One of my Christmas presents last month is that in August this year (2020), I will get to drive a replica of the 1966 Batmobile.
So it got me thinking, who has been in that car?
This blog post is limited to fictional or fictionalised projects and does not include documentaries or reality TV shows. This blog post will look at which fictional characters have been in the 1960s TV Batmobile in the various projects that that car has been in. For reference I am including who played them, but will not include stunt and/or driving doubles.
With each date/entry I have listed people in the correct order where possible, i.e. who got in/drove first, where that isn’t possible I have listed the driver before the passenger(s).
For those who want a simple list of characters, that will be included at the end of the blog post.
The Batmobile started life in 1954 as the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car – read about this in far more detail on http://1966batmobile.com
The Lincoln Futura Concept car was painted red and used in the 1959 film It Started With A Kiss, so three characters drove the Batmobile BEFORE it was the Batmobile…
19th August 1959
It Started With A Kiss
Debbie Reynolds as Maggie Putnam (later Maggie Fitzpatrick)
Glenn Ford Sergeant as Joe Fitzpatrick
Gustavo Rojo as Antonio Soriano
Our first view of the car is showgirl Maggie Putnam selling raffle tickets for people to try to win the car. Sergeant Joe Fitpatrick pursues her and in doing so buys a raffle ticket. They have some back and forth, she is adamant that she is not interested in him, but they kiss. 2 days later they are married, and he is shipped overseas to, Spain. In the next scene she begins to write a letter in which she states “only five hours since you left and already I miss you”, in the midst of writing the letter she is interrupted by a knock at the door and it is revealed she, or more accurately Joe has won the car. She is amazed and kisses the car before getting in. She comes to join Joe 30 days later, during this time she has sent him letters. In one of the letters she tells him that “the most wonderful surprise that ever happened to two people” has happened. He believes this to be that she’s pregnant, but it is later revealed to be that he/they won the car. The car ends up causing them problems due to tax laws, jealousy and unwanted attention. Antonio Soriano a famous bull fighter is enamoured with Maggie Fitzpatrick and the car, eventually Joe sells Antonio the car to avoid all the grief. All 3 characters mentioned drove the car at one point or another in the film. The car is so heavily focused upon in the film that it is arguably the 3rd lead of the film after Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford!
Now for those who have been in the BATMOBILE;
During the TV Series
12th January 1966-14th March 1968
Various Episodes from Season 1 Episode 1: Hi Diddle Riddle – Season 3 Episode 26:Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires, and the theatrical release Batman: The Movie
Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Burt Ward as Richard “Dick” Grayson/Robin
Alan Napier as Alfred
At various instances throughout the TV Series including the movie Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Alan Napier as Alfred have all driven the Batmobile, and each have also been passenger too.
Whilst I won’t list them all, some instances of note include;
Robin parks the Batmobile in the first episode, Hi Diddle Riddle (12th January 1966)
Alfred driving the Batmobile, as Alfred and Robin eavesdrop/spy on Bruce’s rendevous with Miss KITKA in, Batman: The Movie (30th July 1966)
Batman is a passenger in the Batmobile after his memory is wiped by Lord Ffogg. Alfred finds him outside the Three Bells Pub. Alfred drives him back to the Londinium Batcave and helps him retrieve his memories. We see Batman hastily get into the passenger seat but the scene transitions before we see Alfred get in to drive. Season 3 Episode 12, The Foggiest Notion (30th November 1967)
12th January 1966
Season 1 Episode 1: Hi Diddle Riddle
Frank Gorshin as The Riddler
The Riddler attempts to steal the Batmobile but when he presses the button to start the car he sets off the anti-theft system. Robin had covered the label for the anti-theft system with a label indicating it to be the start button prior.
13th January 1966
Season 1 Episode 2: Smack in the Middle
Burt Ward as Molly
Jill St. John as Molly
The Riddler’s Moll, Molly disguises herself as Robin, The Riddler and Molly purposely crash their car. Batman picks up Molly/Robin who is feigning that they can’t speak. Batman takes him/her back to the batcave, which is Burt Ward portraying Molly at this point, “Robin” points a gun at Batman and shouts “Freeze Batman” in Molly’s voice, Batman isn’t surprised, Molly rips off her prosthetic Robin face showing Jill St. John as Molly stood in the Batmobile.
