My younger sister had a birthday this weekend, and we celebrated with Batman. Though the first episode aired 23 years before I was born, my sister and I grew up watching classic Batman on TV Land at our Grandma Baker’s house. Even now, the first thing I think of when I hear someone say “Batman” is the voice of the 1966 narrator talking about the batphone ringing in the “stately home of millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward, Dick Grayson” as Adam West and Burt Ward run toward the secret batcave access poles in the library.
When the series finally came out on DVD last year, we knew we had to have it. Amazon ran a special earlier this year, and I’ve been hiding the collection in my bookshelf for months praying my sister wouldn’t decide to buy it before her birthday. Well, she didn’t and we’re watching episodes 3 and 4 as I type.
For me, running around on film in cape and cowl doing rather strange square-jawed things was much like playing Batman as a kid. The great difference being tongue planted firmly in cheek. Yes, it is a comedy, but certainly not to kids. — Adam West
I’m enjoying Batman just as much today as I did when a child, but in a different way. As Adam West said in his introduction to the DVD set, the show is a comedy, but I didn’t see it like that as a kid. I laughed, of course, but Batman was a hero to be taken seriously (at least, most of the time). Now, I’m laughing because I get the humor, and much of it is rather clever.
Take the episode we’re watching now, for example. The Penguin doesn’t have any ideas for a dastardly crime when he’s released from prison, so he gives Batman a tricky umbrella that Batman thinks is a clue. The umbrella is bugged, so all Penguin has to do is wait for Batman to figure out what he thinks the Penguin is planning so Penguin can use that plan to commit a crime. Only three episodes in and they’re already using self-referential humor, gently poking fun at Batman’s ability to make sense out of even the most senseless clues. I love it ❤