Batman
Site Search
Search for
Advanced Search

Batman

Trivia

  • Batman was created by Bob Kane in 1939 for DC Comics.

  • Since first appearing in comic book form, Batman has had his own cartoon series, a 1966 series played by Adam West, and blockbuster films played by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney.

  • Batman creator Bob Kane noted that this series saved the Batman comic series from cancellation when the show revived the character's popularity. Despite this, most comic fans despised this series for stereotyping superheroes and comics as campy nonsense. Furthermore, soon after the show was canceled, the character's comic series took on a dark and deadly serious tone that was reminiscent of the original comics in the late 1930's as a reaction to the TV show's light touch.

  • Originally conceived by ABC as a serious dramatic show, at one point Mike Henry (best known as one of many actors to play Tarzan) did publicity photographs in the role. According to Adam West, a nervous ABC required the producers to hold test screenings of the show, one with a laugh track added, the other with additional narration. Neither alteration was successful.

  • Lyle Waggoner was the other choice for Batman during casting.

  • Peter Deyell was the other choice for Robin during casting.

  • When the series premiered, Alfred had been "killed off" a few years earlier in the comic book series. However, when the producers announced that they intended to make Alfred a regular character, he was brought back to life in the comic book as well.

  • Mary Ann Mobley was the first choice to play Batgirl. Originally, the character was to have her own TV series which would lead-in to Batman each week.

  • The character of Batgirl was created for the television series and was written into the Batman comic books. However, there was another Bat-Girl that was created in the early 1960's who looked totally different with a different secret identity (Betty Kane). She also was the niece of Batwoman (Kathy Kane).

  • Aunt Harriet was written into the series to counter the rumors that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson were gay. The series producers felt that a female aunt would " round out " Wayne Manor.

  • Even though the character of Aunt Harriet was created specifically for the series, she was written into the Batman comic books and remained a semi-regular character until the mid-1970s when she was written out all together.

  • Madge Blake became seriously ill just before filming on the third, and final season, commenced causing her to leave the series. However, she is briefly seen as Aunt Harriet in the episode "Ring Around the Riddler".

  • Josť Ferrer and Gig Young were considered for the role of the Joker.

  • Suzanne Pleshette was one of the original choices to play Catwoman before Julie Newmar landed the role.

  • Eartha Kitt took over the role of Catwoman in the final season because Julie Newmar was busy filming "McKenna's Gold" (1969).

  • Because of a contract dispute, Frank Gorshin missed one episode and was replaced by John Astin. Also, the episode featuring the villain "The Puzzler" was originally written to feature The Riddler. Gorshin, did return for one episode in the final season.

  • Of all the villains portrayed on the television series, Mr. Freeze had the most actors portraying him: 'George Sanders', Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach.

  • Anne Baxter appeared as two different villians. The first one was the female magician Zelda, but her more famous appearance was as Egghead's paramour Olga, Queen of the Cossacks.

  • This was one of the "in" shows to appear on if you were a big name in Hollywood during the 1960's, and many top names guested on the show, including many who didn't do much TV otherwise. Those performers who weren't cast as guest villains could frequently be seen popping their heads out of windows to exchange a few words with Batman and Robin when the latter would be climbing up a building wall. Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood, and Cary Grant were all fans of the show, and wanted to be on it, but the producers were never able to come up with the right roles for any of them.

  • Guest villain stars included Joan Collins (The Siren), Liberace (Chandell), Vincent Price (Egghead), Roddy McDowall (The Bookworm), Zsa Zsa Gabor (Minerva), Shelly Winters (Ma Parker), Anne Baxter (Zelda The Great, & Olga Queen of the Cossacks), Art Carney (The Archer), Tallulah Bankhead (The Black Widow), Walter Slezak (The Clock King), Roger C Carmel (Colonel Gumm), Ida Lupino (Dr Cassandra), Malachi Throne (False Face), Victor Buono (King Tut), Milton Berle (Louie The Lilac), Rudy Vallee (Lord Marmaduke Fogg), Carolyn Jones (Marsha Queen of Diamonds), David Wayne (The Mad Hatter), Van Johnson (The Minstrel), George Sanders (Mr Freeze #1), Otto Preminger (Mr Freeze #2), Eli Wallach (Mr Freeze #3), Barbara Rush (Nora Clavicle), Maurice Evans (The Puzzler), Michael Rennie (The Sandman), and Cliff Robertson (Shame).

  • In the first season, Burt Ward (Robin) was paid $350.00 per week

  • Before going on the air, "Batman" received the worst audience test scores in the history of the ABC network. The show only went on the air because so much money had already been invested in it.