24th March 1966
Season 1 Episode 22: Not Yet He Ain’t
Al Checco as Dove
Harvey Lembeck as Eagle-Eye
Burgess Meredith as The Penguin
Kathleen Crowley as Sophia Starr
Eagle eye opens the door, Dove gets in, Eagle Eye gets in and then Penguin gets in driver’s side shortly after Dynamic Duo were “gunned down” by the police after The Penguin had claimed to have gone straight and painted the dynamic duo as criminals. This gunning down is later revealed to have been purpetrated by Batman, Robin and the police as a ruse.
After acquiring the Batmobile, The Penguin drives around in it with Sophia Starr, having struck up a rapport and eventually relationship with her. He has modified the Batmobile and renamed it the Birdmobile , adding an Umbrella over the driver’s seat, an umbrella gun to the driver’s side, and replacing the bat insignias with Penguin insignias. Batman and Robin are able to spy on The Penguin’s activities through secret cameras placed on the Batmobile.
In a later scene The Penguin drives in the Batmobile with his henchmen, away from his wedding to Sophia Starr. Batman and Robin, still believed to be dead, still monitoring through the secret cameras, follow them at a distance and use a remote control to eject the Penguin’s henchmen and to mess with the the doors and then the steering of the Batmobile. The Batmobile is brought to a stop after Batman and Robin apprehend Eagle-Eye and Dove, Batman knocks The Penguin out with a punch whilst The Penguin stands in the driver’s seat of the Batmobile and then, The Penguin, Dove and Eagle-Eye are tied to the top of the Bat/Birdmobile.
30th March 1966
Season 1 Episode 23: Ring of Wax
Frank Gorshin as The Riddler
After luring Batman and Robin to Madame Soleil’s Wax Museum with a Riddle, the Riddler, along with his gang, poses as a wax statue of a figure from the Revolutionary war display, and when the dynamic duo’s back is turned, fires tranquilising blow darts at them. The gang then stuff the dynamic duo in the back of their van. Once they have done this the Riddler spots the now unattended Batmobile. The Riddler gets in, and snips some wires in the Batmobile to avoid the anti-theft system going of like it did in Episode 1. He then instructs the gang to drive the van, he’ll drive the Batmobile and meet them at the hideout. He then proceeds to do so. Later, when Riddler and the gang leave after thinking Batman and Robin were killed by their wax-based death trap they took only the van. When Batman and Robin come to after having freed themselves from the death trap Batman and Robin escape the candle factory and Batman exclaims, “Good, they didn’t take the Batmobile”.
21st April 1966
Season 1 Episode 30: While Gotham City Burns
Francine York as Lydia Lympet
Batman and Robin find Lydia Lympet tied up in the back of a van pretending Bookworm has turned on her. Suspicious, they knock Lydia Lympet out with batgas and drive her back to the batcave to use a Hypometric lie detector on her.
28th April 1966
Season 1 Episode 32: The Riddler’s False Notion
Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon
Sherry Jackson as Pauline
After apprehending The Riddler’s Moll, Pauline, Batman takes her to Police HQ. After some interrogation he knocks her and Commissioner Gordon out with Batgas. They are both taken to the Batcave. Batman awakens the Commissioner first. Batman shows the Commissioner the start of a method of lie detection involving breath turning water a different colour, that he will use on Pauline. He employs this and explains the rest of it to the commissioner after using it on Pauline. Once Batman has ascertained Pauline was telling the truth, Batman uses Batgas to knock Pauline and the commissioner out again before stating he will leave the Commissioner on the roadside for Chief O Hara to collect soon. Interesting to note that two weeks/stories on the trot Batman has taken a Moll to his batcave to use a lie detector of some kind on them.
