The Great Divide

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Keith Mayo
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The Great Divide

Post by Keith Mayo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:03 am

In general terms we are broken down into two camps:

1. Those who saw Batman in first run from '66 to '68
2. Those who saw Batman in reruns in the decades following

I see this akin to the difference between folks who saw Star Wars in their theatrical order of IV, V, VI and those who viewed it starting with Episode 1. What the first of these groups experienced that the second group could not was the total excitement of the times. Batmania of the 1966 was truly something to behold as nothing like it had been seen before. Those who viewed Batman in reruns missed out on total "nerdgasm" that accompanied it originally. The build up to the premiere by ABC's marketing was something to see and experience and the onslaught of merchandise was mind boggling. I feel a bit sorry for those younger folks who didn't get to share in what we old timers saw.
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"It's the very essence of our democracy". - Batman, S1 Ep 11

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SprangFan
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by SprangFan » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:46 pm

I don't know that it's an apt analogy. The folks who began "Star Wars" with the chapter 1, 2 and 3 prequels experienced a completely different saga from those who started with 4,5 and 6. Even the original trilogy is retroactively altered if you watch the prequels first, and in ways that arguably make it a lot less fun. In contrast, "Batman" is still the same show regardless of when you see it.

That said, I get your point. I was born in '65, so too late to experience Batmania, Beatlemania or Bondmania first hand, though I'm hugely into all three. But don't feel too bad for me and my ilk, because look what we got: instead of waiting a year or two between Bond films or Beatle albums over the course of a decade, we had on Day One a pile of content ready and waiting for us to go through at whatever pace we chose. And instead of watching "Batman" die a "Death in Slow Motion" in the form of diminishing script quality, shrinking budgets and the plummet from Fad du Jour to Yesterday's News over two and a half years, we got to see the entire run every afternoon in syndication. Since it came at us fast and furious, most of us got a lot further along before burning out (if ever). We didn't know when the transition from Season 1 to Season 2 happened, and that the ratings were down. We didn't have to experience the disappointment when it was cut back from two episodes a week to just one (because we got five!). We didn't realize that Batgirl showed up in a desperate effort to renew viewer interest.

I will confess it would've been cool to see that tsunami of Bat-merchandise in every store in America (just the few surviving artifacts I found in the homes of friends with older siblings inspired awe), but other than that, I have no regrets.

Glad you got to live it, though.
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Keith Mayo
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Keith Mayo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:58 pm

Don't get me wrong. There are pros and cons to each group. One is not superior to the other. Just different perspectives.
"It's the very essence of our democracy". - Batman, S1 Ep 11

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SprangFan
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by SprangFan » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:03 pm

I get it. I'm just responding to the last line in your first post. You don't need to feel sorry for us; in some ways we had it better.

If anything, I should be thanking you for creating a scenario where I'm in the "younger crowd." That doesn't happen much any more! :lol:
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Dan E Kool
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Dan E Kool » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:04 pm

Maybe the luckiest of us are those who are kids right now. The entire series on Bluray, reruns on TV, new animated movies and comic books and video game appearances, tons of branded T-shirts and merchandise with actual likenesses, and parents and grandparents who can enjoy it with them.
- Boy Genius

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FLOYDLEWIS
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by FLOYDLEWIS » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:20 pm

the divide is not so great..it just means for the longest time..we knew what scenes were missing from the TV episodes and the movie
I was there..in front of the TV one Saturday morning.and a preview came on for a new tv show.. for something called batman..it was a long wait to January..our CBS station and NBC station shared the local ABC signal..and the only time I saw batman in color.. was in the movie theater..as color sets were something you saved 2 years for..

BATMAN PREVIEW

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Keith Mayo
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Keith Mayo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:38 pm

Dan E Kool wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:04 pm
Maybe the luckiest of us are those who are kids right now. The entire series on Bluray, reruns on TV, new animated movies and comic books and video game appearances, tons of branded T-shirts and merchandise with actual likenesses, and parents and grandparents who can enjoy it with them.
I'll drink (Mt. Dew) to that!
"It's the very essence of our democracy". - Batman, S1 Ep 11

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Therin of Andor
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Therin of Andor » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:05 am

I was there for Batmania in 1967 (we were way behind the US premiere - 18 months!) in Australia. But I was also there for Batmania in 1989, and it was just as manic, and the magic wore off just as fast.

