show episodes
 
Drug companies continue to come out with powerful new medicines. Some produce wondrous responses while others have unforeseen side effects. A new antidepressant, rushed through FDA approval, may be causing its users to see themselves die, while at the same time allowing them to live to tell the tale. Join Paul, a physician, and Pablo, a priest, as they work together to make sense of the bizarre reports they are receiving. The two try to understand not only what the Innerglow Effect is, but w ...
 
Like many who grew up in the '60s and '70s (and perhaps even '80s and later), Tim and Paul had the course of their lives changed by the 1966 Batman TV show, from the types of play they did growing up to their present-day interests. In this series, they discuss the show's allure and its failures, the arc of the show from satire to sitcom, its influences (the '40s serials and the comic books themselves) and the things it, in turn, influenced. SUPPORT "To the Batpoles!" and DeconstructingComics ...
 
Loading …
show series
 
A frequent assertion about Cesar Romero’s Joker is that, over the course of the Batman series, he goes from genuinely evil to just silly or bratty. Others disagree with this and maintain that he’s the same all the way through. We thought (as did some listeners on our recent survey) that this was a good focus for a Joker discussion, so we asked note…
 
For whatever reason, Batman’s producers decided that they would not do Peter Rabe’s Two-Face script (see last episode) as it was written. Instead, Lorenzo Semple Jr. adapted it into The Joker’s Last Laugh, keeping just enough of the story that Rabe got a “story” credit. This time we look at Semple’s first draft of that episode, which retains some a…
 
Two-Face never quite made it to Batman ’66 (unless you count William Shatner’s animated turn in 2017, as pictured). But two known attempts were made in the ‘60s: the Harlan Ellison treatment (which later became the comic book Batman ’66: The Lost Episode), and Peter Rabe’s full two-part script, The Two-Faced Counterfeit and The Counterfeit Counterf…
 
Part of Adam West’s renaissance as a performer, once his fans were old enough to cast him in stuff, was voicing various versions of himself in cartoons. One of these was in Nickelodeon show The Fairly OddParents, in which “TV’s Adam West” was the famous actor who had played the hero “Catman” — but thought he really was Catman! This time we take a l…
 
In 2003, CBS broadcast the special Return to the Batcave, featuring Adam West and Burt Ward walking through a search for the stolen Batmobile as they reminisced about their time making Batman. The reminiscence was hampered a bit by the show still being tied up in rights issues; only clips from Batman: The Movie were included, not from the TV series…
 
When Stanley Ralph Ross sat down to write what would be his final Batman script, which he titled Batman Meets his Match, he built it around a magical character who could turn invisible: Dr. Cabala. It was only in a later draft that, for whatever reason, he made Cabala the second banana to his alchemist wife, Dr. Cassandra. This time, we examine bot…
 
1966 Batmania didn’t just put a lot of Batman toys on the shelves; it inspired twists and parodies on the show itself. One of these was Hal Seeger’s Batfink, which was not exactly a parody but appropriated a fair number of elements of the show. Batfink came on the heels of Batman, but years into the ’66 show’s syndication, The Secret Lives of Waldo…
 
Burgess Meredith put glee and humor into his portrayal of the Penguin. Who knew it could be just as fun to play Meredith playing the Penguin? Greg Patterson, and attorney by trade, has also acted in some one-man shows at Mount Vernon Chautauqua in Ohio, playing historical figures including Meredith. He talks to us this time about his Bat-fandom and…
 
We need help procuring an interview with John Astin - we have some questions about his "substitution" as Riddler that we'd like to ask him! But he doesn't do interviews for free, and we're not exactly a major media outlet. Listen for details and, if you've got a few bucks for the cause, donate them here by THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2021, at 7 a.m. Eas…
 
The Riddler, a one-off villain in a Bill Finger/Dick Sprang comic book story in 1948, languished for nearly two decades until, in 1965, Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff happened to bring him back… just as a certain TV producer, William Dozier, was researching the idea of making a Batman TV show. Riddler ended up in the premiere episode, played by Fr…
 
We've looked at Batman: The Movie from a director’s standpoint; this time, we look at it from a cinematographer’s. Howard Schwartz, Director of Photography on that film, published an article in American Cinematographer magazine’s June 1966 issue called Bat-motography, or Capturing Batman on Film, which not only tells us some of the issues that came…
 
