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To The Batpoles! Batman 1966

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.com via Patreon!

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#097 The Riddler’s cutting room floor: “The Silent Film Capers”

Dick Carr's first draft of The Silent Film Capers — which Bat-fans know as Death in Slow Motion — was submitted in November 1965. It went through numerous revisions before becoming the story we know and love. In this episode, we go through the first three drafts of the script and find the original form of the giant book, a cut subplot about chocolate cake, the reason Mr. Van Jones doesn't seem to mind that Riddler ruined his party, and much more. Plus, the Skeletal Family version of the Batman theme, and your mail! The Silent Film Capers by Dick Carr: First draft Second draft Polished version The Ogg Couple (original three-part version), "final script" by Stanford Sherman Thread on The Ogg Couple on the '66 Batman Message Board Captain Action information link from Chris Cavanaugh

1hr 44mins

8 Nov 2018

Rank #1

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#101 Egghead and Olga are back… Or did they just get here?

Back again for the first time, Egghead and Olga, in The Ogg Couple, originally meant to be the first of three parts. Did the producers do a good job of changing direction in midstream, or are the seams showing? In addition to containing a raunchy joke the censors seemingly overlooked, this Batman episode inspires several musical ruminations, related to the source of the name of the Silver Scimitar of Taras Bul Bul, Batgirl's sabre dance, and after a session in the Bat Research Lab, Eureka! Egghead's theme is identified! Also, the Lemon version of the Batman theme, and your mail! Lemon version of theme MGM cartoon Abdul the Bulbul Ameer (1941) Abdul Abulbul Amir, sung by Frank Crumit (1927) Sabre Dance, by Aram Khachaturian, performed by Classic FM Orchestra, conductor: Maxim Eshkenazy Warner Brothers cartoon Swooner Crooner (1944) Chicken Reel by Joseph Daly (piano roll) Turkey in the Straw, as performed by The Original Schnickelfritz Band with Freddie Fisher (1942)

1hr 20mins

10 Jan 2019

Rank #2

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#063 Goodbye, Adam West; Hello, King Tut

 This episode, we first must tip our hats to our favorite caped crusader, Adam West, who passed away June 9 at 88. What was that magic touch he had as an actor? Would the show even have been the show without him? Then it’s onward with King Tut’s Coup and Batman’s Waterloo. Do these two episodes make up the best King Tut arc so far? If so, in what ways? Was Robin’s part in this arc intentionally minimized? Is the cheapening of the production starting to show through that much more? PLUS: The Flaming Lips’ version of the theme, and your mail!  GIVING PROPS TO RECYCLED PROPS The cage as it appeared in Fine Finny Fiends... ...and in Batman's Waterloo (sans umbrella)  The "Mardi Gras faces" in The Joker is Wild... ... and in the Royal Oil Boiling Room (in particular, the one at the top of the shot)  The costume change lever in its natural habitat (left) and at the Pyramid Club (below)

1hr 54mins

15 Jun 2017

Rank #3

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#107 Archie meets Batman, We Meet A Listener

A double-header for our 4th anniversary (and, we forgot to mention, Batman's 80th!). First, we review the recent six-issue series Archie Meets Batman '66. How does the Caped Crusader end up joining forces with America's favorite teenager? Then, listener Chris Cavanaugh joins us to talk about his Bat-fandom growing up, fueled as much by Silver Age DC comics as it was by Batman on TV! Plus, the Remix Maniacs version of the theme, and your mail about our Batman Returns episode! 16 things you didn't know about Poison Ivy American Heritage Center travel grants BGSU Batman Conference

1hr 43mins

4 Apr 2019

Rank #4

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#112 Court BAT-tles: The Law on the '66 Show

Batman and Robin are "duly deputized agents of the law." Law comes up on the '66 show on a number of occasions, including two courtroom scenes. The very first episode features the Riddler filing a lawsuit against Batman. But, you might ask, how accurately is the law portrayed on Batman? In this episode, lawyer Jim Dedman is here to fill us in. How good of a prosecutor is Batman? Does he behave properly as an agent of the law? How would Alfred's method of breaking up the Batman - Marsha nuptials go over in real life? Would Gordon and O'Hara face any charges for unknowingly shooting the Duo in Penguin's shooting gallery? All this and more! Plus, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Concertino Orchestra's version of the theme, and your mail about our Louie's Lethal Lilac Time review! Batman and the law: Links provided by Jim Dedman: Is Batman a State Actor? The Dark Knight's relationship with the Gotham City Police Department and the Fourth Amendment implications, by Joshuah Lisk Is Batman a State Actor? - ABA Journal podcast Is Batman a State Actor? by James Daily Rule 3.7: Lawyer as a Witness - American Bar Association Double Jeopardy and the Fraudulantly Attained Aquittal by David S. Rustein