  • It aired from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968 on ABC for 120 episodes. It was one of few TV series to be seen on 2 different nights a week: 7:30 Wednesdays AND Thursdays. It remained there for a season and a half (Jan. 1966-Aug. 1967) until it was moved back once a week (Thursdays 7:30) for its final season.

  • The episodes were generally two-parters: Wednesday's episode was a cliffhanger, resolved in Thursday's episode. The 1966-1967 season had 2 3-parter episodes ("The Zodiac Crimes/The Joker's Hard Times/The Penguin Declines"[ep. #2.37-9, 1/11-12 & 18/1967] and "Penguin is a Girl's Best Friend/Penguin Sets a Trend/Penguin's Disastrous End"[ep. #2.42-4, 1/26/, 2/1 & 2/1967]) which left cliffhangers that would be solved the following week.

  • The first show to hold two spots in the weekly Neilsen ratings every week, a feat not duplicated until "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" (1999) over 30 years later.

  • Some of the 1966-7 episodes paired supercriminals with one another, following in the pattern of the theatrically released version of the series, Batman (1966), which featured The Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin.

  • Of all the villains, The Penguin appeared the most. He made 26 appearances during the show's run.

  • Burgess Meredith's role as The Penguin was one of the more popular guest roles, so much so that the producers actually had a script ready for him whenever he was in Los Angeles.

  • Burgess Meredith had not smoked in 20 years when he was cast as the Penguin.

  • When playing The Joker, Cesar Romero painted over his mustache rather than shave it off.

  • Frank Gorshin's maniacal high-pitched laugh as The Riddler is greatly influenced by that of the Richard Widmark character Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death (1947).

  • The Riddler was just a minor and forgettable villain in the comics. This series is responsible for turning him into one of the most popular villains in Batman's rogues gallery.

  • The Bat-villain Two-Face considered for the show. The theme of the character was to be a TV commentator who has a TV tube blow up in his face. Ultimately, the character did not appear on the series.

  • Each main villain had their own theme music

  • The series was rushed into production, with props from one episode finding their way (sometimes erroneously) into another.

  • The props used in this show (such as the computers and guns) also were used in "Lost in Space" (1965), "Time Tunnel, The" (1966), "Land of the Giants" (1968), and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1964).

  • The Batmobile was a customized 1955 Lincoln Futura, which had been used in the film It Started with a Kiss (1959). Hollywood Kustom King, George Barris, who designed the car, also designed the Munster Coach and the Dragula from "Munsters, The" (1964), among many others.

  • The National Safety Council brought up the safety issue in the Batmobile. They wanted to know why the Batmobile was not fitted with seat belts. The producers answerers that question by having Batman and Robin " buckling up " before they tore out of the Batcave.

  • The Batcave set was built on the exact spot where the Skull Island Gate was located in the original King Kong (1933). This was pointed out by a visitor to the set who had served as a technician on "Kong".

  • The batmobile turntable in the Batcave was not powered, as watching the show would have you believe. It did rotate and with the help of six guys out of camera range. They pushed the car around 180 degrees on the platform. As with most of the effects, they only had to shoot the scene one time then added it where needed.

  • The scene of the Batmobile leaving the Batcave was filmed at Bronson Cavern in Hollywood Hills. The problem they ran into when filming the scene was that the Batmobile was just about the same width as the cave entrance. To keep from ripping the fenders off of George Barris's creation, they undercranked the cameras so it could come out slowly and then later speed up the film to give the illusion of speed

  • The Shakespeare bust used to slide open the bookcase and expose the batpoles had an electric switch that couldn't open the bookcase but it did turn on a light behind the set to signal the crew to slide it open.

  • The interior shots of the Wayne Manor were all done on a very detailed set at the studio. The exterior shots were really filmed at 380 South San Rafael Ave, Pasadena, California.

  • In all the scenes of the villains hideouts, the camera filmed at an angle, almost "crooked" this was because all the villains were also crooked.

  • A Total of 352 "Holy" words were used by Robin from "Holy Agility" to "Holy Zorro".

  • 84 different word overlays were used during the fight scenes from "Bam" to "Kapow".

  • The final episode featured several members of the production staff, including producer 'Howie Horwitz' .

  • After ABC canceled the series, the producers waited to see if anyone else would pick it up, then bulldozed the Batcave set when it appeared nobody would. Two weeks later, NBC offered to pick it up, but by then it was too late. Unwilling to invest in the high cost of rebuilding the entire Batman set, NBC ultimately declined to purchase the show.