It is no secret that the 1966 Batman television show starring Adam West is one of my favorite television shows of all time. Some people dismiss it outright for the lighter tone of the portrayal of Batman. Because that is not what Batman is about Batman is a fellow who is the night and murders people for no reason. I find the light heartiness of the show uplifting also all the puns are on point. When I watch the show it gives me pure entertainment and never is a dull moment for laughter. One of my favorite aspects of the show is that every little thing in this version of the Dark Knight’s adventures is labeled to make it 100% stupid proof to any unexpected person, who is dumb enough to enter the bat cave or fall into the hands of the villain of the week.
Sometimes it keeps me up at night thinking about whose job it was to actually paint all the signs they would use for each week’s episode. Well I have to give a hand to the art department and set decoration. Well finally I narrowed it down to Jack Martin Smith in the art department and the countless other people in his team that had to paint every single silly sign in the entirety of the three seasons of 1966 Batman. So hats off to everyone involved with the batastic signs!
Some of my favorite signs are the most painfully obvious such as secret the “Automatic batalarm for detecting phone detaching equipment” to even the secret batpoles to the Batcave that are clearly labeled with Bruce and Dick. So anyone who would stumble upon them would instantly know that Bruce Wayne is Batman and Dick Grayson is Robin. These labels are one the best features to the television show just for the fact that no matter what it adds laughter to any scene that they are used it. Just because it makes it obvious to the viewer what they are and what the purpose of the heroism or villain that will be used with each label.
I can understand why they were used give the 1966 audience. To each an ever growing prime time audience they had to add these labels because not everyone was versed in what the heck computers did and more comic book idea’s such as Batcaves, batscilloscope viewer, emergency bat communicator to my all-time personal favorite label! Death bee beehive trip wire. I mean some things should be labeled the outside of building to emergency exits for common sense purposes but making it viewer understanding almost fool proof is really genius. I honestly wish that everything in the world was painfully obvious. We are slowly working there with “Caution hot coffee” to “DANGER REALLY HIGH UP!” That I have seen at work.
I personally would not mind being the factor that has to produce these signs. Though in the context of the show who actually paints all of these painfully obvious signs. Like does Alfred make it a task each day to get five signs painted more master Bruce? Does one of the henchmen make the evil lair signs just for his/her chore for the day instead of going around turning the Gotham city water supply into grape jelly? Does Batman or any of his rouge gallery contract outside help because clearly someone is making these signs because sometimes they go to places with these signs. I mean Gotham city must have had some awful lawsuits in the past to make sure that everything is labeled correctly. These are the questions that keep me up at night.
These aspects of the show are what really make the show so timeless in my opinion. Each generation will be able to watch the show and find humor out of the countless labels and stating the obvious from the young to the old viewers. I wish that the new DC Cinematic Universe would do something like this as a throwback or just a silly Easter egg in their Batman murder’s everyone movies. Because it might actually lighten to mood of the movies just a bit if Batfleck had a button in the Batmobile that said “hook that will go through a man and drag him” or a rifle that Batman has that says “Rifle that has explosive bullets so when fired will blow scum into more pieces”. Like the possibilities are endless in the carnage!