30th July 1966
Batman: The Movie
Burgess Meredith as The Penguin (posing as Commodore Schmiddlapp)
The Penguin poses as Commodore Schmiddlapp, but the dynamic duo suss it to be The Penguin, but the Penguin keeps claiming to be Commodore Schmiddlap, and offers himself for retinal eye pattern testing in the batcave. The Penguin was carrying 5 test tubes containing 5 dehydrated pirates named only GP 1, GP 2, GP 3, GP 4, GP 5, so in essence these 5 Guinea Pigs also travelled in the Batmobile. When in the batcave these Guinea pigs are rehydrated and brought back to their physical bodies, they are however converted into Anti-Matter with the slightest touch and as such the 5 of them do not join the Penguin on his journey back out of the batcave. Batman and Robin play along with The Penguin’s plan, and let him steal the Batmobile in the next scene.
12th January 1967
Season 2 Episode 38: The Joker’s Hard Times
Terry Moore as Venus
After the Joker threatens Venus’ life, and throws Venus at Batman before running away, Venus repents her evil ways. Venus then joins Batman and Robin as they drive to their next location and another after that.
18th January 1967
Season 2 Episode 39: The Penguin Declines
Terry Moore as Venus
Burgess Meredith as The Penguin
Cesar Romero as The Joker
Hal Baylor as Mercury
Joe DiReda as Mars
Guy Way as Jupiter(Uncredited)
Dick Crockett as Neptune(Uncredited)
Charlie Picerni as Uranus(Uncredited)
Eddie Saenz as Saturn(Uncredited)
The Penguin talks to Venus and claims he wishes to go straight, but that his criminal record in the batcave stands in his way, and convinces her to ask Batman for her to see the Batcave so she can sort this for him. After Venus asks to see the Batcave Batman agrees and gives Venus batgas before putting her into the Batmobile. Shortly after Batman and Robin and Venus arrive at the Batcave, The Penguin, The Joker and their henchmen; Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn all reveal themselves to have stowed away in the trunk of the Batmobile. Batman reveals he realised this, as he needed them at close range to be analysed/recorded by his “Bat-spectograph Criminal Analyzer”. To avoid their having seen the location of the Batcave whilst in the trunk, Batman had “the Emergency Bat-trunk Lock on”.
25th January 1967
Season 2 Episode 41: Scat, Darn Catwoman
Julie Newmar as Catwoman
Catwoman rides in the Batmobile with Batman after believing she has put him under “Cataphrenic”, a drug that would flip his morals on their head, Batman however slipped a “batpill” beforehand, claiming it was for a headache, when in actuality it was to protect him from the Cataphrenic and from becoming under Catwoman’s spell.
Later in the episode, Robin (actually under Cataphrenic) and Pussycat, Catwoman’s protege, are apprehended by the police when the place find the Cat Lair. In seeing this Catwoman realises her and Batman need a new place to hide out, and suggests the Batcave. Batman initially feigns that he cannot remember, Catwoman implores him to concentrate, he then pretends to start to remember, Batman knocks Catwoman out with Batsleep and the next we see them both Batman and Catwoman are in the Batmobile in the batcave, Batman awakens her with a different spray. He tells her she fainted earlier. She explores the batcave. Another scene is shown, then we see Batman leave a note for Alfred, a knocked out Catwoman in the Batmobile, and Batman driving off with her as a comatosed passenger.
Yet Later in the episode Batman reveals himself to have been faking the entire time. Batman, Robin and Catwoman’s henchmen fight, during this Catwoman slips out of the room and steals the Batmobile forcing Batman and Robin to use a police car to try and apprehend her. Batman hands Robin a device so that he may control the Batmobile remotely, causing Catwoman to abandon the vehicle, similarly to what happened to the Penguin in Season 1 Episode 22.
