Does the 60’s Batman Show Suck? – Awesome Comics

Everyone remembers this Batman show, but was it any good?

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24 comments

  1. It sucks: True, the Batman ’66 show “dumbed down” the alusion of comic books for decades. People who never read a comic book were always under the impression that comics were as silly as the TV show for many several years afterward (until recently thanks to the Nolan Batman and the MCU). The comic book itself had to “dumb down” itself when the show was on. The writers really hated doing that and almost immeadiately after the show was cancelled, they reversed course, removed several characters like Aunt Harriet and Chief O’Hara, and proceeded in the initial direction they were going.
    It doesn’t suck: The only argument that Batman fans can state is quite simply it saved Batman. The early 60’s intoduced us to revamped characters (Flash, Green Lantern), new characters (Spider-Man, Hulk) and new super-hero teams (Fantastic Four, X-Men, Avengers). Superman was still flying high thanks to the George Reeves show. That left the Caped Crusader all the way in the back behind everyone else. They didn’t even want to initially make the show about Batman. They had never heard of him. After initially rejecting / being rejected Superman and Dick Tracy, a visit to the Playboy Club intoduced everyone to the Dynamic Duo. They were showing the two B&W serial adventures that weekend. (An Evening With Batman and Robin, look it up). After watching the silly cliffhangers and slap-happy fights, and watching the young adults laughing at and enjoying the antics, the execs knew exactly who the star of their superhero show was going to be. And Batman went from almost being cancelled and forgotten to becoming one of the most popular superheros of all time.
    So bottom line: Today’s millenials hate the ’66 Batman. They rather have the dark, gritty Batman of today. But remember, if it wasn’t for this show, there wouldn’t be a Batman at all today.

  2. I’m with Aiyanna and Heather, I freaking love this show. Its goofy and it knows it, and that makes it so much fun

    • I agree. I adore this show!! I love it MORE than any comic book, cause this is the way I WANT superheros. Cheesy, silly, fun for the whole family to enjoy! Nothing wrong with that! I want a likeable Batman!

  3. I love the ’66 Batman series! Adam West was my first Batman. It’s goofy and campy, but it embraces that.

    I do admit that I never liked Aunt Harriet. I thought she was stupid.

  4. I grew up with it and still love it to this day. I just finished watching all of the episodes on the Blu Ray set that was released about a year ago.

  5. You know what would have helped to mitigate the homoerotic accusations about the Dynamic Duo? IF ROBIN HAD SOME DAGGUM PANTS! Seriously, why does Robin wear no pants? And those stupid Elf shoes? Even Legolas wore legitimate boots; why does Robin wear freaking Keebler footware?

    That was one of the things I felt BTAS helped a great deal: they gave Robin pants.

    (Actually, early superhero costumes were largely based on wrestling tights. That’s why Superman – and pretty much every hero after him – wears his underwear outside his pants. It’s meant to mimic wrestling tights).

    • Don’t you be dissin’ the Bat Alphabet Soup Container!

      Bat Shark Repellent Spray? Arkham Batman doesn’t need no stinking Bat Spray! He just punches a GREAT WHITE! Batman: He Beats Up Sharks!

    • Actually, the Bat Credit Card makes sense. Why wouldn’t a billionaire posing as a masked crimefighter have some sort of credit account so as to handle unexpected expenses while on the job? Linkara made that case not long ago.

    • Another point about the relation between the 66 show and the comics. The 66 show didn’t only help sales of the comics, but after its cancellation, it also led to a revamp of the comic character toward a darker, more serious version that eventually led to the Burton, Timm, and even Nolan versions. After the end of the show, the writers and editors took the comic on a more serious turn in order to keep the sales of the comics going.

    • As for the show itself, I enjoyed it a great deal when I was a kid. Even in my teen years, I watched it, not so much as a serious show, but also as something to laugh at.

      But I have to say, it did cloud my perception of the character for many years. When Burton’s film came out, I didn’t go see it, mostly because I anticipated it being cheesy. It wasn’t until I saw Batman: The Animated Series a few years later that I began to think of the character in a different light. Or dark, as the case may be.

      But I do think that fun versions of the character can be, well, fun to watch and to appreciate. For a long time, I wouldn’t watch Brave and the Bold, fearing it would be too much like the 66 show. But you know what? BatB is a cool show; it manages to blend more serious aspects of the character – his dark origins, his strained relationship with Robin, his own moral struggles – with a more lighthearted side.

