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To The Batpoles! Batman 1966
87 minutes | May 12, 2022
#184 “Hizzoner”: A Good Script? It’s debatable
Stanford Sherman’s Hizzoner the Penguin is a bit hard to reckon with. Satire on Batman is not in line with Lorenzo Semple Jr’s vision for the show, and the 1966 political references date this arc much more than many others. And yet, it has some brilliantly funny moments. This time, we take a look at Sherman’s treatment, first draft, and final script for Hizzoner to learn about the development of the story, possible reasons why Sherman was unhappy with the result, and previously unnoticed moments that suddenly stand out - for good and ill. Also, Scotty McKay’s Here Comes Batman (a song that’s also related to the show by three degrees of separation), Adam West on The Merv Griffin Show, and your reaction to our episode on Assistant Director Reuben Watt. "Hizzoner the Penguin" scripts: Treatment First draft Final Discuss the scripts on the '66 Message Board Here Comes Batman clip from the movie Creature of Destruction The full record of Here Comes Batman
94 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
#183 Bat-Costumes' Dynamic Duo: Chuck and Lynne Williams
A huge aspect of the Batman show is the colorful costumes, overseen by designer Jan Kemp. Sadly, Kemp is no longer with us, and his records, if they exist, are not easily available, so if you want to make a really accurate Batman ’66 replica costume, some detective work is required. Chuck and Lynne Williams have done just that, making patterns from original costumes owned by collectors, tracking down existing supplies of fabrics that are no longer made, and more. This time, we hear from this dynamic duo about their detective work and what they’ve learned about how the costumes were made, what happened when the prop department needed to get involved (for example, the Mad Hatter’s mesmerizer hat), why Batman’s cowl and cape tended to turn purple over time, and more. Plus, the Alfred Music Marching Band version of the theme, and your mail about the Thirteenth Hat script and more. Vicki Lawrence talks with Jan Kemp and the Bat-crew Adam on the Howard Stern Show: An original cowl? Batgirl Teaches Batman a Lesson about Equal Pay Comparing the Batman screen tests Discussion of the Hizzoner the Penguin script on the Bat Message Board
91 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
#182 Eartha and LBJ
On January 18, 1968 — just two weeks after her final appearance on Batman was broadcast — Eartha Kitt attended a White House ladies’ luncheon held by Lady Bird Johnson. After a brief, unsatisfying conversation with Lyndon Johnson, Kitt, annoyed, stood up and denounced the Vietnam War. This prompted an apparent effort by the President to kill her career in the US. We discuss a recent video from the New Yorker that explores this incident, with clever tie-ins to her Batman appearances. Also, we dust off our Batman ’66 comics collections and take a look at issue 8, featuring the story King Tut Barges In. PLUS: A Japanese surf band tackles that Batman theme, we complete our listen to the “Featurette” interview of Adam and Burt from the Batman: The Movie DVD, and read your mail on … various past episodes! New Yorker documentary: When the Government Tried -- and Failed -- to Silence Catwoman The Washington Post looks back 50 years later Eartha Kitt vs. LBJ: Newly Found Audio Next script: "Hizzoner the Penguin" Treatment First draft Final Discuss the scripts on the '66 Message Board
75 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
#181 Who was Reuben Watt?
A lot of people work behind the scenes on a TV show, and some of them are never named in the credits. One is Assistant Director Reuben Watt, who nonetheless did get some credit in the form of coverage in magazines aimed at African-Americans. (The image shown here is from the cover of Sepia magazine.) The June 1966 issue of Ebony included a photo feature on Watt, which tells us some interesting things about Watt, the status of African-Americans in Hollywood in the ‘60s, and the Batman show itself. This time, we discuss the article. Also, we’ve been presenting our listeners with “Bat-questions,” but what are our own answers to these questions? We answer the first three questions we presented to you. PLUS: The Randy Waldman version of the Batman theme, Adam West talks about the famous “bomb” scene, and we read your mail on our Batman and Bill episode. American Bandstand: "Batman is Coming!" Batman promo from final episode of Shindig Long, hard battle to earn creators fame, if not fortune (Cleveland Jewish News) Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics Q&A - Neal Adams (Comic Artist) (AMC.com) The Prime Time Access Rule (Wikipedia)
118 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
#180 “The Thirteenth Hat” Scripts: Kidnap the Jurors Already!
