A BATMAN ’66 ANNIVERSARY SALUTE: A celebration of the ultimate gentleman’s gentleman…
Hey, it’s the anniversary of the 1966 Batman show! (56 years if you’re counting.) We’ve got a bunch of groovy stories for you this year, so make sure you check out the links at the bottom of the post. Meanwhile, dig this fab piece by 13th Dimension columnist and pal Jim Beard about the beloved Alan Napier’s memorable run as indispensible Alfred. Dig it! — Dan
By JIM BEARD
Though two actors preceded him and several followed, Alan Napier cemented the role of Alfred, Batman’s butler, in the public’s collective consciousness and for that I’m here today to praise him on the show’s anniversary. (His birthday was just the other day, too, on Jan. 7.)
When I think back on my beloved 1966-68 Batman TV series, it’s not just visions of Adam West and Burt Ward who spring immediately to mind, but the irreplaceable third member of the Dynamic Duo, the Bat-manservant himself, Alfred. And I can’t imagine anyone else whispering to “Master Bruce” that a call on the Batphone has just come in than that tall, distinguished gentleman’s gentleman with dapper discretion, Alan Napier.
Here are my 13 favorite Alfred adventures from the show, in chronological order:
The Thirteenth Hat/Batman Stands Pat
In His Eye His Trademark Twinkle/Alfred Bugs Turkey Bowinkle
The Penguin Goes Straight/Not Yet, He Ain’t
With Nary a Misplaced Word/Alfred Bamboozles the Bird
Fine Finny Fiends/Batman Makes the Scenes
Alfred Shops for Cut-Rate Caviar/He Gains a Twitch in his Savoir Faire
Batman (1966 Movie)
The Butler Dons a Mask/Putting Robin Back on Task
Shoot a Crooked Arrow/Walk the Straight and Narrow
The Greatest Archer in Liverpool/Alfred Proves He’s No Fool
The Impractical Joker/The Joker’s Provokers
Cousin Egbert Guards the Water/Leading Joker and His Gang to the Slaughter
Marsha, Queen of Diamonds/Marsha’s Scheme with Diamonds
Alfred Teams with Aunt Harriet/They Rescue Batman from the Marital Lariat
The Penguin’s Nest/The Bird’s Last Jest
Baked into the Penguin’s Pie/Alfred’s Upper Crust is About to Fry
Catwoman Goes to College/Batman Displays his Knowledge
The Butler Brings His Law Book/He Gets the Caped Crusader Off the Hook
Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin
The Dominoed Daredoll’s in a Rut/Alfred Learns her Startling Secret
The Wail of the Siren
The Commissioner is In Too Deep/Alfred to the Rescue with Batsleep
The Joker’s Flying Saucer
Little Green Men All Around/Alfred Goes Up to Take the Joker Down
The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra
The Terrific Trio’s Feeling Flat/Back to the Batcave to Pump Up the Bat
— 13 THINGS to Love About BATMAN ’66, by JIM BEARD. Click here.
— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite BATMAN ’66 EPISODES as a First-Run Viewer. Click here.
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1966! Click here.
Jim Beard has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.
Check out his latest releases, a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting, his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding World, and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season One and Biff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two.