Last Wednesday Nick Nadel and I screened an evening of BATMAN videos, starting with an episode of the Batman cartoon called “Legends of the Dark Knight” — in the 1950’s story Gary Owens voices Batman opposite Michael McKean’s Joker.
After that we let the audience choose a clip from the 1966 Batman movie — the overwhelming majority wanted to watch the “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb” sequence instead of the “Shark Repellant” scene. Good call audience! It got the biggest laughs of the night. The second biggest laugh came when I read a Batman haiku which was penned by my wife. (She’s funnier than me.)
Then we showed some of the 1943 Batman Serial, which is historically significant for: a drab Batmobile, slow pacing, and racism (the bad kind.) Following the dramatic cliffhanger, Nick read titilating passages from
Dr. Fredrick Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent.
We lightened the mood by showing the 1978 WORLD’S GREATEST SUPERFRIENDS episode Lord of Middle Earth, which is like a Tolkien-ripoff by someone who hasn’t read Lord of the Rings, but heard about it from an older cousin. This episode features many of the highlights seen in the show’s opening credits. Then we took an intermission, giving people a chance to enjoy some BATMAN CEREAL (okay, it was Cap’n Crunch) and wash it down with beer.
Then it was back to the festivities with a staged reading of a pice of fan fiction entitled “BATMAN: Nemesis Fight”. Actors — you haven’t lived until you’ve performed fan fiction before a live audience. It was a highlight of my career.
We kept the laughs coming with Will Carlough‘s short film “Robin’s Big Date” where Sam Rockwell plays the Batman opposite Justin Long’s Boy Wonder. We read some Batman haikus and then Nick interviewed Batman Strikes writer Matthew K. Manning, who shared the secrets of his Batman collectibles collection.
We switched gears into futuristic mutant cartoon mode, with an additional segment of “Legends of the Dark Knight” where the Frank Miller Batman battles mutants. Batman kicks much mutant ass.
Every show must come to an end, and ours ended with the conclusion of “Lord of Middle Earth” which had some amazing giant snails doing battle with spiders. (Spoiler alert! Snails win.)
After the show we hit the Hanger bar for some delicious Batman cocktails.
For more Batman haikus, you can email me to get a booklet mailed to you. Or check out Mike Whalen’s blog (scroll down). When I requested some Batman Haikus, Mike and slam poet David Hendlerchallenged each other to write 100 each. I also accepted the literary challenge and now we have close to 400 Batman Haikus. Can anyone recommend a good page-a-day-calendar publisher?