16th March 1967
Season 2 Episode 56: Caught in the Spider’s Den
Burt Ward as Black Widow
Black Widow puts Batman under her spell and uses him so that he may use the Batcomputer to find a bank for her to rob. Black Widow makes herself up to look exactly like Robin and uses a previously established dummy to look like Batman, so that she can rob a bank with the Batmobile and the identities of Batman and Robin at her disposal. Black Widow, much like when Molly disguises herself as Robin, in Season 1 Episode 1, is Burt Ward lip-syncing to a woman’s voice, in this instance, Tallulah Bankhead as Black Widow. Despite a dummy being Batman, and her being Robin, she does sit in the passenger seat, and leans across to operate the controls when a police officer tries to shoot at her.
28th September 1967
Season 3 Episode 3: The Wail of the Siren
Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon
The Siren, with a stunning note, ensnares the Commissioner under her spell. She convinces the commissioner to stow away in the trunk of the Batmobile. The dynamic duo unwittingly drive the Batmobile back with the commissioner inside. After Batman and Robin return to the batcave and then to their guise as Bruce Wayne and Richard “Dick” Grayson, the Commissioner proceeds to pop out of the trunk surprising an unsuspecting Alfred. Seeing Alfred the comissioner pieces together the true identities of Batman and Robin and insists he must tell the Siren. He goes to make this phone call but Alfred uses Bat gas to knock him out. When the commissioner reawakens he cannot remember what he discovered and has snapped out of Siren’s control.
19th October 1967
Season 3 Episode 6: The Unkindest Tut of All (also 100th episode of the TV show)
Adam West as A Life-Size Batman Dummy
To trick King Tut, who has discovered that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person, via bugging the Batmobile, Bruce Wayne and Batman appear separately, with a life-size dummy of Batman appearing in the driver’s seat of the Batmobile, and speaking via Bruce’s ventriloquist skills. In actuality the dummy is also played by Adam West with overly stunted vocal delivery.
7th March 1968
Season 3 Episode 25: The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra
Yvonne Craig as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
After being flattened by Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft’s Alvino Rey Gun, Alfred restores Batman, Robin and Batgirl to their three-dimensional selves in the batcave. To get back to the task at hand all three get in the Batmobile. Batman administers Bat Gas so that Batgirl doesn’t figure out the location of the Batcave, as she only saw the inside and not the outside.
Instances of characters driving and/or riding in the Batmobile after the TV Show ended;
18th January 1979
Legends of the Superheroes: The Challenge
Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Burt Ward as Richard “Dick” Grayson/Robin
After receiving a riddle, Batman instructs the other heroes, including Robin, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Huntress, Captain Marvel (these days known as Shazam!) and the Black Canary to disperse, and should they get any information of use to the others then they should bring it to the gas station down the road. Shortly before each of the heroes can get to their own method of transportation we see Sinestro fiddling with the Batmobile’s engine. Batman and Robin get in, drive away, and have to stop at the gas station in an attempt to get it fixed. There they encounter Solomon Grundy who is in disguise as a gas station attendant by the use of a magical hat which prevents people from realising who he truly is. Solomon Grundy removes the hat to show that he is a gas station attendant accidentally revealing himself to be Solomon Grundy. Batman tussles with Solomon Grundy, Batman and Robin retreat elsewhere and leave the broken Batmobile at the gas station with Solomon Grundy. Later Hawkman finds the Batmobile at the gas station and realises Batman and Robin must be in trouble.
9th March 2003
Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt
Adam West as Himself
Burt Ward as Himself
Unidentified as Frank Gorshin
Jason Marsden as Bert John Gervis Junior/Burt Ward/Richard “Dick” Grayson/Robin
Steve Blalock as Adam’s Stuntman (presumably Hubie Kearns)
Frank Gorshin as Himself
Julie Newmar as Herself
Adam and Burt are given invitations to a charity event that turn out to be forged invitations. At the charity event the famous Batmobile is revealed. Adam and Burt ask if they may sit in it for old time sake. They do so, Burt accidentally soaks patrons at the event after pressing the wrong button. Adam and Burt get out of the Batmobile and Adam reveals himself to have kept a key to the Batmobile as a souvenir. The lights go out and an unidentified man (later revealed to be Frank Gorshin) steals it under cover of darkness (so not actually seen).
