12 January 2006

"Naturally You Didn't Know I Was Wearing My Special Super-B Long Thermal Underwear..."

It was forty years ago today that Adam West first squeezed into his famous grey bodystocking for the first of 120 episodes over a three year run--indeed Boy (and Girl) Wonders, "Hi Diddle Riddle", featuring Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, was broadcast to an unsuspecting nation at 7:30 PM on the 12th of January, 1966. We've all seen it in reruns: at The Gotham City World's Fair, the Prime Minister of Moldavia slices into the Moldavian Friendship cake and unknowingly triggers a bomb hidden inside, releasing the late, great Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. Lorenzo Semple Jr.'s delirious script set the tone for the twice-weekly campy fun to come: in a single half-hour, fans were introduced to The Batscope, The Batostat Antifire Activator, and of course, The Dynamic Duo's impromptu "Batusi" dance at the Way To Go-Go disco. The milk-drinking Caped Crusader even gets drunk on drugged orange juice!

It's a shame that with Batmania on the rise again thanks to Christopher Nolan's very fine "Batman Begins" and boxed sets of the original Burton/Schumacher films and the animated series proving to be bestsellers, that Warner (who own the characters, the comics, and the feature films) can't reach an agreement with 20th Century Fox (who owns the 60s TV series) to release the show in its much-deserved and long-overdue DVD glory...