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Like many who grew up in the '60s and '70s (and perhaps even '80s and later), Tim and Paul had the course of their lives changed by the 1966 Batman TV show, from the types of play they did growing up to their present-day interests.

In this series, they discuss the show's allure and its failures, the arc of the show from satire to sitcom, its influences (the '40s serials and the comic books themselves) and the things it, in turn, influenced.

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Feb 4, 2021

The Riddler

The Riddler, a one-off villain in a Bill Finger/Dick Sprang comic book story in 1948, languished for nearly two decades until, in 1965, Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff happened to bring him back… just as a certain TV producer, William Dozier, was researching the idea of making a Batman TV show. Riddler ended up in the premiere episode, played by Frank Gorshin, and Gorshin was nominated for an Emmy for the role. Thus was the Riddler cemented as one of Batman’s greatest foes.

So the ’66 show is responsible for The Riddler’s prominence, but didn’t it also determine some specifics of the character? How he acts? How he dresses? How he talks? The show’s influence over how the Riddler was played lasted decades. In this episode, we’re joined by a voice actor who met Gorshin and has played several versions of the Riddler himself, Wally Wingert, to discuss these aspects of the Riddler, and explore the approach of his alter-ego, Frank Gorshin.

Plus, your mail about our discussion in episode 149 of Alan Napier’s memoir!

Brian Cronin article on the Riddle - find the inaccuracies!

Frank Gorshin performs "The Riddler" on Dean Martin's show

Frank Gorshin on American Bandstand, 1975

Evolution of the Riddler in cartoons in 11 minutes

Burt Ward on Conan O'Brien

1966 Batman Golden Records comic book + LP boxed set (submitted by Chris Cavanaugh)

Bat-Van submitted by Martin Noreau

The Riddler

Help Tim move away from his cough-inducing apartment