One of our favorite Batman arcs growing up was the three-parter “The Zodiac Crimes” featuring the mind-blowing combination of Joker and Penguin! But when Stephen Kandel wrote it, it was a two-parter introducing a new villain: The Astrologer. Why might it have been switched to a three-parter starring established villains? How much in the script did …
 
Alan Napier was the third-billed star of Batman, and is, somewhat remarkably, the only series regular who has a memoir currently in print. The book, Not Just Batman’s Butler, was written by Napier around 1970, and writer James Bigwood has edited and annotated it. At some points, Bigwood has filled in some quite large gaps that Napier left concernin…
 
You know about the 1966 Batman at Washburn fan film, made by students at Minneapolis' Washburn High School. (If you missed it, listen to episode 146!) But questions remained unanswered. How did the students get the school to let them shoot the film at school? How did they come up with the idea, and determine the casting? Why did they go with origin…
 
Most TV writers don’t become stars. If we’re fans of a show they wrote for, we probably know their names, but nowhere online can we find most writers’ photos or dates of birth, let alone anything about their inner thoughts. Especially not writers who did their work decades ago. Collector Mitch Kaba has come along to help us get some insight into on…
 
Breaking bat-news! The earliest-known Batman ’66 fan film has been revealed! It was made by students at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the spring of 1966. As Batmania raged nationally, these kids decided to celebrate their school by making a Batman film in and around their school, with the cooperation of the school, including sc…
 
Director Leslie Martinson, in his TV Academy interview that we explored last time, kept coming back to the question “What is the director’s input” in a TV show or movie? When he pointed out his input to the famous “bomb” scene in Batman: The Movie, we became curious to see what other aspects of the film might show signs of “the director’s input.” S…
 
Leslie Martinson was the director of “The Penguin Goes Straight”/“Not Yet He Ain’t” and “Batman: The Movie.” He was a good friend of Adam West’s (but thought Burt Ward was “adequate”). As a director, how much impact did he have on the Batman legacy? For one thing, he played a big role in shaping the “bomb” scene into a signature scene of Adam West …
 
Nelson Riddle’s score for Batman, including the 1966 film Batman: The Motion Picture, features energetic, swing-influenced cues that adhere to the action like a Carl Stalling Looney Tunes score, and opera-esque motifs for each villain and each Bat-vehicle. As incidental music tends to be, it’s probably the most underappreciated aspect of the series…
 
When you see a script marked “FINAL,” you probably assume that it’s word-for-word the same as what was shot. In the case of “The Penguin Goes Straight”/“Not Yet He Ain’t”, it’s not even the final script! It was followed by a “revised final” script, which still varies significantly from what was shot. Many lines are changed, scenes are tightened up,…
 
This time we resume reviewing the Batman '66 comic book series, with issues 3 and 4, featuring Joker, the Red Hood (huh? Isn't that Joker?), Egghead, the Mad Hatter, and Clock King. We discuss why Robin had two "holys" in a row, the mysterious floating egg-hat, Londinium suddenly becoming London, an unexpected kinship between villains, and more. Pl…
 
Julie Newmar appeared as Catwoman in six two-parters during the first two seasons of Batman. During that time, the show and her character evolved, and while some might not agree with the direction they took, it’s hard to deny that Julie did both the evil, whip-snapping Catwoman and the Batman-besotted, comic Catwoman-of-a-thousand-disguises very we…
 
Batman Meets Godzilla issue 2 is out! You may recall we previously reviewed issue 1 of Eric Elliot’s labor-of-love project, with contributions from numerous artists (including Ian Miller, who drew the above panel), to bring life to a movie pitch from the ‘60s. Issue 2 manages to noticeably top issue 1 in numerous ways. In this episode, our review. …
 
Is Batman Forever a comedy? Or is it an action movie with a few funny parts? Is it a throwback to the ’66 series, or a blend of every iteration of Batman? Is it camp? And the cut scenes regarding Bruce’s memories of his father’s diary prompt us to consider: is it better to have a lame payoff, or no payoff at all? Meanwhile, “Holy Deja Vu!” is back,…
 
Yvonne Craig’s memoir, From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond, poses quite a contrast to those by Adam West and Burt Ward. Batman takes up much less space in it, and recountings of sexual adventures take up no space at all. What emerges is a very practical woman who sees herself as a geek, is surprised to find herself typecast as “sexy” as she appro…
 
