Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Batman with guest star John Astin (1967)

For years the debate has raged on about who was the superior Catwoman - Eartha Kitt or Julie Newmar? However, one debate that has never been raised, let alone raged, is who was the superior Riddler. It hasn't, nor will it ever be a real question. Frank Gorshin is more established as The Riddler than he is anything else - an impressionist, nightclub comic, or actor. Frank Gorshin is The Riddler, period. That's why it always feels so weird when this episode of Batman comes on TV featuring Gomez Addams, John Astin, in the role. Pretty interesting tho. These episodes aired not before Gorshin played The Riddler and not after, but in between. Gorshin had established the character, Astin filled in briefly, Gorshin returned to the part in the fall. Listen to Frank Gorshin sing the novelty track (written by Mel Torme!) pictured above by clicking here.

2 comments:

Phillyradiogeek said...

I love John Astin, but not as The Riddler. Frank Gorshin owned that role, and Astin's portrayel falls woefully flat. To Astin's dredit, he does not try to imitate Gorshin's Riddler, but unfortunately Astin doesn't bring anything interesting to the table.

When in the name of Bob Kane will this show become available on DVD? The 1966 theatrical film has been available for several years, so what's the holdup with the series?

Kliph Nesteroff said...

The hold-up is that 20th Century Fox owns the series but Time-Warner owns the Batman characters. Without some kind of compromise, which neither of these huge greedy corporate players seem willing to do, it can not be done. Both know that this will be a huge seller, hence a huge profit maker, so neither is willing to budge. That being said, I have no idea how it came to be that 20th Century Fox is able to release the DVD of the feature film. Not exactly sure where the loophole is for that.