End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown

bat-cat-2-500x366

IT IS AN INEXORABLE, if lamentable rite of passage: revisiting mementos from one’s childhood and discovering that, to an adult’s eyes, they’re lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is how we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose still seems eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her sophomoric metaphysics for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry the bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand. Now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is actually possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s sublime.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, annoyingly, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix and, until recently, even to purchase. And you’ll need a couple hundred bucks to satisfy your curiosity via the box set series. The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I’m here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The O.J. (as in, Original Joker).

JOKER

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any special memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the unhinged antics that were, at once hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how irredeemably, magnificently campy the show was.

I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities. (Incidentally, am I the only one to recently discover George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe in 1989, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the movie itself). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black, though still sardonic take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older. It also didn’t hurt that his Cuban/Italian descent imparted a subtly exotic, almost indescribably outré edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for—as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache—his decades-old trademark—for this role is so genius I can scarcely handle it: like the Joker himself, a recalcitrant rascal. How brilliant is that? The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode. Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how outstanding the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t overlook Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. This trio comprises an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat: it’s the sine qua non of caped-crusading camp. This is the all-in Battle Royale (with cheese), a brawl that involves all the assorted players, because duh. And the capper, when our hero saves the kitten from drowning with the winking send-off “Bon voyage pussy!”. Holy blissful extravagance, Batman!

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether, and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar. The young me would like to say, Thank you, Catwoman. The adult me would like to say, Will you marry me, Ms. Newmar?

Her perfection as Catwoman, as a woman, period, would suffice, but seeing how she has remained engaged, politically active, and completely down to earth (and appreciative, after all these years, of her fans) makes her as attractive, eight decades on, as she’s ever been. (Swoon.)

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

In addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, above: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by Season Three the producers/writers seemed to understand what may have worked in 1966 was not registering in late ‘67. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most camptastic—and transcendent—few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. With bathing suits over their costumes In shark-infested waters, obviously. (And a handy, if obligatory bottle of Shark Repellent, because OBVIOUSLY.) With real surfers cheering from shore. This is a line in the sands of Santa Monica: you’re either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

So, in closing and with eternal gratitude, the campy, iconoclastic genius of the show summarized in one scene (keyword BATUSI):

This piece originally appeared at The Weeklings on 9/16/15.

Share

End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown

bat-cat-2-500x366

IT IS AN INEXORABLE, if lamentable rite of passage: revisiting mementos from one’s childhood and discovering that, to an adult’s eyes, they’re lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is how we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose still seems eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her sophomoric metaphysics for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry the bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand. Now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is actually possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s sublime.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, annoyingly, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix and, until recently, even to purchase. And you’ll need a couple hundred bucks to satisfy your curiosity via the box set series. The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I’m here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The O.J. (as in, Original Joker).

JOKER

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any special memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the unhinged antics that were, at once hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how irredeemably, magnificently campy the show was.

I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities. (Incidentally, am I the only one to recently discover George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe in 1989, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the movie itself). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black, though still sardonic take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older. It also didn’t hurt that his Cuban/Italian descent imparted a subtly exotic, almost indescribably outré edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for—as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache—his decades-old trademark—for this role is so genius I can scarcely handle it: like the Joker himself, a recalcitrant rascal. How brilliant is that?  The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode. Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how outstanding the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t overlook Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. This trio comprises an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat: it’s the sine qua non of caped-crusading camp. This is the all-in Battle Royale (with cheese), a brawl that involves all the assorted players, because duh. And the capper, when our hero saves the kitten from drowning with the winking send-off “Bon voyage pussy!”. Holy blissful extravagance, Batman!

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether, and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar. The young me would like to say, Thank you, Catwoman. The adult me would like to say, Will you marry me, Ms. Newmar?

Her perfection as Catwoman, as a woman, period, would suffice, but seeing how she has remained engaged, politically active, and completely down to earth (and appreciative, after all these years, of her fans) makes her as attractive, eight decades on, as she’s ever been. (Swoon.)

