10 Funniest Gadgets From The Adam West Batman Show
Batman (1966) occupies an odd place in popular culture, remembered (sometimes fondly) for its country tone, wacky stories, and goofy actions. While the show’s many iconic elements, phrases, and action shots remain a staple of pop culture and are the subject of many jokes, many people don’t remember that was the point.
Yes, Batman was silly, but it was never meant to be taken seriously. The show is a comedy dressed up as an action superhero series, and no element of the show makes that clearer than the many weird gadgets used by Adam West and Burt Ward’s Batman and Robin. From shields to lasers to shark spray, every gadget featured Batman’s iconic logo and design.
10/10 Batman’s portable laser gun was for all intents and purposes
Batman’s laser gun (one of the few items in his toolbox without a “Bat” prefix) is one of his most useful gadgets. In the pilot episode alone, he uses it no less than three times, from lighting a fuse, to cutting steel bars on a window, to melting the firing pin of a revolver. The laser gun became the ace up Batman’s sleeve, and its ridiculous user-friendliness was indicative of the show’s comedic style.
What’s even more surprising than a 1960s Batman with a portable, light and powerful laser is the fact that, unlike some of Batman’s old gadgets, the laser gun has remained a staple of the Batman inventory. Although not as bizarrely portrayed, Batman still keeps laser-based tools, specifically laser cutters, in his utility belt today.
9/10 The anti-hypnotic bat reflector is perfectly in tune with the tone of the show
This gimmick is pure Silver Age nonsense, and the show takes that ridiculous deus ex machina and runs with it. Why does Batman have a mirror on his person specially designed to counter the Mad Hatter? Because why not!
Batman’s high-tech mirror demonstrates the series’ angle on the old “prep time” argument. The idea that Batman could defeat anyone with enough prep time holds true here, but instead of a cool, action-packed portrayal, it’s portrayed as silly, if not a bit sloppy, for laughs.
8/10 Batman carries a Wayne Mansion key (just in case)
Once again, BatmanThe idea of the ever-prepared Batman is played for laughs, rather than showing a dangerous and dark vigilante. In the classic episode “Joker’s Provokers”, Joker binds Batman to a giant key duplicator, intending to kill him by running him through the machine.
However, Joker is foiled when Batman throws his spare key into the machine, giving him time to escape. Adam West’s Batman really is prepared for anything, just like Batman from the comics, but his preparations also include just carrying around a spare key in case he gets locked out of his mansion. In a series where the absurd is often presented as banal, the banal becomes absurd and increases the hilarity.
7/10 The Bat-Turn lever designed for one of the most iconic shows
With Batman and Robin using an atomic-powered car with a rocket engine, a simple emergency break wouldn’t be enough to perform high-speed turns. This is where the Emergency-Bat-Turn-Lever comes in. First, it releases parachutes to help slow the car down before braking and allowing a full 180 degree turn.
While it somehow makes sense that West’s sleek and powerful Batmobile needed a special way to spin, Batman ’66 gave it its own unique flavor. The over-the-top execution combines a great action scene and laugh-out-loud laughter.
6/10 Batman used Bat-Acillin for headaches and gunshot wounds
The modern Batman usually mends his wounds on the fly with futuristic first aid equipment or endures long enough to get back to the Batcave, where Alfred can stitch him up. Adam West’s Batman, however, had a much better way to deal with battle wounds: Bat-Acillin.
Bat-Acillin makes video game health packs blush, a simple lozenge that allows whoever takes it to instantly recover from any illness or injury. In the Western-inspired episode “That’s How You Play The Game”, Robin is shot in the heel and Batman gives him Bat-Acillin. In the next scene, Robin is on his feet, jumping and clicking his heels like it never happened. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but 100% fits in Batmanof the world.
5/10 The Bat-Ray put an end to all high-speed pursuit
Batman ’66 loved his car chases, and the Bat-Ray was Batman’s one-stop shop for ending them. Since Batman is strictly a non-lethal hero, he deployed no madmax Where Fast and Furious tricks to get the upper hand. Batman used his Bat-Ray, a sort of ion/emp laser beam that disabled the villain’s vehicle.
How does it work without disabling the Batmobile, and why does it come out of the headlights of all things? In perfect Batman ’66 mode, the series never bothers to explain how it works; he just shows off his flashy toy. The fact that its very first use results in an explosive crash really demonstrates the mix of silliness and awesome action the series is famous for.
4/10 The Batmobile’s anti-theft activator is clunky in all the right ways
Today, Batman uses everything from biometric scanners to an electric field to protect the Batmobile from theft, but it wasn’t so easy with an open-top Batmobile in 1966. Instead, in the very first episode , when the Riddler tries to steal the Batmobile, Batman’s methods of preventing theft are on full display.
Robin disguises the anti-theft activator as an ignition, so when Riddler tries to leave with his prize, he sets off fireworks instead. Batman’s ingenious theft protection is to set off fireworks to allow anyone to track a stolen Batmobile. It’s ridiculous, but it’s funny in the right way, and while it’s silly, it was effective, forcing Riddler to give up his attempts.
3/10 Batman and Robin’s Bat-Shields Defy Logic
Since Batman does not use guns, he must take action to negate the advantages that guns give his opponents. Sometimes he uses his Batarangs to knock them down, smoke bombs to block enemy views, or (in the Arkham series) he disables them with advanced technology, but in Batman ’66 got pretty silly, even by the show’s silly standards.
Batman and Robin used portable bulletproof glass shields that Batman kept in his utility belt. How, exactly, did Batman break the laws of physics, not glass, to stash a collapsible shield in his belt? No idea, but watching it makes for a great comedic moment.
2/10 Batman and Robin’s batsticks were the first sign of stupidity
In the pilot episode, even before Batman and Robin appeared in their costumes, one of the very first signs of the Dynamic Duo’s behavior was the Bat-Poles, and they clearly showed how campy the audience was. for.
The Bat-Poles are, inexplicably and hilariously, clearly labeled as the “Bat-Poles” that lead to the Batcave, and are also marked specifically for Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. So if someone (like Aunt Harriet) accidentally opened the secret entrance, there would be no possible denial of its purpose, and that just makes it funnier. Batman and Robin always leave the poles already changed in their costumes, but it works.
1/10 Batman: The Movie’s Shark Repellent Is Iconic
batman: the movie is absurd even by the show’s standards. But it’s admirable that it manages to distill every aspect of the series into a movie, using famous villains from the original series like Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman, and that it contains some memorable moments.
Really, what would a discussion of Adam West’s Batman be without Bat-Shark-Repellent? The gimmick is the epitome of the show’s hilarious take on the over-prepared Batman, and the fact that the shark then falls back into the ocean and explodes is the perfect encapsulation of the show’s over-the-top comedy.
Next: 10 Actors You Forgot Were On Batman (1966)