The Thirteenth Hat/Batman Stands Pat is Charles Hoffman’s first produced Batman script. But what did earlier versions of the story look like? It turns out that the original plot had the Mad Hatter simply stealing the jurors’ hats! The stakes - and potential profits from Hatter’s crime wave - had to be raised. At the same time, certain too-expensive-to-film gags and distracting subplots were abandoned. Join us as we discuss the five-page “springboard”, 22-page treatment, and full first draft script for this classic episode. PLUS: Adam West on the many cameos by big stars (and future big stars) on the show, the Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus version of the theme, and we read your mail on our look at Stanford Sherman’s Marsha script, and reaching back to our Batman and Robin episode! The Thirteenth Hat documents: Springboard Treatment First draft Annotated first draft
114 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
#179 “Star Trek vs Batman”: The Director Speaks!
Batman and Star Trek are among the most iconic TV series of the 1960s, and many fans fantasize about a crossover between the two shows. In 2005, amateur film director Christopher Allen didn’t just fantasize: he decided to make a film, Star Trek vs. Batman (released in 2006), where Batman and Robin meet Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. While Chris had imagined just shooting it in a garage with cheap props, the denizens of a certain all-seeing, all-knowing 66 Batman message board (AAAH-ah, AAAH-ah) and other connections helped turn it into a more elaborate and memorable production. This time, Chris joins us to explain how the whole thing came about. Holy crossover! Plus, the Sandy Nelson version of the Batman theme, and more of your musings in the Bat Inbox! Star Trek vs. Batman review on FanFilmFactor.com The Making of Star Trek vs. Batman Star Trek vs. Batman part 1 (alternate link) Part 2 Part 3 ;
90 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
#178 “Batman & Bill”: The Creatorship Controversy
For decades, the creation of Batman, and all the characters and things surrounding him, was credited to Bob Kane. But it turned out that someone else, Bill Finger, was heavily involved in the character’s creation and was the uncredited writer of many of the early stories. Kane actively quashed rumors that the words “Batman by Bob Kane” were less than accurate. Kane became rich and famous; Finger died flat broke. Batman and Bill is a film about the controversy over Batman’s creation, and the successful crusade by writer Marc Tyler Nobleman to have Finger credited as a creator of Batman, after Finger’s only published Batman credit in his lifetime had been co-authorship of the TV arc The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes. This time we discuss the film. ALSO: Batman references on 1960s pop music shows, the Saturday Morning Jams version of Hefti’s Batman theme, and your mail about our discussion of Cannan and Cash’s “Marsha” script. The Hullabaloo Bat-Dancers The Velvelettes on Swingin' Time Paul Revere and the Raiders demonstrate Bat-fandom while lip-syncing Steppin' Out on Bandstand
62 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
#177 Stanford Sherman’s Marsha: “Rewriting the fool thing”
As we showed last time, Cannan and Cash’s Marsha script wasn’t produceable for many reasons. So Greenway handed off the project to Stanford Sherman, fresh off Hizzoner the Penguin, to salvage it, and he quickly realized he had no choice but to start from scratch. The result, of course, is the Marsha two-parter we all know (though perhaps not love). It comes as no surprise, though that some changes were made between the “final” script and what was shot. This time, we take a look at those differences. PLUS: Holy Deja Vu looks at James Millhollin, Adam and Burt make some jokes we’ve all heard a million times, Al Wood's ukulele version of the theme, and we read your response to episode 174 on women in season two! Read the Script
66 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
#176 "Marsha", first draft: Too much chat, not enough Bat
We don't know whose idea the character Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, was, but it’s clear that she was created with one woman in mind: Zsa Zsa Gabor. A script for the actress was commissioned by Greenway Productions through a talent agency to two writers, Tom Cannan, Jr, and Jack Cash. The script they produced, Marsha, The Queen of Diamonds (note the extra definite article) is riddled with problems, from requiring special effects way beyond the show's means, to flagrant mischaracterization of the Caped Crusader, to some really lame “holys” from Robin. This time, we pick through the wreckage of one of the more egregious scripts we’ve discussed on this show. Who will buy? Nobody. PLUS: A punk rock version of the theme by Thirty Going On Thirteen, and your mail about our episode on the development of the show. William Self interview on the TV Academy site
83 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
#175 Harlan Ellison’s "Two-Face"
More than one attempt was made to include Two-Face among the villains of Batman ’66. We’ve already discussed Peter Rabe’s attempt; this time, we discuss a treatment by science fiction legend Harlan Ellison, The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face. Why didn’t it go to a full script? What would have needed to be changed to fit the rules of the Batman ’66 world? How well does the 2014 comics adaptation, Batman ’66: The Lost Episode, capture both Ellison’s idea and the tone of the show? We touched on these issues in Deconstructing Comics 463 back in 2015, but this time we dig deeper! ALSO: The Iscamania version of the Batman theme, and your response to episode 172 on Mr. Zero! Den of Geek on the Ellison Batman treatment Dozier memo to Semple about meeting in Spain Unproduced first-draft script “Marsha, THE Queen of Diamonds,” by Tom Cannan, Jr, and Jack Cash
123 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
"Movin' with Nancy" review SPECIAL
These Batpoles were made for slidin’! This time, we enjoy the holidays and take a break from the Batpoles to present our special look at the 1967 Nancy Sinatra TV special Movin’ With Nancy! It’s a detailed, admiring, but sometimes irreverent look at a program we love.