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

In addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, above: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by Season Three the producers/writers seemed to understand what may have worked in 1966 was not registering in late ‘67. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most camptastic—and transcendent—few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. With bathing suits over their costumes In shark-infested waters, obviously. (And a handy, if obligatory bottle of Shark Repellent, because OBVIOUSLY.) With real surfers cheering from shore. This is a line in the sands of Santa Monica: you’re either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

So, in closing and with eternal gratitude, the campy, iconoclastic genius of the show summarized in one scene (keyword BATUSI):

Bonus clip: The cast, older, wiser, gentler:

 This piece originally appeared at The Weeklings on 9/16/15.
Share

End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown (Revisited)

batman1966movie

It is an inexorable, if lamentable rite of passage to revisit cultural mementos from one’s childhood and discover that, to an adult’s eyes, they are lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is one of the ways we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose and sophomoric metaphysics still seem eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her pulp for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry my bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand; now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s better.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, apparently, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix or even to purchase. (Wow, this has been a controversial dilemma for some time apparently; there is a whole section of the Wikipedia page dedicated to it…one shudders to think of all the hardcore comic book collectors who are –and have been– incensed about this.) The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I am here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest (bordering on infatuation?) can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The “O.J.” (as in, Original Joker).

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any lingering memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the maniacal, unhinged hilarity that managed to be hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how iredeemably, magnificently campy the show was. I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities (holy shit, did anyone know George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were (by turns) funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the first movie). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black (though still sardonic) take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out, courtesy of YouTube:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older, and of Cuban/Italian descent that gave him that subtly exotic, almost indescribably outre edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for –as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache (his decades-old trademark) is so genius I can scarcely convey my joy and admiration. How perfect is that? The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. (And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode.) Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how great the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t sleep on Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. That is an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. (For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat –skip to the three minute mark for the most epic fight scene that ever includes the words “Bon voyage Pussy”):

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether (in clip above, from film) and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar.

 

 

 

 

 

While I offer serious props to the benevolent citizen who put the Joker clips together, I’m incredibly disappointed that some turbo nerd has not compiled a Catwoman montage: get on that Internets!

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

So in addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, below: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by season three the producers/writers seemed to understand that what may have worked in 1965 was not registering in 1967. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most campy (and sublime) few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. In shark-infested waters, obviously. With real surfers cheering from shore. With bathing suits over their costumes. This is a line in the sand: you are either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Wow, one never knows what is available on the Internet. Check this out! (Yes, he raises his hand and says “Peace” at the end. Thank you Mr. West.)

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

Peace.

Bonus footage (to make up for the YouTube removal of the epic Joker montage, above):

OH SNAP! Real time edit. Check this out HERE!

Share

End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown

It is an inexorable, if lamentable rite of passage to revisit cultural mementos from one’s childhood and discover that, to an adult’s eyes, they are lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is one of the ways we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose and sophomoric metaphysics still seem eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her pulp for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry my bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand; now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s better.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, apparently, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix or even to purchase. (Wow, this has been a controversial dilemma for some time apparently; there is a whole section of the Wikipedia page dedicated to it…one shudders to think of all the hardcore comic book collectors who are –and have been– incensed about this.) The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I am here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest (bordering on infatuation?) can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The “O.J.” (as in, Original Joker).

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any lingering memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the maniacal, unhinged hilarity that managed to be hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how iredeemably, magnificently campy the show was. I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities (holy shit, did anyone know George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were (by turns) funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the first movie). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black (though still sardonic) take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out, courtesy of YouTube:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older, and of Cuban/Italian descent that gave him that subtly exotic, almost indescribably outre edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for –as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache (his decades-old trademark) is so genius I can scarcely convey my joy and admiration. How perfect is that? The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. (And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode.) Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how great the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t sleep on Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. That is an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. (For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat –skip to the three minute mark for the most epic fight scene that ever includes the words “Bon voyage Pussy”):

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether (in clip above, from film) and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar.

 

 

 

 

 

While I offer serious props to the benevolent citizen who put the Joker clips together, I’m incredibly disappointed that some turbo nerd has not compiled a Catwoman montage: get on that Internets!

