Wednesday, May 18, 2005
When is The Batman not as entertaining? A: When the greatest Riddler is dead.
Even though Frank Gorshin stood for my least favorite episode of Star Trek in my youth, he also stood for some of the best episodes of Batman. He made the other villains look like they were sleepwalking compared to his performances. I can still enjoy those episodes, largely because of that inappropriate orgasmic brain-freeze thing he used to do when laughed too maniacly. That went completely over my head as a kid. But on a show that people just wanted to guest star on as a lark because it was the campy-chic thing to do in the 60's, he really gave it his all. It's impressive that he came back to play the Riddler after John Astin because he didn't want people left with an impression of the cigar-smoking Gomez Riddler. (No slight to Astin, who was great on Addams Family and Briscoe County!) And of course, Gorshin was a satellite member of the Rat Pack. Now all we're left with is that chump from late-night TV with the dollar signs all over his coat, waving money. Rest in Peace, Frank.