Bat-Trivia

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Batfan 66
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Bat-Trivia

Post by Batfan 66 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:11 pm

Hi Everyone, I love hearing stuff about the show, so I thought I would contribute my small amount of bat-knowledge.

I think it would be fun for everyone to throw in a new tidbit, or to add to something I put down, everyone should get involved, how about it?!


So here is what I know:
Adam West crashed the Batmobile 3 times trying to exit the batcave; the producers wouldn’t let him drive it after that! (It was really hard to drive)
Everybody knows that when playing The Joker, Cesar Romero painted over his mustache rather than shave it off.
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.
The scene of the Batmobile leaving the Batcave was filmed at Bronson Cavern in Hollywood Hills. A problem run 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 it, they undercranked the cameras so it could come out slowly and then later sped up the film to give the illusion of speed.
A Total of 352 "Holy" words were used by Robin from "Holy Agility" to "Holy Zorro".
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 answered that question by having Batman and Robin "buckling up" before they tore out of the Batcave.
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", and in the three-part Lord Ffogg/Londinium episode.
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.
A nonsmoker in real life, Burgess Meredith came up with the Penguin's distinctive squawking sound because the cigarettes were irritating his throat.
At the end of season three, ABC planned to cut the budget by eliminating Chief O'Hara and Robin. Batgirl would then become Batman's full time partner. Both William Dozier and Adam West were opposed to the idea. ABC canceled the show a short time later.
Famously, Otto Preminger was kept locked out of his house by his grandchildren until he agreed to be cast on the series as Mr Freeze. Likewise, Eli Wallach successfully sought his guest role on the series at the urging of his children, and Tallulah Bankhead saw appearing on the series as an opportunity to entertain her grandchildren.
The late movie star Bruce Lee, who also played Kato on The Green Hornet (1966) series, was a neighbor and close friend of Burt's
Burt Ward was almost drowned by the Batboat while shooting the movie. And lets not forget all of the ER visits in the first week of shooting the series! Or the fact that the producers took up a 3 million dollar life insurance policy on him in the second season...
Adam and Burt played jokes on each other; Burt putting itching powder in Adam’s costume, Adam putting Burt’s Robin shoes in the freezer!
Everyone knows that Burt Ward would just speed read his lines before a shoot, wouldn’t even look at them the night before the scenes.
In Hi Diddle Riddle, while filming the scene in which the Riddler attempts to steal the Batmobile, Burt Ward suffered severe burns when sparks from the dashboard's pyrotechnics display ignited his costume.
In another episode, I think Deep Freeze, Burt got some more bad burns from the flare set off in the jail cell.
Batmobile was actually really hard to drive; Robin was freaked out and white -knuckled often
You know the Batcycle, with the sidecar Robin has to use? Well, in the movie it shows the side car going in the right direction, right? And you guess that it was planned, another one of Batman’s flawless devices? Ha, wrong! The directors and everyone devised that thinking that when Batman released it, it would go in a certain direction, but it usually went everywhere but where it was supposed to! One time Adam West remembers ‘poor Robin’ went over the edge of a small ravine or something like that. White knuckled while that thing is going everywhere!
For 4 weeks, the agency that sent Burt Ward for a screen test and the people running the series thought that the other guys had made a decision on whether Burt Ward was going to be cast or not, but he wasn’t notified because there was no actual YES, they all just assumed! So he had the part for 4 weeks but didn’t even have a clue.
Burt Ward and Adam West were chosen by the producers and directors and everything, but they had to have a screen test for someone else on each part so abc could decide; that’s why Lyle Waggner or whatever his name is and that other kid got screen tests.
Audrey Hepburn was Burt Ward’s favorite actress!
Adam West had been offered the part of Batman, and was sitting in his roofless car near the studio, when the Riddler’s car exploded! If he hadn’t ducked pieces of shrapnel would have hit his in the face/head - ouch!
In the Episode Deep Freeze, when Mr.Freeze is dying and Batman and Robin have to pick him up (an actor/actress is supposed to help lift himself, not be dead weight!) Otto Preminger didn’t help at all, you can see that it was challenging for Adam and Burt to get him up and into the ice.
In the beginning of the first season, the fights weren’t rehearsed - they just did them.
Everyone knows the story of the sharp turn coming out of the batcave, Burt’s door swinging open, he breaks his finger, his stuntman is having coffee with Adam West, and the producers and/ or directors saying, “ we’ve got to get you to the hospital, but first we have to finish this scene.”
The Neosaurus costume was borrowed from Lost in Space
The classic Egg fight in The Yegg Foes in Gotham; you all know how that went! Here is an
outtake from http://tothebatpoles.blogspot.com/2011/ ... 47-48.html:
'As Vincent Price explained “There was a big egg fight at the end of the episode, and I was required to hit Burt Ward with an egg. The crew was fed up with Burt, so they had me throw two dozen eggs at him, and he had to stand there and take it.”
Director of Photography Howard Schwartz continues “Burt Ward was a nice kid, but really inexperienced, so everybody was on his case all the time, and they were kidding him, and he didn’t take it very well. On the Egghead episode we got even with him. The crew got the biggest charge out of that. I was the one who egged Vincent into that. That was really funny, because Burt had eggs dripping down his face, and he was really burned, because he knew it was supposed to be one egg.
Burt Ward however remembered it this way “The crew was standing off to the side during the big egg fight. For every egg I threw at Egghead and his gang, I also threw one at the crew. I have a very accurate throwing arm, so I did it in such a way that they never knew where the eggs were coming from. It was great fun to see the crew running for cover.”
I wish to add the following information which I got from Howard Schwartz, the crew were behind large plexiglass shields to protect the cameras. The scene was shot at the end of the day, so that it would have been impossible to retake it without having to go into overtime cleaning up the set. Everyone was told that no matter what happens to keep going, as there were no retakes. That is why Burt couldn't do anything but stand there and let Vincent grind cartons of eggs into his head. With the crew behind the screens, it is very doubtful Burt ever really connected with his eggs, despite his throwing arm.'

