All 15 Celebrity Window Cameos from the 1960s Batman TV Series

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All 15 Celebrity Window Cameos from the 1960s Batman TV Series

20th Century Fox Television

 A recurring gag on the 1960s Batman TV series during the show's first two seasons (including the Batman motion picture which was released between the two seasons) was that Batman (played by Adam West) and Robin (played by Burt Ward) would encounter celebrities during their "Batclimb." As Batman and Robin scale a building's outside wall, a celebrity would open a window and make a remark. The gag was discontinued in the show's third (and final) season. Here, then, is the lowdown of all fifteen celebrity window cameos on the show. 

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Jerry Lewis

20th Century Fox Television

The very first "Batclimb" cameo occurred at the end of the first season, in Episode  29, "The Bookworm Turns," which aired in April 1966. Star comedian Jerry Lewis (of Martin and Lewis and The Nutty Professor fame) opens his window to ask Batman if he's really Batman, before noticing Robin and saying, "Oh, you must be, because that's Robin. Hi, Robin!" 

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George Cisar

20th Century Fox

This one is a bit tricky. When the Batman film was released in the Summer of 1966, the whole "Batclimb" celebrity cameo shtick had only just begun, so it is debatable whether the appearance of character actor George Cisar in the film was intended as a celebrity cameo or as just a joke. Batman and Robin are climbing a building that is supposedly a hideout for their villains and Robin can't understand how no one noticed the bad guys living there before. Batman explains that the area is filled with drunkards who likely presume any weirdness in the area is due to alcohol-induced hallucinations. After they pass by a window, on cue, a drunk guy (played by Cisar) opens the window, looks up at them and then stares ahead in shock. Cisar had a long career in film and television, but it seems unlikely that film audiences were supposed to say, "Oh, look, it's George Cisar!" So this one probably doesn't count, but I figured it was worth including for completion's sake.

04
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Dick Clark

20th Century Fox Television

 It was really the second season, when celebrities were reacting to the "Bat-Mania" of the first season of the series, that the cameos really caught on. In the Season 2 premiere, "Shoot a Crooked Arrow," Batman and Robin encounter American Bandstand host, Dick Clark. Batman quickly deduces that Clark (who was still seven years away from the debut of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve) was from Philadelphia due to his speech patterns. Clark wonders if perhaps Batman and Robin are a singing duo. 

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Green Hornet and Kato

20th Century Fox Television

 Three weeks after the debut of their own TV series (also produced by the creator of the Batman TV series, William Dozier), Green Hornet (played by Van Williams) and Kato (played by Bruce Lee) meet Batman and Robin in Episode 7, "The Spell of Tut." This was months before the two duos would meet in a crossover episode of Batman (an episode where Bruce Lee was rumored to have refused to film if Burt Ward's Robin was allowed to defeat him in a fight). 

06
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Sammy Davis Jr.

20th Century Fox Television

In the 11th episode of Season 2, "The Clock King's Crazy Crimes," world famous singer/dancer (and actor) Sammy Davis Jr. invites Batman and Robin in to hear him rehearse when they pass by his window. After they politely decline, he invites them to catch his act some time, as he sure digs their act!

07
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José Jiménez

20th Century Fox Television

José Jiménez was an extremely popular comedy character created by comedian Bill Dana. Jiménez was a genial but dim-witted Mexican who Dana had work a series of jobs to comedic effect, none more famous than Jiménez's attempts to become an astronaut (he famously appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show doing the astronaut bit. A sample joke would be Sullivan asking him, "Well, now I see you have some of your space equipment with you. Uh, what is that called, the crash helmet?"and Jiménez replying, "Oh, I hope not."). The actual Mercury astronauts were huge fans of the character. 

However, as time went by, it became more and more apparent to everyone that a white comedian doing a dumb Mexican character as a comedy bit was pretty offensive. Even Dana conceded as much, and officially retired the character in 1970. In Episode 14 of Season 2, "The Yegg Foes in Gotham," Jimenez is working as a jury foreman on a criminal trial. After Batman and Robin climb away, Jimenez is told what the rest of the jury has decided and he calls down to Batman and Robin to ask if they could leave their rope. 

08
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Sam Stone

20th Century Fox Television

 Following in the footsteps of the earlier friendly promotion of another ABC show, Green Hornet, in Episode 21 of Season 2, "The Impractical Joker," actor Howard Duff appeared as his character of Sam Stone from Felony Squad, a cop drama that had debuted a few months earlier that TV season. Stone was a veteran detective paired with a young rookie, Jim Briggs (played by Dennis Cole), in a major crimes squad. The two crimefighters, Batman and Stone, trade pleasantries, and Batman tells Stone he can contact him through Commissioner Gordon if Stone ever needs any help. Amusingly enough, Duff would later appear in Season 3 of Batman as Cabala, the husband of the villainous Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft (played by Duff's real life wife at the time, Ida Lupino). 

