Daily Archives: June 11, 2017

“Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.” True Dat, Batman. True Dat.

43 Lines of Dialogue from the Batman TV Show and 1966 Film That Only Adam West Could Deliver With Such Stentorian Panache 

Adam West and Yvonne Craig having a laugh on the set of “Batman,” 1967

And so we say good-bye to Adam West, star of the 1966 Batman TV show (and spin-off film) who for many fans was the first live-action Caped Crusader to rappel into their living rooms.

Raised on a ranch outside Walla Walla, Wash., West served in the U.S. Army (where he worked as an announcer on American Forces Network television) before moving to Hawaii and then Hollywood to pursue his acting career. He landed a number of small roles in films and TV dramas before he caught the attention of Batman producer William Dozier, who liked West’s comedic portrayal as a James Bond-type character in a TV spot for Nestle’s Quik.

West was filming The Relentless Four in Europe at the time; in a 2006 interview, he said he returned to the U.S. to meet with Dozier and read the pilot script for Batman. “I knew after 20 pages that it was the kind of comedy I wanted to do,” he said. He signed a contract on the spot, only asking that he have a say in who would play Robin the Boy Wonder.

“The tone of our first show… was one of absurdity and tongue-in-cheek to the point that I found it irresistible,” West once said. “I think they recognized that in me from what they’d seen me do before. I understood the material and brought something to it. You can’t play Batman in a serious, square-jawed, straight-ahead way without giving the audience the sense that there’s something behind that mask waiting to get out, that he’s a little crazed, he’s strange.”

No kidding. Even though West played the character totally straight, Batman/Bruce Wayne had a knack for saying the strangest pieces of dialogue ever spoken on network television. And I would argue the show never would have been the huge cultural sensation that it was if anyone other than West had spoken those lines.

Still not convinced? Read the following one-liners and just try not to hear yourself reading them in Adam West’s inestimable voice:

1. “We’ve come a long way from the Prime Minister’s exploding cake. Or have we?”

2. “He moves very quickly for an overstuffed and unlikely Egyptian Pharaoh.”

3. “Planting a time bomb in a local library is a felony.”

4. “I wish we could help you, citizen, but we’re just a couple of ordinary crime-fighters going about our mundane business.”

5. “Catwoman, I find you to be odious, abhorrent, and insegrievious.”

6. “It is the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report meeting a man from Mars in a public park.”

7. “This unique garb of ours is one of our weapons in crime-fighting. It shouldn’t bother anyone who abides by the law.”

8. “Bartender, a bit of advice. Always inspect a jukebox carefully. These machines can be deadly.”

9. “Let that be a lesson. In future, be more careful from who you accept free lemonade.”

10. “Salt and corrosion: the infamous old enemies of the crime fighter.”

11. “I’m certain this is the first stitch in a large tapestry of crime.”

12. “Only a criminal would disguise himself as a licensed, bonded guard yet callously park in front of a fire hydrant.”

13. “Arriving at Commissioner Gordon’s office in a taxi might be deemed a trifle ostentatious.”

14. “Take cover in the side streets! The recipes in this cookbook could be explosive.”

15. “How little do we know of time, Alfred. A one-syllable word, a noun. Yesterday’s laughter, tomorrow’s tears.”

16. “A wife, no matter how beauteous or affectionate, would severely impair my crime-fighting.”

17. “A reporter’s lot is not easy, making exciting stories out of plain, average, ordinary people like Robin and me.”

18. “It’s sometimes difficult to think clearly when you’re strapped to a printing press.”

19. “The responsibility of the press is to report the truth, despite what it might do to our public image. Our main concern is to a frightened public, whom we seem to be failing.”

20. “When we have more time, I’ll acquaint you with the various processes of sculpturing. It’s a fascinating art to which I have devoted many hours of study.”

21. “Our boots, leotards, gauntlets, capes, cowls, and even our utility belts are more permeable than you might think. Shall we start?”

22. “It looks like undesirable elements have once again infiltrated the manly art of self-defence.”

23. “I did think it would all end differently, somehow less ignominiously. To drown in my own anniversary cake!”

24. “Good, even though it’s sometimes sidetracked, always, repeat, always triumphs over evil.”

25. “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

26. “Let’s go, but inconspicuously, through the window.”

27. Robin: “Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?”
Batman: “The true crime-fighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.”

28. “Come, come, Dick. Pine. Elm. Hickory, chestnut, maple. Part of our heritage is the lure of living things, the storybook of nature.”

29. “Don’t dip your oar in this sordid sea, Dick. You might be besmirched.”

30. “In the end, veracity and rectitude always triumph.”

31. “I solemnly swear by my office as a crime-fighter that this outrage will not go unavenged.”

32. “You dipped your diphthong. People from Philadelphia are known for that.”

33. “You owe your life to dental hygiene.”

34. “Robin, England has no king now. England has a queen, and a great lady she is, too.”

35. Robin: “She looks very pretty when she’s asleep.”
Batman: “I thought you might eventually notice that. That single statement indicates to me the first oncoming thrust of manhood, old chum.”

36. “Yes, Dick, your bird calls are close to perfect. If more people practised them, someday we might have a chance for real communication with our feathered friends.”

37. “Oh, you must be jesting, Dick. Economics dull? The glamour, the romance of commerce… It’s the very lifeblood of our country’s society.”

38. “I think you should acquire a taste for opera, Robin, as one does for poetry and olives.”

39. “I suspect she is a nice girl down deep, but she’s fallen in with bad companions. And who knows what her home life was like.”

40. “With my head sticking out of this neosaurus costume, I might not appear like an ordinary, run of the mill crime-fighter.”

41. “Only the Riddler and his ilk would have such a flagrant disregard for private property!”

43. “No, Dick, I couldn’t allow my own ward to ride my own thoroughbred. People might think it was funny.”

42. Robin: “Holy Metronome! What a fate — punched into player-piano rolls!”
Batman: “True, Robin, scarcely an end I’d rather anticipate! Life — a cupful of surprises to the last drop!”