Monday, October 26, 2015

Come to Think of It, This Guy Could Have Played the Red Skull

So we went to see the Superheroes in Gotham show at the New York Historical society over the weekend...

...which I highly recommend (it runs through next February). And not just because I got to pose with and photograph one of the coolest cars ever.

That one there was one of the three Batmobiles they made; two were used in the TV series, and the third (the one seen above) was the one they sent out on promo tours. I actually saw it at Shea Stadium in 1966 at the big Batman Concert, starring The Chiffons, The Rascals, Skitch Henderson and his Orchestra, Frank Gorshin and (of course) Adam West.

Also in the exhibition is the actual Superman suit from the 50s TV show, and in its honor, please enjoy my old Greenwich Village chum Erik Frandsen and his droll and ultimately touching tribute to the show's star -- "Nobody Grieves For George Reeves."

I should add that Erik, besides being a splendid singer/songwriter and guitarist, is also a comic actor of some repute. Here he is, as the existentially depressed German ambassador to the United Nations, on The Colbert Report.

You're welcome.


Mark said...

Erik Frandsen's German Ambassador's got nothing on the late Brother Theodore (Gottlieb), whose dark take on life was existentialism written by direct contact with Nazi horror and the comic insight of practical surrealism. Among the many Theodore lines that influenced me deeply are -- and these are close paraphrases here -- "The best thing in life is never to have been born, but who is as lucky as that? To whom does that happen? Not to one among millions and billions of people!" and "All of our great spiritual leaders are dead. Moses is dead. Jesus is dead. Mohammed is dead. And I am not feeling so hot myself!"

The latter "spiritual leaders are dead" line is actually a paraphrase of Samuel Clemens, who late in life (and speaking to a London audience while accepting a literary award), used the same line about great writers.

steve simels said...

Mark -- Believe me, I bow to no one in my Brother Theodore fandom -- I saw him live on at least two occasions, including once opening for Phil Ochs at Paramus High School (circa 1967) and countless times on TV.

One of the absolute greats, and yes, Frandsen's character seems to have been, shall we say, inspired by BT.

Anonymous said...

Did Jr. Walker & the All-Stars and the Temptations make it to the floppy show?

Funny, the article about the concert makes no mention of the Batmobile. It says Adam West was driving around in a Cadillac.

Did the car in the show have a fiberglass body? I saw the metal original (Futura) at the L.A. County Fairgrounds a decade ago or more. The orig. sold for over 4 million bucks around the turn of the century.

Ever do Batman acid? Holy phantasmagoria! Cal State LA was ground zero for that mind-bombing of moon-cratered pupils. Kaplooey! There was nothing better than a super-hero inside your skull. They don't make candy like that anymore. It's like driving a four-on-the-floor 1966 pearl black tripower Pontiac 2 + 2 with the pedal to the metal.


Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

I also saw Brother Theodore in a tiny little club in the Village way back when. There was a madness to him that Hans, much as I think he is screamingly funny, is lacking --- BT was one of a kind.