Ha! great story, and a little more input; nobody stopped the egg fight until 30 minutes or so after the scene was shot! Guess they were all having too much fun, and all have some revenge to pull on someone else
Madge Blake would become nervous when she was the center of attention for the cameras, and people would get pretty mad at her to the point where she got real upset one time. But Adam West stuck up for her.
Burt Ward casually read War and Peace in 2 hours!
When asked to give a speech at Harvard about his role on “Batman” (1966), Burt Ward brought the original costume, said to be valued at a half-million dollars. Some students came up to him dressed as security guards and told him they would keep the costume safe. Then in the middle of the speech, one student stood up and asked, "When is a costume not a costume? When it's stolen." The lights dimmed and the students grabbed the costume and made off. After snapping pictures with one another in the cape, they later called him and gave the costume back.
Adam West was drafted into the United States Army, for two years.
Burt Ward and Adam West both had a huge range of hobbies and things they did in spare time. “Adam West has 11 hobbies: fishing, skiing, spending time with his family, golfing, traveling, riding motorcycles, reading, watching movies, swimming, surfing, and dancing.”
“Burt Ward owns an Arabian mare named "Desiree" and rides when not surfing or hunting and fishing. He also relaxes by playing the piano.” Also surfs, plays chess, and paints.
Has the whole world gone batty!?!?

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Batfan 66
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Batfan 66 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:40 pm

I was hoping this would be something this whole bat-community could get into...come on, everyone! :) Show off your your superior bat-knowledge!
Has the whole world gone batty!?!?

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BatBrain
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by BatBrain » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:02 pm

Wow, this is great! Certainly learned quite a few new things. It would be great to hear some things from other members.

Ball Point Baxter
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Ball Point Baxter » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:44 pm

I think you about covered it all.

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Yellow Oval
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Yellow Oval » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:57 pm

I read both Adam and Burt disliked the tunnel vision the masks gave them - Adam especially as he couldn't see the edge of sidewalks. Burt said the mask eye slits kept flipping his eyelashes backward.

I believe Adam said he wore glasses even back then which he couldn't wear under the cowl so he didn't see all that well while in costume (or as Bruce when you think about it). I think there's evidence for this when you watch the Bookworm episode where they discover Lydia Limpet tied up in the back of the Bookmobile. When Batman turns to the camera talking about criminals and "their beady little eyes" you will see Adam narrow and then suddenly over-widen his eyes trying to regain some kind of focus. It's actually quite funny.

Of some interest is the Batboat's rear stabilizer fin was too heavy for the boat and, besides slowing it down, pushed the rear deeper into the water while the front lifted out. This fortunately gave the completely unintentional effect of making the boat really look cool like it was rocketing across the ocean waves.

Vincent Price jokingly stated that Batgirl's motorcycle was very dangerous as, when during filming, he stumbled backwards and reached out onto her bike to gain his footing slicing his hand open on the razor-sharp edges of the Batwing scallop.

