Holy adverb, Batman!

In honor of Adam West, I share this item, of which Bryan said, “If there was ever an image tailor made for you and your blog, this is it.”


41 thoughts on “Holy adverb, Batman!

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The fact that it was released in the middle of the season — in January — helps explain why it stands out in my memory as an exciting new thing that stood alone in the minds of 7th-graders at the time.

        If it had been released back in the fall, it would have had some daunting competition for the attention of a preteen — the premieres of “Lost In Space,” “Green Acres” and “I Spy” (and that was just on Wednesday night).

        If they’d waited for the formal start of the 1966 season in September, it would have had to compete for our attention with the debuts of “The Green Hornet” (with Bruce Lee), “The Time Tunnel,” “The Monkees,” “The Rat Patrol,” and “Mission Impossible.” (And yeah, “Star Trek,” too, but for whatever reason that didn’t catch on with me.)

        But in January 1966, Batman reigned alone, and supreme…

      2. Bryan Caskey

        I will allow the comparison only to the extent that it is comparing my relative youth to yours. Otherwise, I deny all allegations that I would be so foolish as to heed the words of Jeremy.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Wow, I do not remember that one… no, wait — it just got to the refrain, and now I do. I had no idea he was saying “Jeremy.”

          My favorite Pearl Jam song is this cover of an oldie. I may even like it better than the version the Beatles did on “Live at the BBC:”

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          “Jeremy” was just about the time I was about to lose touch with pop music. It happened when MTV and VH-1 stopped showing videos, and filled their time with all that other junk in which I had no interest.

          I used to watch videos while working out down in the basement at The State, so I was pretty up on the latest stuff through the grunge era. I listened to/watched a lot of Nirvana, SoundGarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, R.E.M., B-52s, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Weezer, Green Day… not that I was into all of them, but I watched whatever videos came on while I was on the elliptical trainer.

          Then, the video stations stopped showing videos — or rather, they stopped showing them at the time of day when I worked out.

          And for me, it was like the whole pop music industry suddenly went over a cliff and disappeared….

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            By the way, I have a question: What actually DID happen to rock ‘n’ roll?

            Pop music still exists, but not much ROCK, from what I can tell…

            1. Scout

              I think it is out there in isolated pockets. Everything became so individualized with pandora and downloads. Bands find their niche and their followers without necessarily being in the public eye.

              I like Dawes, for example. I think they count as rock. I don’t know if anybody else has ever heard of them. I don’t really know how I even discovered them. Probably Pandora.


            2. Kenny

              Don’t know where you hole up, but there’s still plenty of rock out there — old rock, new rock, rock mixed with other stuff.
              Here’s just one example:

          2. JesseS

            You are off by a few years on that one. By ’96-’97 MTV were still big on music videos (ie. the MTV “Beach House” years). Their ratings around that time were their highest. Two years later videos were finally shoved off to Carson Daly’s TRL, though I’d put the official death of MTV at around 2004 when they moved the last of the music videos to MTVU (and then had that market eroded by Fuse).

            Of course those years line up with the “Death of the Music Industry” due to file sharing. Afterwards YouTube would kill the last of the demand for broadcasting videos.

            It also lines up with the era where the Rolling Stone lost the last of it’s luster and music criticism shifted from SF/NYC to Chicago based outfits like Pitchfork (and before that Green Mountain Music). The Midwest shift was influenced by the death of the incredibly small, but highly influential among critics, mid-90s Champagne-Urbana music scene.

            As far as “What actually DID happen to rock ā€˜nā€™ roll?” it was displaced by Hip-Hop. When the SS Music Industry sunk the Golden Rock Yacht tethered to it also went down. Pop still had Teeney Boppers and Hip-Hop took “the youth” while retaining it’s old core black audience. The Rock that survived was left to stifle in pockets of middle-class unbearable whiteness –the very thing Rock was supposed to be against.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              “I’m-I’m telling ya, you’re comin’ along at a very dangerous time for rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, the war is over. They won. And 99% of what passes for rock ‘n’ roll these days, silence is more compelling. That’s why I think you should just turn around and go back, you know, and be a lawyer or somethin’.”

              — Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in a film set in 1973

              1. Brad Warthen

                Punk tried to save rock ‘n’ roll. Then grunge did. They didn’t succeed, although they did allow some younger kids to experience some of the frisson of the original…

    1. Scout

      I think we might be similar in age. Somehow I always managed to see the same re-run – the one where some evil villain was turning important people into little piles of powder with some sort of evil dehydrator (I guess) gun. This is the sort of thing that makes sense in memory but sounds ridiculous when written down. but I swear that is what I remember. Did you see that one…alot?

      There was a superman TV show too, right? We saw re-runs of that too, and Lost in Space.

      And this strange Japanese show where a boy turned into a jet and he could blow a whistle and call these other Giant robot people that could turn into rockets to come help. My memory is very strange.

      You may now return you regularly scheduled programming.

        1. Scout

          Well if I did, I guess it would have had to have been in a previous life, as I am currently still alive in this one.

          But I’m thinking….no.


                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      That’s just adorable! There needs to be an emoticon for reaching out and pinching people on the cheek condescendingly…

                      This year, we’ll be celebrating our 43rd…

                      But congratulations!

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I hope that didn’t overstep the bounds of our friendship. I’d hate for our seconds to have to meet.

                      Sincerely, I wish you joy, with all my heart.

                      Yr most faithful & humble, etc….

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                One of my kids used to play it. My youngest, as I recall. Back when we had the one family computer, sitting in a corner of our dining room…

      1. Norm Ivey

        I think that was the movie. It had all the villains. Star trek had an episode based on the same concept.

        The episode that has always been stuck in my brain is the one where either Batman or Robin or both were being eaten by a giant clam. I never saw the conclusion. I suppose they made it out OK.

          1. Jim Cross

            It was actually a TV episode: “The Joker’s Hard Times.” And no clam repellent – just Batman’s physical strength. šŸ™‚

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Which he had because of clean living.

              I saw a preview for the upcoming Justice League movie when I saw Wonder Woman over the weekend. Another member of the League asks Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), somewhat condescendingly, something like, “What’s your superpower again?”

              “I’m rich,” says Wayne…

  1. bud

    We only had one tv in the house and it had been reserved for Lost in Space. Or so I thought. When Batman debuted my older brother insisted we watch the premiere. A A full blown donnybrook ensued. Our dad fixed that quickly by cutting the thing off! Ouch. No Lost in Space. No Batman. Imagine. No second tv. No way to record. We did learn to alternate that time slot. Thankfully summer reruns helped me catch up with the Robinson family.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    After looking back at the schedule, I was trying to decide what I did about that. I made sure never to miss “Batman,” so I guess I let “Lost in Space” — or at least the first half of it each week — slide.

    Because back then, you had to choose…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    I suppose I could have tried switching back and forth during commercials, but that was risky, and tedious. There was no remote, and changing channels involved going up to the TV (which was across the room, because your mother kept telling you that sitting too close to the TV would make you go blind) and turning the dial click-click-click one number at a time.

    Say one show was on 10 and the other was on 25. If I remember correctly, you had to turn the VHF dial (which only went to 13) from 10 to the UHF setting, click-click-click-click, then use the separate UHF dial — which I think was continuous, and did not click (meaning that tuning was tricky, and not terribly precise; getting a station could depend on where you were standing in reference to the antenna) — to 25. Then you had to use the VHF dial, click-click-click-click, to get back to 10, jumping up and crossing the room again for each of these moves. And on each of these changes, once you got there, you’d likely have to fiddle with one of the antennas — the straight VHF rabbit ears or the circular UHF one — if you actually wanted to see the picture.

    So as I say, a tedious process.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And then you had to say, “Come in, Rangoon!”

      Not really. Just joshing with you there, kids. In fact, that phrase predates even ME, and I don’t even know where it comes from — I think it’s a movie quote. Something about trying to get Rangoon on a shortwave radio or something. It was one of those cultural references that would crop up in MAD magazine or something, and go right over our heads. It had a secondary meaning that was a sexual reference (and I seem to recall that’s how MAD used it), but what I don’t know is where the original phrase, to which the sexual joke referred, came from. Google wasn’t very helpful…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah, that’s what Google told me, but that can’t be right. “Beyond Rangoon” came out in 1995, and is about events that occurred in 1988.

          This is something that was an old expression when I was a kid in the early ’60s. I assumed it was related to the war — say, during the fighting over Burma — but I just haven’t been able to find the reference. And it might be older than that, say from one of those many adventure movies set in exotic locales back during the’30s…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Given that it was such a process, we generally sat patiently through the commercials. And in those days, each one was typically a full minute long, as I recall…

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