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

So in addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, below: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by season three the producers/writers seemed to understand that what may have worked in 1965 was not registering in 1967. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most campy (and sublime) few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. In shark-infested waters, obviously. With real surfers cheering from shore. With bathing suits over their costumes. This is a line in the sand: you are either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Wow, one never knows what is available on the Internet. Check this out! (Yes, he raises his hand and says “Peace” at the end. Thank you Mr. West.)

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

Peace.

Bonus footage (to make up for the YouTube removal of the epic Joker montage, above):

OH SNAP! Real time edit. Check this out HERE!

Share

End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown (Revisited)

It is an inexorable, if lamentable rite of passage to revisit cultural mementos from one’s childhood and discover that, to an adult’s eyes, they are lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is one of the ways we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose and sophomoric metaphysics still seem eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her pulp for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry my bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand; now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s better.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, apparently, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix or even to purchase. (Wow, this has been a controversial dilemma for some time apparently; there is a whole section of the Wikipedia page dedicated to it…one shudders to think of all the hardcore comic book collectors who are –and have been– incensed about this.) The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I am here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest (bordering on infatuation?) can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The “O.J.” (as in, Original Joker).

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any lingering memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the maniacal, unhinged hilarity that managed to be hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how iredeemably, magnificently campy the show was. I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities (holy shit, did anyone know George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were (by turns) funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the first movie). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black (though still sardonic) take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out, courtesy of YouTube:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older, and of Cuban/Italian descent that gave him that subtly exotic, almost indescribably outre edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for –as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache (his decades-old trademark) is so genius I can scarcely convey my joy and admiration. How perfect is that? The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. (And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode.) Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how great the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t sleep on Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. That is an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. (For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat –skip to the three minute mark for the most epic fight scene that ever includes the words “Bon voyage Pussy”):

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether (in clip above, from film) and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar.

 

 

 

 

 

While I offer serious props to the benevolent citizen who put the Joker clips together, I’m incredibly disappointed that some turbo nerd has not compiled a Catwoman montage: get on that Internets!

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

So in addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, below: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by season three the producers/writers seemed to understand that what may have worked in 1965 was not registering in 1967. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most campy (and sublime) few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. In shark-infested waters, obviously. With real surfers cheering from shore. With bathing suits over their costumes. This is a line in the sand: you are either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Wow, one never knows what is available on the Internet. Check this out! (Yes, he raises his hand and says “Peace” at the end. Thank you Mr. West.)

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

Peace.

Bonus footage (to make up for the YouTube removal of the epic Joker montage, above):

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A History of Violence

When you think about the distinctive ingredients of Americana, the elements that comprise what we think about when we think of what makes America so…American, it’s easy to recite the clichéd short-list: mom, apple pie, convertibles, rock and roll, McDonalds, sexual repression, colonialism, enhanced interrogations, et cetera.

But really, when you get down to it, we are all about violence. And, to a large degree, violence sort of encompasses all of the things listed above (the violence we do to others, the violence we do to the environment, the violence we do to ourselves–inherent in the desires we succumb to as well as deny, which are epitomized by most religions). But our religion is violence, and our cathedral has long been the silver screen. So we celebrate our addiction to violence in ways less brutal but more calculated than the barbaric Gladiator spectacles of yesteryear (we weren’t Americans yet): by perfecting what has become a universal aesthetic, the movie fight scene. Kind of like porn movie plots are a delivery device for the fucking, action movie plots are often a disposable fulcrum for the fighting.

The actual art of choreographed violence is serious business, literally and figuratively (i.e., in terms of time and money spent, and revenue generated) and really should not be blithely dismissed. There are books written, there are even movies made about the making of movies. So let the academics and darkened room disciples ruminate and pontificate; it’s much more enjoyable to make fun of the ritual that constitutes an entire industry. And it’s certainly a hell of a lot more satisfying to consider the sinister art of the bad fight scene, the dark cousin of the painstakingly crafted celluloid ballet. The bad fight scene, a semi-retarded pas de deux, has evolved into its own special status: it is an indispensable aspect of our culture. Thank God.