1hr 58mins

13 Jun 2019

Rank #5

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#115 Two Batman Parodies

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'S "The Aging Spidey-Man! Peter Pooper vs. Gnatman and Rotten." In this episode, we examine both parodies: What are they trying to say about Batman the character, or Batman the TV show? We also take a look at myth that doesn't just apply to Batman '66: that those TV actors are raking in the residuals! Plus, the Megaraptor version of the Batman theme, and your mail about the "Court BAT-tles" episode! SAG-AFTRA: History of Residuals Adam and Burt on Ross Schafer Tim's 1978 Hatman comics part 1 part 2

1hr 37mins

25 Jul 2019

Rank #6

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#048 The Puzzler: A Riddler Script from the Files

With Batman ’66’s most popular Special Guest Villain still holding out for more money as the show was cutting its budget, it was decided that Fred De Gorter’s Riddler script “A Penny for your Riddles” should be rewritten to instead feature a new villain: The Puzzler, played by occasional Shakespearean Maurice Evans. A kind listener sent us a PDF of the original Riddler script, so in this episode we take the opportunity to compare the Riddler version to the Puzzler arc that was broadcast, Santa and all, right before Christmas 1966. Besides the change in villains, the changes also show plenty of evidence of making the script cheaper to shoot! Honk's article about the Riddler script This episode's featured take on Hefti's Batman theme:

1hr 15mins

1 Dec 2016

Rank #7

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#060 Catwoman goes for her M.R.S. degree

Catwoman goes to college, but says she can’t go straight without “the love of a good man.” And yet, she keeps trying to kill that good man! Even so, the sexual tension between bat and cat gives us a surprisingly long, natural-seeming conversation between the two to close out Julie Newmar’s final bat-appearance. In this episode, we also discuss the broadcast order of the Catwoman episodes, vs how they might actually fit together; the seemingly endless reduplication of Batman (and Bruce Wayne, and even Alfred) in various ways, and self-referential humor about “people in strange costumes”; more Borscht Belt humor from Stanley Ralph Ross; sloppy forensic science in Gotham City; Batman’s attempts to encourage Robin; and much more. Plus, the Link Wray version of the Batman theme, and your mail on The Impurrrfect Script!

1hr 31mins

4 May 2017

Rank #8

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#047 Bat-scripts: Semple Sets the Batman '66 Mythos (w/John S. Drew!)

What does a Lorenzo Semple Jr. Batman script look like? What does it tell us about the contributions he made to the series? His influences in setting the tone for the series? The things he tried to set up that didn’t make it to the screen? In this episode, The Batcave Podcast’s John S. Drew joins Tim and Paul to look over Semple’s Scripts for Hi Diddle Riddle/Smack in the Middle and Fine Feathered Finks/The Penguin’s a Jinx and examine the evidence regarding Semple’s huge contributions to the series. ALSO: The “Homemade” version of the Hefti “Batman” theme, and your mail! Read the scripts at Knowitalljoe.com

1hr 36mins

17 Nov 2016

Rank #9

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#090 Surf’s Up, Joker’s Under, and Al’s On!