[EDIT: The "Batman" feature film did run in the Sydney CBD, at the now-defunct Palace Theatre, on a double-bill with "Smoky" (1966), from August 25 - September 7, 1967, the New South Wales school holidays, then toured the suburbs and country towns for short school holiday stints over many years.]

As a teacher doing playground duty in 1988, I can tell you that there were lots of kids watching reruns of a "Batman '66" TV revival, which was calculated to get the public talking about "Batman" again. The playground suddenly became incredibly aggressive - and we eventually worked out they were "playing Batman".

I don't recall us being so aggressive in 1967, but I do remember a campaign for milk - with the catchphrase "Drink milk and fly through the day" - which had to be pulled from TV because kids were donning blanket capes and leaping off roofs!
"Holy nostalgia, Batman!"
Therin of Andor

(aka Ian McLean, from Sydney, Australia)

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Keith Mayo
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Keith Mayo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:35 pm

Therin of Andor wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:05 am
As a teacher doing playground duty in 1988, I can tell you that there were lots of kids watching reruns of a "Batman '66" TV revival, which was calculated to get the public talking about "Batman" again. The playground suddenly became incredibly aggressive - and we eventually worked out they were "playing Batman".
This same scenario is discussed in both "The Caped Crusade" and "Gotham City -14 Miles".
"It's the very essence of our democracy". - Batman, S1 Ep 11

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Bob Furmanek
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Bob Furmanek » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:07 pm

One important element to the '66 Batcraze: merchandising.

You could not go anywhere without seeing some kind of toy, game, etc. The entire country was in the grips of Batmania!
Batman ads (1).jpg
Batman ads (2).jpg

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zippgun
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by zippgun » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:55 am

I saw the show in its first run in the UK. I'm not sure when it began in the UK, though it would have been later in 1966 than January. I can still recall that first episode and being a bit freaked out by the Riddler and his henchies in those gas masks (for some reason!).

In June 1966, from issue 20, the UK comic I read, called SMASH started to include the newspaper BATMAN strip, in colour on the front page - and black and white on the second page.

IMG_20180813_0001 (Large).jpg
SMASH NO 20 (1966)
car comic edit jpg.JPG
Me reading SMASH
We also got the BATMAN bubble gum cards, which were widely collected.

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Therin of Andor
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Therin of Andor » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:54 am

zippgun wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:55 am
I saw the show in its first run in the UK. I'm not sure when it began in the UK, though it would have been later in 1966 than January.
June 1967 Down Under, on Sunday and Tuesday nights.
We also got the BATMAN bubble gum cards, which were widely collected.
Our photo cards from the 1966 movie (Topps' "Bat Laffs" in USA) were from Scanlens and dated 1967. Most of us had no idea how four villains were appearing in the same frame, not knowing there was a movie out there!

My Mum made me donate my cards to charity in 1971, and I had a chance to rebuy a set - at greatly inflated price - in 1980. However, when I saw them, they were only tiny: it was the UK version of the set, so I passed. Last year, I rebought the Aussie set on eBay.
"Holy nostalgia, Batman!"
Therin of Andor

(aka Ian McLean, from Sydney, Australia)

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zippgun
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by zippgun » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:25 pm

In the UK ours were Bat Laffs, dated 1966 - which had pathetic "jokes" on the back eg
Q - What is a bat's favorite magazine?
A - PlayBAT

The painted cards, dated 1966, came with Bazooka Joe chewing gum. On the back were details of how to join the "Official Batman fan club" - send a Bazooka gum wrapper and a SAE to a place called Heanor in Derbyshire.

The newspaper comics carried in SMASH were closer to the approach of the TV show than the DC ones at the time. As well as the familiar Joker, Catwoman and Penguin, were arch villains who seem to have been created just for the strips, such as the pirate Jolly Roger, The Collector, Little Napoleon, and Blue Max. Poison Ivy also had a story, one in which she appeared with a gang of henchwomen - who were dressed at one point in Robin outfits!

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Dan E Kool
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Re: The Great Divide

Post by Dan E Kool » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:10 am

Keith Mayo wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:38 pm
I'll drink (Mt. Dew) to that!
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