Keep looking. New details and tidbits always surface.
"Hmmm... I don't like the twist this joke is taking. Let us away! Let us away!"

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Batfan 66
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Batfan 66 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:49 pm

Wow, awesome Yellow Oval! Thanks! and I will keep looking :)
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Yellow Oval
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Yellow Oval » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:33 pm

One other I forgot was the 1966 Batcopter. Apparently the customizing and adding of the Batwings caused tremendous drag and the copter could only fly at 50% of its speed and power. Still, it looked pretty cool on film.
"Hmmm... I don't like the twist this joke is taking. Let us away! Let us away!"

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Yellow Oval
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Yellow Oval » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:51 pm

Been forgetting to also add the little-known fact that the shark that bit Batman's leg in the 1966 Batman movie, although unknown at the time, went on to greater fame 9 years later in a film some might remember called 'Jaws'. Being a Hollywood newcomer at the time, Bruce went uncredited in the Batman film, but after years of weight training (and "swimming practice" which could prove dangerous to some) at Venice Beach and in Gold's Gym alongside Arnie, he aced the audition for Mr. Steven Spielberg who was significantly impressed with his intimidating size and "winning 'smile".

Okay, I made that up but it would have been a heck of an interesting tidbit if true! :lol:
"Hmmm... I don't like the twist this joke is taking. Let us away! Let us away!"

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Bill S.C.
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Bill S.C. » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:43 pm

Here's a bit more background on the egg-fight. Back in 1989 LA radio station KRLA ran Bat-Week. Among the bat-related features included an interview with Vincent Price. Durning the interview the subject of the egg-fight came up. He mentioned that for reasons the guest performers where not let in on, the crew didn't seem to like Burt, and that originally he was supposed to hit him with 2 eggs and they told him "No - two dozen" and he said "Oh I can't do that," and says that he ended up hitting him with a dozen or so and Burt gave it to him right back. He also mentioned Burt was a good sport about it.

Also, speaking of the shark that clamped on to Batman's leg; it did make an appearence with Peter Lorre in the film "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."
"Oh soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life." - Tom Lehrer

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Bill S.C.
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Bill S.C. » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:45 am

Here's some interesting crossover trivia:

On hulu.com I was watching an old episode of "Nanny & The Professor," tilted "The Balloon Ladies;" the balloon used is the same one used in "The Puzzles Are Coming"/"The Duo Is Slumming;" and the actor playing the reporter is Jay Della, who played Ramjet in the Puzzler episodes.

In addition, the following Bat-Alumni also appear in this Nanny & The Professor episode:

Ida Lupino
Maurice Dallimore
Sandy Kevin

And the show was produced by:

Charles B. Fitzsimons

Just some bits of trivia I thought I'd pass along.
"Oh soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life." - Tom Lehrer

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Batfan 66
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Batfan 66 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:24 pm

Really great, thanks Bill S.C,
you're posts are great :D
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Riddlersgurl » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:30 pm

These are great to read.

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Bill S.C.
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Bill S.C. » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:32 pm

Batfan 66 wrote:Really great, thanks Bill S.C,
you're posts are great :D
Thank you, that's nice of you to say. I'm glad you enjoy them.
"Oh soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life." - Tom Lehrer

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Titianhairedwench
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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by Titianhairedwench » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:50 pm

Very cool info, I'll need to think of something to add.

I will correct something tho. Tallulah Bankhead didn't do the show for her grandkids as she never had any. She never had any children so....no grandchildren. It's possible that she had some "honorary" grandkids, of course.

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Re: Bat-Trivia

Post by epaddon » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:17 pm

Here's an item I think not many are aware of. Jill St. John, who was in the Batman pilot was in the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever" as leading lady Tiffany Case. But she wasn't the only Batman alumni to appear in the film. Also present was Sid Haig, the "Royal Apothecary" in "The Spell Of Tut/Tut's Case Is Shut". He's one of three blacksuited henchmen who drive 007 in a hearse from LAX to a Las Vegas mortuary and then later helps toss Lana Wood out the hotel window into the swimming pool below.

"Diamonds" nearly had a third Bat alumni too in Sammy Davis, Jr. Sammy had a window cameo on the series as himself and filmed a cameo for the movie as himself, playing in the Vegas casino Bond visits, but his scene was cut from the film (it is available in the supplements section of the DVD releases).

After this near trifecta in one Bond movie, I don't think any other Batman veterans appeared in any other Bond movie.

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