Surf's Up, Joker's Under is perhaps the most polarizing episode of Batman. Some call it their favorite of season three, or even of the whole series, while Joel Eisner has called it "by far, one of the worst Joker episodes," and even '66 Joker himself Cesar Romero didn't like it. Why is this episode so divisive? Why do the villains in season three keep thinking that taking over one small segment of society (surfing, boxing, flower children) will lead to world domination, without ever explaining Step Two? And who else but us (joined by Horrophelia/"Married With Children" Podcast host Al Edwards) would go to the beach for a "Camping Trip"? Plus, the Bjoern Angermann version of the theme, the awarding of the "D'o(ugh) Prize" for the best alternate lyrics to the Batgirl theme, and your mail! dogtalktv.com, featuring former Catwoman kitten Pat Becker! Here are the entries in the "Batgirl theme alternate lyrics" contest. Which one won? Listen to find out? Ken Holtzhouser Batgiiirrrl BATGIRL Batgiiiirrrl BATGIRL A last ditch attempt To secure a season three... A high-kicking heroine For BAT equality Batgiiiirrrl BATGIRL Batgiiiirrrl BATGIRL A hero for girls All of Gotham can attest With an outfit so tight We can all watch her digest Yeaaaaaaahhhh Who is the audience for Batgiiiirrrl BATGIRL Batgiiiirrrl BATGIRL what is the deal with Batgiiiiiiiirrrrrlllllll Keith Mayo Batgirrrl, Batgirl! Batgirrrl, Batgirl! What if Yvonne hadn't been 'dozier's choice? What if he picked some chick with a man's voice? Batgirrrl, Batgirl! Batgirrrl, Batgirl! High kickin', fast spinnin', trampin' the boards 4th season you'd have replaced Mr. Ward Guy Incognito That girl, that twirl! Torture Tim 'n' Paul! Cosplay librarian, anything to show With your degree, maybe? The answer's clearly no. That girl, that twirl! Torture Tim 'n' Paul! Was I kicked in my head before writing these lyrics? Should I wait 'til I'm healed to write a tune that sticks? Naaah, who's taking me to Hospital, Hospital! Waaah, who's gonna take me? That girl! CLAVIERANKH Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl A third season gimmick to bring the ratings up Forced to wear a bra that's made of sno-cone cups. Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl Only allowed to fight like your in a ballet Then slip out and let Batman think he saved the day You get no respect Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl You get no respect Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl Batman says crime fighting isn't women's work. You do the job while Batman is a jerk Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl In season three you're the one with all the smarts Then you give the credit to tea leaves and Tarot cards No respect for you Batgirl Batgirl, Batgirl Batgirl No respect for you.

1hr 47mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #10

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#034 Cause and effect: The Batman TV show and the comics

ZAP! POW! The Batman TV show became famous for its “comic book” fight sound effects. Odd, though… before the show began, punches in Batman comics were silent! So where’d the show get the idea for noisy punches? We ponder this question after reading many ‘60s Batman comics, and also explore the changes of “New Look Batman” in 1964; determine what the show borrowed from the comics —and what the comics borrowed from the show; discuss whether the TV show is what saved the character (our verdict: nope!); and more. Selected sources: Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 1 Comics Alliance: The Evolution of Catwoman Fred Hembeck on Detective Comics 327 DCcomicsartists.com: New Look Batman Baby Boomer Comics: The Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Comic Books of the 1960s

1hr 21mins

2 Jun 2016

Rank #11

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#054 That Darn Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore assists Catwoman, and does a show-stopping performance — as in, bringing the story to a screeching halt — with her “California Nights.” She also administers “cataphrenic” to local-police-respecting Robin, making him into a cop-shoving, cliche-spouting hood! We talk about how Julie Newmar's portrayal (and Stanley Ralph Ross's writing) of Catwoman has changed since her season one appearance, Burt Ward’s punishment for complaining about his workload, more Gotham City Police incompetence, the show’s mucking with the formula (this podcast’s name is never spoken in this arc!) and more. PLUS: The Maxwell Davis version of the Batman theme, and a sampling of your voluminous bat-mail! AND! Help us discuss this draft of The Purr-fect Crime in a future episode! Write up your comments (or record them as an MP3 file up to one minute long) and send them to us (batpoles at deconstructingcomics dot com) by March 15, 2017!

1hr 21mins

16 Feb 2017

Rank #12

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#025 Batman: THE Movie (There are others?!)

The summer of 1966 brought “Batman: The Movie"! Now, in the winter of 2016, Tim and Paul, joined by “Batman at 45” author Chris Gould, look at the film from many directions: the fantastic music, the new elements not seen in season one (Compressed Steam Batpole Lift!), the references to Lyndon Baines Johnson (both the man and his policies!), the dangers on the Batman set, the dynamic among the four villains, and much more.

1hr 34mins

4 Feb 2016

Rank #13

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#004: Wally Wingert's Wild Wild "West" Wonderfulness

If you were a "Dr. Demento" listener back in 1989, you undoubtedly heard the song we use as our opening theme, "Adam West" by the Caped Club. The man behind this record, Wally Wingert, has much more Bat-cred to his name than that; his detailed knowledge of Batman's costume isn't even the most of it. This week, Tim talks with Wally about Batman cosplay, "Adam West", and -- Adam West! Wally's first Bat-suit Wally's fifth birthday, 1966 Batkid and Robin!