To appreciate the curious magic of the laughably bad, it’s helpful to first consider the unassailably good. I don’t know many serious film critics (or fans) who would deny that our nimble brethren from Asia have come closest to elevating the serious fight scene to unprecedented levels of artistry. Two recent examples, each featuring the obligatory one-man vs. the crowd sequence appear in Chan Wook Park’s Old Boy and Prachya Pinkaew’s Tom-Yum-Goong.

Exhibit A: Dae Su (the great Choi Min-Sik) drops the hammer (pun intended) on a bunch of hoods. Improbable, over-the-top, outstanding!

Exhibit B: the jaw-dropping Tony Jaa’s instant classic (already immortal) one-take (!!) fight scene, which took over a month to prepare and rehearse. The result is unedited (!!!) perfection, using the fifth take. Respect!

As kind of an antidote, it’s instructive to appreciate Martin Scorsese’s integrity. His dedication to authenticity depicts an epic fight scene that actually plays out the way fights usually look in real life: sloppy, uneven, embarrassing. This is a clinic, made indelible by De Niro and Joey “The Mook”:

And as an intermission, or delicious palette cleanser, let’s appreciate the sine qua non of campy superhero fight scenes (which obliges us to turn to the ultimate in camp, the caped crusader played by the marvelous Adam West): this is the all-in battle royale, a brawl that involves all the assorted players (skip to the three-minute mark if you can’t stand the suspense). Three words: “Bon voyage pussy!” Holy blissful extravagance, Batman! (Much, much more on Batman, and camp, here.)

Speaking of camp: does it get any better (worse) than Patrick Swayze? This scene has so much homoerotic energy it almost sucks its own dick. You can fear the mullets while simultaneously contemplating who’s gayer: Swayze, (the great) Ben Gazzara (“Can somebody geta drink around here?”) or the dude with pool cue? Are you kidding me? In very un-American fashion, embedding is disabled but you can enjoy a full ten minutes worth of “highlights” here.

Of course, the only cat who could challenge Swayze for the crown is Rob Lowe. First up, an epic romp with Andrew McCarthy (doing his finest work, which isn’t saying much) from the so-bad-it’s-great Class (two words: Jacqueline Bisset). Skip ahead to the 5.23 mark for the fight, but you can watch the whole thing to appreciate John Cusak in his first movie role. Recognize!

But this is child’s play compared to Youngblood(which gets you a young(er) Swayze and Keanu Reeves, demonstrating that at no time in his career could he act), a cheesefest that reaches almost offensive levels of connect-the-dots corniness. The bromance battling the testosterone here is officially off the charts; the movie itself is one long fight scene between gay yearning and feel-good Hollywood onanism.

Of course, for both fight scenes and hockey, it’s all about the Hanson brothers and Slap Shot (six words: “I’m listening to the fucking song!):

Don’t think I’m going to sleep on Stallone. Any number of his movies could be considered (duh) but for the all-time camp, how you can top the over-the-top invocation of boxing and pro wrestling? Enter a relatively young Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips, the ultimate male. (Incidentally, Rocky III would be on the short list of all-time homo-erotic films. It may be in the top three alongside Road House and Top Gun.)

Now we’re approaching that elevated plane also known as the truth. Male gymnist? Check. Pommel horse? Check. Gayness off the charts? Big check. The only remaining question being, can you handle this truth? Let’s see:

But let’s stop screwing around and get to the glory. The scene, and I mean the scene, where all the elements (camp, over-the-top pyrotechnics, implausibility, bad (and good) acting, and wrestling) come together, are made manifest in John Carpenter’s They Live. A six minute fight scene. S.I.X. M.I.N.U.T.E.S. And this isn’t just a gratuitous scrap; the end of the world as we know it as at stake (“Put on the glasses!”), with hero Roddy Piper (formerly “Rowdy” Roddy Piper of World Wrestling Federation fame) and not-yet-convinced good guy Keith David sorting things out in an alley. The sequence allegedly took over three weeks to rehearse, and it’s one for the ages.

So what do you get, where else is there to go, when you have a scene like the one above, that parodies virtually every aspect of the entire history of fight scenes? You have a scene that parodies that scene. Enter Ernie the Giant Chicken, the recurring character from Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. (The scene below is an appetizer; here is the main course.)