09
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Colonel Klink

20th Century Fox Television

 In a rather bizarre cameo, in Episode 26 of Season 2, "It's How You Play the Game," Batman and Robin run into Colonel Kiink from Hogan's Heroes, played by Werner Klemperer. This is bizarre, of course, because Hogan's Heroes was set in a World War II prison camp and Gotham City in 1966 was, well, not that. Also, it is odd to see Batman and Robin chatting happily with a Nazi Colonel (who is in town searching for a spy - after Robin tells him to say hi to Colonel Hogan for them, Klink remarks that is a wonder that Hogan hasn't tried to borrow the Bat-rope to escape from prison!).  

10
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Lurch

20th Century Fox Television

The odd thing about Lurch, the manservant from The Addams Family, making an appearance in Season 2's Episode 27, "The Penguin's Nest," is that The Addams Family had gone off the air the previous TV season, so it wasn't even a case of the cameo promoting a current TV series. In any event, Lurch (played by Ted Cassidy), delivered a perfectly deadpan (in that deep voice of his), "Oh, it's you, Batman, you gave me quite a start."

11
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Don Ho

20th Century Fox Telvision

Famous Hawaiian singer Don Ho made an appearance in Season 2 Episode 30 "The Bat's Kow Tow." Ho's biggest hit song, "Tiny Bubbles," was still on the pop charts at the time this episode was released in December of 1966. Robin is shocked to see him, and he explains that he is in Gotham trying to get some land back that Hawaii had lost. He also remarks that the Bat-Rope could be handy back home getting coconuts out of trees. 

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Santa Claus

20th Century Fox Television

Three days before Christmas in 1966, the 32nd episode of Season 2, "The Duo is Slumming," aired. In it, Batman and Robin encounter Santa Claus, played by character actor (and frequent cowboy comedic sidekick) Andy Devine. Santa offers to bring presents to Batman and Robin if they let him know where the Bat-Cave is. They agree and he tells them that he'll get presents to them there, even if he has to slide down the Bat-Pole instead of the chimney!

13
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Art Linkletter

20th Century Fox Television

 Famous radio and TV host, Art Linkletter, guest-starred in Season 2 Episode 49, "Catwoman Goes to College." Linkletter is perhaps best known for a segment on his long-running television series, Art Linkletter's House Party, where he interviewed children called "Kids Say the Darndest Things." However, he also hosted a TV game show from 1954-1960 called People Are Funny, where he would challenge people to do crazy tasks for cash. The show was so popular that it was even made into a movie (with Linkletter playing a fictional version of himself)! So in his Batman cameo, Linkletter tells Batman and Robin that he is looking for contestants on a possible reboot of People Are Funny and wants to know if Batman knows any good candidates, like perhaps people with costumes or with dual identities. Batman explains that he doesn't know of any good candidates (noting that Joker, Penguin and King Tut are all in prison). Linkletter is understanding, although he notes that the search has him "climbing up walls." 

14
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Edward G. Robinson

20th Century Fox Television

Legendary film star Edward G. Robinson was likely the most respected actor to make a cameo on Batman, showing up in Season 2 Episode 52, "Batman's Satisfaction." Robinson, one of the most famous portrayer of villains in film history (from Rico in Little Caesar to Rocco in Key Largo). was also an avid art collector, and that was the basis for his cameo, as he explains to Batman and Robin that he is in town due to some of the paintings in his collection appearing in an exhibit. After they discuss art for a bit, Batman notes that he doesn't have time to collect art as he is too busy collecting criminals. Robin remarks, though, that their collection of mug shots are sort of like art. Robinson then amusingly suggests that for all we know, the Mona Lisa might have been a mug shot, of sorts. The secret to Batman getting such a famous actor to do a cameo lies in Robinson being on the 20th Century Fox lot doing makeup tests for the role of Dr. Zaius in the then-upcoming Planet of the Apes. He ultimately ended up passing on the role. 

15
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Suzy Knickerbocker

20th Century Fox Television

In Episode 53 of Season 2, "King Tut's Coup," the famous gossip and society columnist Suzy Knickerbocker made the last truly cameo on Batman that we can safely call a "celebrity cameo." Knickerbocker, the pen name for Aileen Mehle, was also a frequent panelist on the long-running game show, What's My Line?, that year (the final season of the show). Knickerbocker explains that she is in town because she hears that millionaire Bruce Wayne is "one of the hippies," with his fabulous Wayne Manor. She tells the Dynamic Duo that she'll slip them into one of her future columns, "right between Acapulco and Princess Grace." Robin retorts, "Holy jet set!" 

16
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The Carpet King

20th Century Fox Television

As I mentioned in the Suzy Knickerbocker entry, hers was the last cameo that you could safely call a "celebrity cameo," as the final Batman window cameo came in the second-to-last episode of Season 2, "Ice Spy," and it featured Cyril Lord, a British entrepreneur who was best known for selling carpets in the greater Los Angeles area during the 1960s. He was even referred to as "The Carpet King." His jingle, "This is luxury you can afford from Cyril Lord," was well known at the time in Los Angeles. In any event, Lord sold Batman producer William Dozier some expensive Persian rugs and was paid in his cameo, where Lord gets to promote his business in a quick conversation with Batman and Robin. If this was the direction the Window cameos were heading, I guess it is for the best that they ended with this episode!