92 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
#174 Women in Season 2, pt 1: From the Childish to the Badass
While Batman season one seemed to have a consistent view of women - incapable of being hardened criminals, attracted to luxury items (and Batman), etc. - season two (as is true in many respects) tends to be less consistent. While some molls are ditzy and childish, others not only have agency, but seem more intelligent than the villain. Ma Parker and Marsha appear as the first two truly villainous women (aside from Catwoman) of the series. Even Aunt Harriet shows herself to be smarter and tougher than we'd previously seen. In this episode, we're once again joined by novelist Nancy Northcott to talk about women on Batman, this time in the first half of season two. PLUS: a MIDI version of the Batman theme, more from Adam West and Burt Ward about the movie and the series, Holy Deja Vu focuses on a particular season two moll, and we read your mail about our episode on Adam West Naked.
81 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
#173 Batman ’65: Developing the Idea
What was the cultural environment in the US in 1965, as Batman was being developed? What were the events that led up to the decision that William Dozier would indeed make a Batman show? If TV in the ‘60s was thinking about what it could do better than movies, what’s the answer to that question, and did it show up on Batman? What were some of the rules that Lorenzo Semple Jr made regarding how Batman and Robin should be written? This time, we look at what was going on in 1965 and the discussions that led up to ABC and Greenway’s agreement to make Batman. PLUS: Marin Drake’s metal version of the Batman theme, Maxwell Smart encounters a very familiar Frenchman in Holy Deja Vu, more from Adam and Burt about the making of Batman the Movie, and your response to our episode 170 discussion about Batman on 1970s Power Records. Memo from Dozier to Semple 4/20/1965: The topic of the Madrid meeting (thank you Mr. Glee) Bruce Lee letters (thank you Ben Bentley) 8/10/1965: More info on Number One Son? 2/16/1966: Green Hornet in the works Bat Message Board thread - episode 170 Contribute to the Dan E. Kool's Visonic Dome Kickstarter page!
68 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
#172 “Mr Zero”: A Dozier/Semple dead end
When producer William Dozier and writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr, met up in Madrid in May 1965, Batman wasn’t all they were cooking up; it wasn’t even the main reason they were meeting. Semple had been developing an idea called Mr. Zero, a possible action/adventure TV show that had nothing to do with the character who would come to be called “Mr. Freeze.” This time, we take a look at a 40-page presentation document Semple wrote to describe the series. What does it tell us about possible casting, changes in thinking or circumstance (as we note the differences between this description and what we saw in the Mr. Zero test scene script in episode 168), and simply whether this show would have been any good? PLUS: Holy Deja Vu crosses paths with Get Smart, and we read your reaction to our examination of the early script for “Instant Freeze.” Dr. Patrick Murphy teaches how to play Hefti's Batman theme on the violin Rebeat.com mentions Bruce Lee and Number One Son Bruce Lee's screen test for Number One Son
85 minutes | Oct 28, 2021
#171 "Adam West Naked": Back to "Back to the Batcave"
In 2009, Batman wasn’t yet available on home video, with the rights issue still unresolved, and there was no certainty that would ever change. Adam West, 80, feared that it wouldn’t change in his lifetime. So he set out to release a sort of standalone commentary track, setting up cameras at his home in Idaho to capture his memories of each episode of the show. It’s fun to see him talk about Batman, and the package of his reminiscences, Adam West Naked, includes some interesting tidbits. But the production has its frustrating aspects, too. This time, we discuss the interesting and the frustrating aspects of Adam’s commentary - and can’t resist poking some fun at the title. ALSO: The Ronnie Kole Trio version of the theme, Holy Deja Vu visits Green Acres, and we read your comments on episode 168, The Dozierverse Stumbles. Mr. Zero 40-page document Mr. Zero discussion on the '66 Batman Message Board
91 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
#170 Power Bat-Records
In the mid-1970s, Power Records (a division of Peter Pan records) released audio stories of a number of popular properties, including Batman. Two volumes were released of four stories each, and some of the stories were then released as 7” “singles” complete with a comics version of the same story. Occasional elements in the stories were echos of the ’66 show. While the Power Records superhero discography utterly passed Tim and Paul by at the time, JB Anderton was really into them. JB, creator of the BAT 77 podcast, Batpoles listener, and musician, joins Tim and Paul this time to discuss how these Batman records introduced kids (including himself) to concepts such as psychosurgery, low production quality, super gorillas, and … death!? PLUS: JB’s own “funk version” of the Batman theme, and we read your comments on our Tom Peyer interview in episode 167! BATMAN volume 1 (1975) Stacked Cards The Scarecrow's Mirage Challenge of the Catwoman If Music Be the Food of Death BATMAN volume 2 (1976) Robin Meets Man-Bat Mystery of the Scarecrow Corpse Gorilla City pt 1 Gorilla City pt 2 The Catwoman's Revenge
