman '66 feel.
Yeah, I think almost all DC psychopaths went dark after the Arkham Asylum mini-series.
And then characters that weren’t psychopaths turned psychotic, too.
Is Ra’s al Ghul the only Bat -villain that isn’t psychotic now?
I meant to say ‘Batman villains that weren’t psychopaths turned psychotic, too.’
This show is beloved in my house.
Just watched the Shame two-parter from Season 3 less than an hour ago. He’s been one of my least favorite B66 villains for going on 45 years now - and yet I still enjoyed the heck out of the episodes.
In a way, Batman '66 is responsible for making The Riddler one of Batman’s main villains. Riddler had previously only appeared in Detective Comics #140 and #142 and was absent for almost two decades before he reappeared in Batman #171. This was one of the comics that Dozier had read for research and the first episode of Batman '66 was based on it.
Batman '66 also introduced The Riddler’s suit and hat outfit because Gorshin hated the leotard costume.
The suit was great. One of the best costumes of all time, anywhere. Looking at it objectively it is THE best costume of the 66 series. (Looking at It subjectively, it’s the second best, because Julie Newmar in skintight black leather is, well, Julie Newmar in skin tight black leather.)
I’ve often wanted to have such a suit made for myself, but the material production cost is just far to high, not to mention having a suit custom made ain’t cheap. Last time I looked into doing it it was the mid 2000s and was going to be about 7k to do & 4K of that was just getting the material mfg.
The Official Batman Batbook by Joel Eisner is worth checking out, if y’all get a chance.
It was an episode guide to the series, printed in 1986.
I’m sure most of the info in it has been taken and put into modern internet guides, but it’s still a fun read.
I mined it for RPG ideas when it came out.