What else is there left to say? Why not tie it all together with the only genius who actually is capable of intermingling all of these elements into his own work. Martial arts inspired reggae? Lee Scratch Perry has it covered.

So what did I miss? Let me know what fight scene (good, bad, ugly or hopefully, all of these) you would put into the pantheon. Peace!

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End of Summer (Camp) with a Bat, a Cat and a Clown

It is an inexorable, if lamentable rite of passage to revisit cultural mementos from one’s childhood and discover that, to an adult’s eyes, they are lacking.

But then, “putting away childish things” is one of the ways we avoid arrested development, a condition that impairs critical faculties, stymies meaningful relationships and makes one susceptible to things like libertarianism. (If, for instance, you re-read Ayn Rand and her porcine-fisted prose and sophomoric metaphysics still seem eloquent, you’ve got some growing up to do; if you encounter her pulp for the first time as an adult and are inexplicably smitten, you are, unfortunately, a lost cause, both morally and intellectually.)

When I was a child, you would have had to pry my bowl of Boo Berry from my cold, dead hand; now I understand my teeth would rot on contact, even if I were able to score a box online (apparently this is possible; this is America). I used to think a Big Mac (washed down with that non-carbonated orange drink, obviously) was the height of culinary bliss, a sort of pre-adolescent ambrosia. I thought scary movies were, well, scary. In other words, I thought a lot of things. I was even correct about one or two of them.

I thought, for instance, that the Batman TV series was amazing. It turns out I was wrong. It’s not amazing; it’s better.

Bear with me. When’s the last time you saw (when’s the last time you thought about) Batman and imagined Adam West instead of, say, Christian Bale or Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, etc.?

It probably has been a while because, apparently, the old episodes are currently unavailable via Netflix or even to purchase. (Wow, this has been a controversial dilemma for some time apparently; there is a whole section of the Wikipedia page dedicated to it…one shudders to think of all the hardcore comic book collectors who are –and have been– incensed about this.) The show does still get airplay on certain TV channels. I know this because I have friends who have kids. Quite serendipitously, I was babysitting one of these little cherubs and per her request (!) we caught a couple of old school episodes. I am here to tell you, without shame and with inexplicable enthusiasm, it was something of a revelation.

There are several angles I could take here, but my rekindled interest (bordering on infatuation?) can be reduced to two words: Cesar Romero. The “O.J.” (as in, Original Joker).

Folks, anyone born after 1980-ish probably can’t appreciate this, but for people of my generation, Cesar Romero was The Joker. I sort of recall reading the occasional comic book but don’t have any lingering memories of how he translated on the page. I do have memories of the laugh, the green hair, the purple suit and the maniacal, unhinged hilarity that managed to be hilarious and horrifying. What I did not recall, since I was a kid at the time, was how iredeemably, magnificently campy the show was. I certainly recall that the original Superman never resonated with me, in part because that show was not old school, it was antediluvian school. Plus, the George Reeves incarnation was always a tad too fascistic for my delicate sensibilities (holy shit, did anyone know George Reeves died by a bullet wound that may have been suicide? Holy irony, Batman.) Then again, I’ve never been much of a Superman guy; in my formative years it was always Batman and Spiderman, both of whom were (by turns) funnier, darker and more human.

Anyway, back to The Joker. Obviously Jack Nicholson was tapping into that campy vibe, but his role, however amusing, was over-the-top in ways that don’t age particularly well (kind of like the first movie). Not many people would argue that Heath Ledger’s pitch-black (though still sardonic) take was not a huge improvement. Nevertheless, before we crown Ledger’s uncanny performance the final word on the subject, we are obliged to return to the beginning. Have you forgotten how unbelievably perfect Cesar Romero was? Check it out, courtesy of YouTube:

Any questions?