91 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
#169 “Instant Freeze” script: We don’t love a parade
Mr. Zero? Dr. Schimmel? No, Mr. Freeze! In Max Hodge’s first draft of Instant Freeze, the comics villain Mr. Zero, for reasons we discussed last episode, became Mr. Freeze. But the script contains many more references to his “real” name, Dr. Schimmel, than made it to what was broadcast. Why? Where’d this script's unexplained parade come from? What would the Batman series have been like with more animation effects on the screen, outside of the Batfights? All this and more as we dig into a preliminary plot summary and the full first draft of Mr. Freeze’s first TV appearance. PLUS: The Derek Paravicini jazz piano version of the Batman theme, Adam West on Victor Buono’s comedy album and on Batman bubble gum cards, and your mail about our discussion of 1997’s Batman and Robin! Hodge's preliminary plot summary of the arc Full first-draft script, part one Full first-draft script, part two
112 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
#168 “Dick Tracy” and “Wonder Woman”: The Dozierverse Stumbles
In 1966, William Dozier’s Greenway Productions was riding high, seemingly on the verge of building a TV empire built on superheroes: first Batman, then the Green Hornet. Why not keep going in that direction? An entire pilot episode of Dick Tracy was made, starring Ray MacDonnell, and all signs point to Dozier having confidence that the show would be bought by NBC - but it wasn’t. Meanwhile, Greenway also made a test film for Wonder Woman, starring Ellie Wood Walker, with a script that would have been more more appropriate for a MAD parody. While Dozier’s Wonder Woman experiment was NOT a success, the question lingers: Why wasn’t Dick Tracy picked up? We suggest some answers as we discuss both films in this episode. Also, we head down to the Bat Research Lab to try to figure out what Lorenzo Semple Jr.’s Mr. Zero idea was all about; Burt Ward talks about “holys” and ad libs, a dog sings the Batman theme, and we read your mail about our “Mr. Freeze(s)” episode. Mr. Zero test scene script Dick Tracy TV Format document Dick Tracy pilot Jaime Weinman discuss the pilot in Maclean's TV Obscurities on the Tracy pilot Lon Chaney Jr. made up as Pruneface by makeup legend John Chambers (scroll down a bit) The Dick Tracy TV-tie-in pinball machine Wonder Woman test scene script Wonder Woman test scene Hollywood Reporter on the WW pilot TV Obscurities on the WW pilot Rebeat magazine on the Dozierverse Thanks to Mr. Glee for the following articles (click to enlarge): July 17, 1966: Signs of a budding Dozierverse, by Dean Gysel June 9, 1965: NBC already looking into Dick Tracy (Variety) November 17, 1965: NBC ready with Dick Tracy, whether Batman succeeds or not (Variety) Batman test screenings: West & Ward vs. Waggoner & Deyell
81 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
#167 Tom Peyer talks “Batman 66” and “The Wrong Earth”
The Wrong Earth, written by Tom Peyer, is a comics series in which the super-square Dragonflyman and grim & gritty Dragonfly find themselves on each other’s versions of earth. In the second volume, recently concluded, the two meet each other on yet another earth. Peyer, editor-in-chief at Ahoy Comics, is an industry veteran with many writing credits under his belt, including for the Batman ’66 comics series. This time, Tom joins us to discuss our favorite show and what The Wrong Earth might tell us about it. PLUS: The Bobby Valentin version of the theme (another bugaloo!), Burt Ward on Batman shooting locations, and your mail about our Curse of Tut script discussion! Batman v Superman trailer spoof
78 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
#166 "Batman and Robin": Hot and "Kalt"
Batman and Robin (1997) is notorious as one of the worst Batman films, panned by both audiences and critics. But wait a minute. All four of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman films have their problems. Doesn't B&R's story hold together relatively well? Isn't it kind of .... entertaining? Could it actually be the best of the four? Of course it's far from perfect, and we discuss some of its problems, including a pretty un-Batman-like Batman and a misguided "homage" to Batman '66. We discuss the bad and relatively good of the final '90s Batman film. ALSO, Burt Ward reminisces about Bruce Lee, and we read your reaction to our episode on The Phantom Pharaoh! Message Board thread on episode 163 on The Phantom Pharaoh Arnold Schwarzenegger Complete Japanese Commercial Filmography
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