Penguins live where it’s cold, but somehow the pairing of the Penguin and Mr. Freeze never came about on the TV show. But Jeff Parker made it happen in the second issue of the Batman ’66 comic book! In the same issue, he gave us another logical pairing, Chandell and the Siren. This time, we review the issue. Also, we take a closer look at the 1966 …
 
This episode: BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! We discuss two topics often suggested by listeners: In 2013, not long before Batman finally came to home video, DC Comics began the Batman '66 comic book series with Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case's "The Riddler's Ruse." In a comic whose main reason for existence is nostalgia, is it forgivable to take advantage…
 
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! Ho…
 
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 Ba…
 
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, T…
 
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 …
 
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,…
 
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. 2015 4th season myth thread 201…
 
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 the…
 
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 plot…
 
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…
 
And so we arrive at the last episode of Batman. Of course, the show didn't get a spectacular sendoff; they didn't even give us any of the major villains. Instead, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who had twice almost appeared on the show, finally gets her turn, as (relatively?) evil spa owner Minerva. ("How could she be evil? She's so beautiful!") What's perhaps mor…
 
How might a longtime Batman comics reader in 1966 have reacted to Burgess Meredith's portrayal of the Penguin? That's the question our friend Kyle hit on a few months ago, and in this episode he joins us to read pre-'66 Batman comics to compare how similar Meredith's Penguin was to the character in stories by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff,…
 
As Batman neared the end of its run, the budget situation got worse (occasioning the need for an invisible fight), and the writers threw caution to the wind: witness at least half a dozen double entendres in "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra" — this at a time when most viewers who were old enough to get these naughty jokes had already bailed. In this e…
 
When Batman was the hottest show on TV, it naturally became a major target of humor and parody as well. In episode 115 we looked at a couple of contemporaneous Bat-parodies from 1966-67, and this episode we examine three more: The Adventures of Jerry Lewis no. 97, featuring the actual Batman and Robin, who are both dealing with the effects of West/…
 
In Cesar Romero's final appearance as the Joker, he seems hamstrung, and not only by the lousy plot and the single episode in which to tell it. Ken Holtzhouser, who grew up rating Batman episodes based on their Romeroian content, joins us to identify the problem, separate out the chaff from the episode, and see if there's any Bat-wheat left. Plus, …
 
While Batman and Robin never had their own show back in the "Golden Age of Radio," they did appear from time to time on The Adventures of Superman. Sometimes it was because Superman actor Bud Collyer was taking the day off, but in the case of "Batman's Great Mystery", he appears in all eleven episodes as Batman (Stacy Harris) has disappeared, and S…
 
Victor Buono's final appearance as King Tut is, while hardly the Semplian ideal, plenty enjoyable on its own merits - for Buono, for the unusual situation the Dynamic Duo find themselves in, for some well-thought-out camera work. But what's up with Adam West's line delivery? We've never heard him sound so grouchy and cynical before. Also, how does …
 
What does the movie Flash Gordon (1980) have to do with Batman '66? Simple: a guiding force for both was screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.! What can we learn about Semple's approach to Batman by comparing it to his work on Flash Gordon 15 years later? What was his approach, and what other factors skewed the results? There's no walkthrough of the plo…
 
"Come back, Shame!" In season three, come back he does, and seemingly stupider than ever! And yet, Shame's plotting for his caper seems oddly smart. Meanwhile, Stanley Ralph Ross goes all-in on gags that are gleefully at odds with the template set by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. in season one. In this episode, we examine the final two-parter of the Batman s…
 
One question on our minds almost since the beginning of To the Batpoles! has been: Just how much did Victor Buono, as King Tut, ad lib on the show? In this episode, we answer that question by comparing the final script to King Tut's Coup/Batman's Waterloo to what was broadcast, helping us to see the difference between Buono's sense of humor and Sta…
 
When something becomes popular, it's likely to get parodied somewhere. In the 1960s, the parodier-in-chief was MAD Magazine. Meanwhile, at Marvel Comics, a new parody comic series began in 1967, Not Brand ECHH, which followed the lead of MAD's 1950s incarnation as a comic book. In 1966, MAD published "BATS-MAN", followed about a year later by ECHH'…
 
In The Penguin's Clean Sweep, Burgess Meredith's final appearance on "Batman" (but not the last time as the Penguin!), Stanford Sherman's script has its moments, and so does Meredith, but… if you look closely, something just isn't up to snuff. And if you scratch the surface, there are way more inconsistencies and goofiness in the script than meets …
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide

Copyright 2021 | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Google login Twitter login Classic login