The Archer Gets The Shaft

Growing up on reruns of Batman '66, with Adam West and Burt Ward, I never laughed. I thought it was a serious live-action adaptation of The Dark Knight. It was only a few years ago, when the flood of merchandising started and the series was collected on Blu-Ray and DVD and that comic book series was launched that I finally learned that it was more of a sitcom! It was nominated for an Emmy in the sitcom category.

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Over the years, it was no secret that Hollywood celebrities wanted to guest star on Batman. Most of them were doing it for a couple reasons: their kids wanted to see them fight Batman; or they wanted to have some fun and ham it up. C'mon - Cliff Robertson as Shame! "Uncle Milty" as Louie, the Lilac. A lot of the rogues created for the series were just flat out silly...and "campy". Like Art Carney, Norton, from The Honeymooners, as The Archer. His moll - every one of the dudes in Mr. West's had a moll! - was Maid Marilyn. It was a whole send-up of Robin Hood. As a kid, there were a lot of jokes and punchlines that I missed. I never understood why the show was tagged with the "campy" label.

There've been a lot of great moments in the Batman '66 revival. SPOILER ALERT! False Face revealed as Basil Karlo. One of King Tut's Henchman becoming Killer Croc. The introduction of Poison Ivy and The Scarecrow. I'll even confess that the '66 version of Bane is pretty cool.

I'm bummed that Batman '66 has seemingly come to an end - at the same time as Mr. West's passing. I understand that out of respect for The Bright Knight, we should appreciate what he left us. Three seasons of 120 episodes; one live action film and two animated sequels. There's a small die hard inside of me that wants to see The Bright Knight continue, as an ongoing tribute to Mr. West. Because, I'd love to see Carney's Archer comeback. Maybe partnered with Shame and The Minstrel. He's like a live action Kite-Man. A lot of the live action rogues were; like The Minstrel. "Yes, Batman, I'm going to sing you to death!"

Carney's The Archer was a one-and-done appearance. The legendary comic actor was born November 4th, 1918. He won an Oscar as Best Actor in Harry and Tonto. He died of natural causes, just five days after his 85th birthday, in 2003.

I'd also like to see classic rogues introduced into the Batman '66-verse. I'd like to see Kirk Langstrom and Man-Bat introduced. Same with Lucius Fox and Leslie Thompkins. It would be cool to see Julie Madison. Legend has it that DC, Julius Schwartz, Neal Adams and Dennis O'Neil took Batman Gothic in response the the live action series being cancelled. That was when characters like Langstrom's Man-Bat and Ra's Al Ghul were created.

What if...? What would you like to see in Batman '66

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