Jason Marsden as Burt Ward sits in the car in many recreations of shooting scenes for the pilot; Burt Ward being introduced to Adam’s stunt double, whilst being told his stunt double can’t be used because his face will be in view of the camera. A shot coming out of the batcave where Burt is told by Adam’s stunt double to “hold onto something” to which Burt realises theres nothing to hold on to. A shot of sparks coming of the Batmobile and singeing him. Adam explains Burt was “always accident prone around fire and electricity”, “his nickname was sparky”!
An unidentified man is seen driving away in the Batmobile as Adam and Burt leave the Highway to Arizona bar, having followed a clue to get there, after initially going on the highway that leads to Arizona!
An unidentified man sits in the Batmobile when Adam and Burt are in a cafe before commercial break, then after commercial break drives away.
Adam and Burt locate the Batmobile on their “old Studio” and are gassed in the Batmobile, which then proceeds to drive itself, with Adam and Burt comatosed inside, it takes them to Bronson Canyon caves, the location of the original exterior shots of the batcave.
After revealing he has been disguised as Adam’s butler Jerry (who Adam keeps calling Alfred), Frank Gorshin reveals he has been in cahoots with Julie Newmar. He and Julie steal the Batmobile, Adam tells him not to push the big red button. He laments that Adam knows that if he tells Frank not to do something, then he must do it, “it’s a character flaw”, presses the button and ejects himself and Julie.
Adam and Burt drive the Batmobile back to charity event.
An unidentified person steals the Batmobile, either an orphan, or a villain disgusied as an oprhan whilst Adam and Burt were distracted.
Side Note: Despite being one of the leads and doing many scenes around the Batmobile, and/or in the Batcave set, Jack Brewer (as William West Anderson/Adam West/Bruce Wayne/Batman) never steps foot in or sits in the Batmobile. Even though he is playing a young Adam West and Adam West is shown as keeping a key to the Batmobile!
20th March 2009
Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion
Adam West as Cab Driver/Manbat
Justin Whalin as Ed Gruberman
Ed Gruberman is shown in a Taxicab with a cab driver. The cab is a modified version of the Batmobile with a sign on it saying “Air Conditioned Taxi”, which the cab driver reveals to be because there isn’t a roof, hence, it is air conditioned! Ed Gruberman states he’s going to become a superhero, unimpressed, the taxi driver reveals he used to be the superhero known as ManBat. During this scene a variation on the Batman TV show’s theme plays in the background.
4th October 2018
The Big Bang Theory: Season 12 Episode 3: The Procreation Calculation
Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter
Kaley Cuoco as Penny Hofstadter (since marriage, maiden name unknown)
Penny has rented the Batmobile for the day, for her husband Leonard’s birthday, after he was talking about all the things he thought he would never have. Leonard, excited drives away in the Batmobile without Penny initially but then reverses and picks her up and they drive away.
In addition to the above listed episodes and films, The Batmobile has also appeared in the follow live action films either with an unidentified driver or simply sat stationary;
6th June 1980: Galaxina
The Batmobile appears twice in the background on an alien planet, this has no bearing on the plot of the film.
9th August 1985: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
The Batmobile appears at the end of the film on the WB Studio Lot, the Batmobile has no bearing on the plot of the film.
29th March 2018: Ready Player One
The Batmobile is one of many fictional vehicles featured in a race near the beginning of the film, the Batmobile has no bearing on the plot of the film per se, other than it being one of many vehicles relating to already established fictional IP.
As promised here is a list of all the characters without the explanations listed above;
Before it became the Batmobile;
Maggie Putnam (later Maggie Fitzpatrick)
Sergeant Joe Fitzpatrick
Richard “Dick” Grayson/Robin
The Penguin (posing as Commodore Schmiddlapp)
Life-Size Batman Dummy
Adam’s Stuntman (presumably Hubie Kearns)
Penny Hofstadter (since marriage, maiden name unknown)
So, it looks like I’m gonna be in good company in August!
Note: Whilst coincidental, it was not intentional that this blog post be posted on the 12th January 2020, 54 years to the day that the TV Show started!