Maybe it’s the fact that he was a bit older, and of Cuban/Italian descent that gave him that subtly exotic, almost indescribably outre edge. This is The Joker I grew up with, and it’s the only arch villain I can imagine actually rooting for –as a child or an adult. Just reading about Romero makes me happy. Check this out. The fact that he refused to shave his mustache (his decades-old trademark) is so genius I can scarcely convey my joy and admiration. How perfect is that? The most incorrigible fiend played by an incorrigible, image-conscious movie star with prima donna tendencies? Bliss. (And extra marks: if you look at photos or, if you’re smart, find some clips online, you can totally see the impossible-to-conceal ‘stache in each episode.) Truth is always odder and better than even the best fiction.

And let’s do a quick sidebar for how great the other bad guys were. Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, anyone? Yes, please. And don’t sleep on Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. That is an untouchable criminal triptych that could not possibly be improved upon. (For irrefutable evidence of this claim, please appreciate this clip from the movie, wherein we have Penguin fencing with Batman (making appropriate Penguin noises), Romero’s brown hair obvious under the wig and The Riddler doing some bad ballet on board a boat –skip to the three minute mark for the most epic fight scene that ever includes the words “Bon voyage Pussy”):

And lest we forget (how could we forget?) there is Catwoman. Can I get an Amen? I’m a rather huge fan of Lee Meriwether (in clip above, from film) and everyone has to appreciate the incomparable Eartha Kitt (from Season Three). But let’s not kid ourselves here: it’s all about Julie Newmar.

 

 

 

 

 

While I offer serious props to the benevolent citizen who put the Joker clips together, I’m incredibly disappointed that some turbo nerd has not compiled a Catwoman montage: get on that Internets!

And don’t think I’m sleeping on Adam West. I won’t (can’t?) compare him to the subsequent Batmen played in the various movies, but kind of like with The Joker, he did it first and he did it best. He is Batman. A gentleman, a humanitarian, a…dork. His (West’s) goofiness can’t be overstated, and that humanity gives the character a distinct vulnerability. How can you not love this guy?

So in addition to everything else, it’s possible that Batman was the first series to jump the shark (or at least repel the shark). Consider the clip, below: obviously the series was straining to keep its edge (or appeal, or whatever) and by season three the producers/writers seemed to understand that what may have worked in 1965 was not registering in 1967. The world, of course, was changing. Hence, we have the most campy (and sublime) few moments of TV I can ever recall watching: Batman and Joker surfing. In shark-infested waters, obviously. With real surfers cheering from shore. With bathing suits over their costumes. This is a line in the sand: you are either with me or against me. I defy you to watch this clip and not join the party.

Wow, one never knows what is available on the Internet. Check this out! (Yes, he raises his hand and says “Peace” at the end. Thank you Mr. West.)

Summer may be winding down and all of us are getting older every second, but retaining a child-like joy for certain things is still the best way to keep age and cynicism at bay.

Peace.

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A History of Violence

When you think about the distinctive ingredients of Americana, the elements that comprise what we think about when we think of what makes America so…American, it’s easy to recite the cliched short-list: mom, apple pie, convertibles, rock and roll, McDonalds, sexual repression, colonialism, enhanced interrogations, et cetera.

But really, when you get down to it, we are all about violence. And, to a large degree, violence sort of encompasses all of the things listed above (the violence we do to others, the violence we do to the environment, the violence we do to ourselves–inherent in the desires we succumb to as well as deny, which are epitomized by most religions). But our religion is violence, and our cathedral has long been the silver screen. And we celebrate our addiction to violence in ways less brutal but more calculated than the barbaric Gladiator spectacles of yesteryear (we weren’t Americans yet): by perfecting what has become a universal aesthetic, the movie fight scene. Kind of like porn movie plots are a delivery device for the fucking, action movie plots are often a disposable fulcrum for the fighting.

The actual art of choreographed violence is serious business, literally and figuratively (i.e., in terms of time and money spent, and revenue generated) and really should not be blithely dismissed. There are books written, there are even movies made about the making of movies. So let the academics and darkened room disciples ruminate and pontificate; it’s much more enjoyable to make fun of the ritual that constitutes an entire industry. And it’s certainly a hell of a lot more satisfying to consider the sinister art of the bad fight scene, the dark cousin of the painstakingly crafted celluloid ballet. The bad fight scene, a semi-retarded pas de deux, has evolved into its own special status: it is an indispensable aspect of our culture. Thank God.