1hr 3mins

7 May 2015

Rank #14

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#122 Parade of Bat-Parodies

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/Ward Batman on their own lives, and acting in ways that parody their TV counterparts; the CRACKED magazine parody "Batzman meets the Green Horned Bee"; and "Ratman and Bobbin In The Clipper Caper", an audio parody by folk-music outfit The Brothers Four! Plus the CPCC Band version of the theme, deja vu from the Petrie household, and your mail about our "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle" discussion! Victor Buono: "Fat Man's Prayer"

2hr 16mins

31 Oct 2019

Rank #15

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#123 Dr. Cassandra makes the show disappear

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 episode, we examine this, this final episode written by Stanley Ralph Ross. PLUS: Lily Munster has a deja vu episode, John Burgess sends us his own take on Hefti's Batman theme, and we read your mail about our discussion of the Dynamic Duo on The Adventures of Superman radio show! The 1966 LP More Official Adventures of Batman and Robin, on Discogs.com "When Batman Became a Coward" from that same 1966 LP Ronald Liss bio on superman.fandom.com Down These Mean Streets discusses "The Case of the Drowning Seal" John Burgess plays a Batman Theme-like tune in one of his guitar rebuild videos The other appearances of The Purple Top Leslie Perkins, as Octavia, is the first to wear it, in The Minstrel's Shakedown/Barbecued Batman? Then Phyllis Douglas, as Josie, takes her turn in The Joker's Last Laugh/The Joker's Epitaph.

1hr 48mins

14 Nov 2019

Rank #16

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#087 An Eggsasperating Eggsercise

The season three episodes The Ogg and I and How to Hatch a Dinosaur are a two-parter in which the parts have virtually no common story elements, only the same villains: Egghead, and Olga, Queen of the Cossacks. Both actors, Vincent Price and Anne Baxter, do a great job but ultimately aren't given much to work with. In this episode, we discuss the original arrangement of the three Egghead/Olga episodes; the theme of eating that runs through both of these; the disappointing characterizations of both Egghead and Batman; and is Batgirl, or any kind of good-guy competition to Batman, getting to be annoying? Also, did you get the joke about the Russian folk song The Volga Boatmen? Plus, the Gallants' version of the Batman theme, the announcement of a CONTEST, and your mail! BatgirlBat-trap.com on "The Egghead & Olga Trilogy"

1hr 21mins

21 Jun 2018

Rank #17

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#091 BATMANIA pt 1: Comics Fans Connect

BATMANIA was a well-made fanzine that was started by Columbia, MO, fireman Biljo White in 1964, concurrent with the introduction of New Look Batman by DC. Reading it revealed so many interesting things about the Batman fandom of the sixties that we can't cram it all into one episode! So this time, in part one of our examination of BATMANIA, we (gasp!) set the TV show aside and focus on explaining just what was in this publication, who the now-famous (among comics fans) names were that appeared among its membership, how these deadly earnest fans reacted to the New Look, and how the zine chronicles the gradual realization that Bob Kane had had considerably less to do with the creation of Batman in 1939, and with the subsequent writing and drawing of the strip, than everyone had thought. PLUS: Music from two versions of an '80s Batman video game, the Little Old Lady from Pasedena in an unexpected place, some iTunes reviews that are going straight to our heads, and your mail! Batmania archive Bill Schelly's article from Comic Book Artist #3, detailing the Bob Kane kerfuffle Bob Kane's letter to Batmania

1hr 43mins

16 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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#007 Comedians Hall of Fame

Delicious! The Joker's TV debut! His inclusion in the Comedians' Hall of Fame! Tim and Paul discuss the various absurdities of this arc, its commentary on the power of the media, the series' portrayal of "deluded" women swayed into a life of crime, and more -- including a few gags that could get us voted into the Hall, too! Everybody stuff those ballot boxes!


18 Jun 2015

Rank #19

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#008 It's Mr. Freeze! Sanders Fan Left Cold

It's George Sanders as Mr. Freeze! Unless you're a movie buff, you might not know much else that George Sanders did in film -- or why, in comparison, his Batman performance is a bit disappointing. Tim and Paul discuss. Also: Why did the writers make Batman responsible for Mr. Freeze’s condition? Where else did Shelby Grant and Robert Hogan appear? And the usual plausibility concerns — but maybe logical plotting just wasn't a priority on ‘60s TV?


2 Jul 2015

Rank #20