      Anyway, not a huge fan of the 66 show these days, but I appreciate its place in the history of the character.

      • I LOVE this show! It’s a classic. You couldn;t be more wrong,. this show is great. It’s Batman for the whole family to love and enjoy. I Hate the dark depressing Batman they have nowadays. I want a superhero that’s fun and cool, you can root for, and I can watch with my whole family. What’s wrong with that?

  6. When Walter Banasiak, Bryan Porter, Aiyanna Wade, Heather Reusz and Trevor Mueller hear a box of five hundred comic books that is dropped onto a floor they hear “thud”.

    When Yonagonaf hears a box of five hundred comic books that is dropped onto a floor Yonagonaf hears “don”.

  7. Is the Batman show good? No. But everytime I watch re-runs of the show, I’m always entertained. Also, I found the Catwoman point that Aiyanna made really interesting. Wow. Well…thank you 60’s Batman.

  8. Snorgatch Pandalume

    To quote Linkara from his review of the Batman and Robin Official Comic Adaptation:
    “Batman is rich. He is rich and has funneled that money into his crime-fighting enterprises through shell companies and false identities. And being someone who prepares for multiple eventualities, as demonstrated in both comics and TV, wherein he’s actually utilized his money to solve a situation or bought something that he wouldn’t normally carry with him–which would include, say, diapers for a rescued baby or coffee to keep himself awake–plus his tendency to accessorize his crime-fighting tools to fit his motif, from something understandable like a fearsome vehicle to something silly like his projectiles resembling a bat, and the aforementioned usage of shell companies to acquire items, WHAT EXACTLY IS SO RIDICULOUS AND ANGER-INDUCING ABOUT A BAT CREDIT CARD???”

  9. Snorgatch Pandalume

    A point to be made about the cast of Batman ’66: a number of quite famous Hollywood actors with distinguished careers appeared on the show as guest villains, including Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Victor Buono, George Sanders, Otto Preminger, Eli Wallach, Cliff Robertson, Anne Baxter, David Wayne, and Carolyn Jones. In fact, it became something of a status symbol to play a guest villain on Batman. Also, Eartha Kitt’s portrayal of Catwoman was one of the first times a black woman played a leading role on a network TV show.

  10. Snorgatch Pandalume

    Plus there was a crossover episode with Greenway Productions’ much grittier and more realistic crime series, Green Hornet, which co-starred Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee and Batman. How cool is that?

    • To see Bruce Lee team up with Bruce Wayne – that would be awesome! They should get Bruce Timm to write that! And maybe have Bruce Campbell and Bruce Willis make cameos.

      • Snorgatch Pandalume

        Actually, in the crossover they were on opposite sides, because the Green Hornet’s gimmick is he and Kato pretend to be criminals in order to destroy the underworld from within, so Batman and Robin were trying to capture them. It’s hilarious to watch Bruce Lee play-fight with Adam West and Burt Ward, knowing that he could have dropped them both in a heartbeat. 🙂

  11. 60’s Batman series embraced that campy and goofy spirit of silver age of comics that since then only cartoon Batman Brave and Bold has offered without being shamed about it. It didn’t even try to be anything else than it was. It is fun series that current audience that wants Batman to be grim and dark seem to hate. And yet it was popularity of 60’s Batman series that,helped Batman become part of pop culture making more serious version like Batman 1989, Batman Returns and Dark Knight Trilogy possible.

  12. Every time I see this show nowadays I shake my head and think: “Damn, my standards were low when I was a child…”

  13. What are these guys talking, Batman 66 won’t stand the test of time? It already has! Most of them were barely born in the 80’s, how do you even know about Batman 66?

    And to them saying that this is not Batman, you have to keep in mind that this series is much closer in time to the golden and silver age Batman than it is to the modern Batman we know. Batman was different back then.

    • And the reruns are still going on ME TV, IFC, and occasionally Decades! And the complete series just got released on DVD, and the actors still occasionally appear at comic cons where they’re loved immensely! It’s getting more and more fans every day! How can you NOT love this show? Burgess Meredith is the bomb, and so was Ceaser Romero, and Julie Newman, Frank Gorshin, Vincent Price as Egghead, Victor Buono as King Tut (always one of my favorites)…man I can’t wait for tonight now when I can watch it on ME!

  14. One must also know the time period with superhero comics at that period. In the 50’s and early 60’s they were under fire for being too violent and DC and other comics except Marvel establish the comic code. So DC became more kid friendly and plus it was the era of camp TV.

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