To appreciate the curious magic of the laughably bad, it’s helpful to first consider the unassailably good. I don’t know many serious film critics (or fans) who would deny that our nimble brethren from Asia have come closest to elevating the serious fight scene to unprecedented levels of artistry. Two recent examples, each featuring the obligatory one-man vs. the crowd sequence appear in Chan Wook Park’s Old Boy and Prachya Pinkaew’s Tom-Yum-Goong.

Exhibit A: Dae Su (the great Choi Min-Sik) drops the hammer (pun intended) on a bunch of hoods. Improbable, over-the-top, outstanding!

Exhibit B: the jaw-dropping Tony Jaa’s instant classic (already immortal) one-take (!!) fight scene, which took over a month to prepare and rehearse. The result is unedited (!!!) perfection, using the fifth take. Respect!

As kind of an antidote, it’s instructive to appreciate Martin Scorsese’s integrity. His dedication to authenticity depicts an epic fight scene that actually plays out the way fights usually look in real life: sloppy, uneven, embarrassing. This is a clinic, made indelible by De Niro and Joey “The Mook”:

And as an intermission, or delicious palette cleanser, let’s appreciate the sine qua non of campy superhero fight scenes (which obliges us to turn to the ultimate in camp, the caped crusader played by the marvelous Adam West): this is the all-in battle royale, a brawl that involves all the assorted players. Three words: “Bon voyage pussy!” Holy blissful extravagance, Batman!

Speaking of camp: does it get any better (worse) than Patrick Swayze? This scene has so much homoerotic energy it almost sucks its own dick. You can fear the mullets while simultaneously contemplating who’s gayer: Swayze, (the great) Ben Gazzara (“Can somebody geta drink around here?”) or the dude with pool cue? Are you kidding me?

Of course, the only cat who could challenge Swayze for the crown is Rob Lowe. First up, an epic romp with Andrew McCarthy (doing his finest work, which isn’t saying much) from the so-bad-it’s-great Class (two words: Jacqueline Bisset). Skip ahead to the 5.23 mark for the fight, but you can watch the whole thing to appreciate John Cusak in his first movie role. Recognize!

But this is child’s play compared to Youngblood(which gets you a young(er) Swayze and Keanu Reeves, demonstrating that at no time in his career could he act), a cheesefest that reaches almost offensive levels of connect-the-dots corniness. The bromance battling the testosterone here is officially off the charts; the movie itself is one long fight scene between gay yearning and feel-good Hollywood onanism.

Of course, for both fight scenes and hockey, it’s all about the Hanson brothers and Slap Shot (six words: “I’m listening to the fucking song!):

Now we’re approaching that elevated plane also known as the truth. Male gymnist? Check. Pommel horse? Check. Gayness off the charts? Big check (special shout out to my beloved Meatbull for bringing this one to my attention). The only remaining question being: can you handle the truth? Let’s see:

But let’s stop screwing around and get to the glory. The scene, and I mean the scene, where all the elements (camp, over-the-top pyrotechnics, implausibility, bad (and good) acting, and wrestling) come together, are made manifest in John Carpenter’s They Live. A six minute fight scene. S.I.X. M.I.N.U.T.E.S. And this isn’t just a gratuitous scrap; the end of the world as we know it as at stake (“Put on the glasses!”), with hero Roddy Piper (formerly “Rowdy” Roddy Piper of World Wrestling Federation fame) and not-yet-convinced good guy Keith David sorting things out in an alley. The sequence allegedly took over three weeks to rehearse, and it’s one for the ages.

So what do you get, where else is there to go, when you have a scene like the one above, that parodies virtually every aspect of the entire history of fight scenes? You have a scene that parodies that scene. Enter Ernie the Giant Chicken, the recurring character from Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy.

What else is there left to say? Why not tie it all together with the only genius who actually is capable of intermingling all of these elements into his own work. Martial arts inspired reggae? Lee Scratch Perry has it covered. So what did I miss? Let me know what fight scene (good, bad, ugly or hopefully, all of these) you would put into the pantheon. Peace!

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