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April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:58 am
by Dr. Shimel
Interesting article about how Gorshin got on Dozier's radar and how Frank saw the character and the financial impact connected to his taking the role:
GorshinRiddler0466.jpg

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:10 am
by epaddon
Thanks for sharing. That does I think bear out a point to a degree made in an earlier thread about how Dozier was taking a risk that others might not have in going with Gorshin to open the series. Notwithstanding the parts Gorshin had done earlier he was still by his own admission in the article, thought of as an impressionist first who could just do roles that were tailored around his skill.

I still feel that someone much more "established" than Gorshin was acting wise at that point likely would not have been paired with someone like Jill St. John for the pilot.

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:15 pm
by Aussie Batfan
Thanks for the great article. Interesting to read his comment on not wanting to appear too often on the show in order to keep the character from becoming predictable.
Take care,
Terry

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:08 am
by Jim Akin
Great find! Thanks for sharing.

"A bizarre character is no longer bizarre if you see him too often." Amen to that. I wish the makers of Batman comics had taken that notion more to heart, particularly with respect to the Joker. His dwindling appearances in the early 70s helped make his stories feel like "events," but toward the end of that decade, when Joker got his own comic title, and especially after the 1989 movie, he started showing up nearly as frequently as he had in the 50s and 60s, and he lost a lot of his gravitas, IMHO.

Frank said he "wanted to be in the first episode," but I wonder how much control he had over that? Correspondence from the Dozier archives (slugged "Semple to Dozier—Frank Gorshin, etc." ) that Paul and Tim recently shared on the "To the Batpoles" podcast site includes Semple's reaction to Dozier's suggestion of casting Gorshin. At that point, the pilot script featuring Riddler had already been drafted. I can't help thinking Gorshin's strong resemblance to the comics character must have played a role in his selection, but more to the point, I don't think there were any other episodes he could've been cast in instead—there was ONLY a "first episode" at that point, so implying he maneuvered to be the debut villain sounds like showbiz spin.

The article has a fittingly enigmatic ending: "With that, he started for the door then came back for a last thought." Which was...?!

It looks like a case of old-school newspaper copyfitting. Back when newspages couldn't scroll and space in the "news hole" was scarce, reporters and editors were taught to craft stories top-down, with the understanding that any article should convey the essentials even if it had to be clipped at any point to fit allotted column space. One notable exception was feature stories (like this), which often ended with a "kicker" paragraph, intended to put a humorous, ironic, or sentimental bow on the package. Here, we get the setup for the kicker, but the punchline was apparently cut for space.

Holy conundrum interruptus!

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:10 pm
by chrisbcritter
Jim Akin wrote:Holy conundrum interruptus!
Anyone have a subscription to newspapers.com? The complete interview may have run in other papers.

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:37 pm
by epaddon
All that's missing is this final "punchline".

"One funny thing about all this uproar," he said. "No one sends me riddles in the mail."

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:03 am
by Jim Akin
Great d
epaddon wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:37 pm
All that's missing is this final "punchline".

"One funny thing about all this uproar," he said. "No one sends me riddles in the mail."
Great detective work! Thanks.

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:34 pm
by High C
Great detective work by Dr. Shimel and epaddon. Again, it's interesting to see how Gorshin was approaching the role. Despite his amount of guest-star appearances by then, he still had the reputation of being an impressionist before anything else. Note how, in this memo that Oscar Lilley passed along to the To The Batpoles podcast from the Dozier archives at the University of Wyoming, Lorenzo Semple suggested that Gorshin could do some impressions as Riddler.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sxyjjy3jbar7x ... 0.pdf?dl=0

Re: April 1966 article on Frank Gorshin

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:19 pm
by Dr. Shimel
High C wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:34 pm
Great detective work by Dr. Shimel and epaddon. Again, it's interesting to see how Gorshin was approaching the role. Despite his amount of guest-star appearances by then, he still had the reputation of being an impressionist before anything else. Note how, in this memo that Oscar Lilley passed along to the To The Batpoles podcast from the Dozier archives at the University of Wyoming, Lorenzo Semple suggested that Gorshin could do some impressions as Riddler.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sxyjjy3jbar7x ... 0.pdf?dl=0
in the pilot, he did "imitate' Greta Garbo: "I vant to be a lawn..." :lol: