March 7, 2019: Top 10 Breakfast Cereals!

Yesterday’s power ensemble…

Hydra cufflinks, a 12 year old Glenmorangie, and dog-riding-bicycle socks.

Power lunch…

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The High Priest from Burger’s Priest.  I’ll never get tired of this place.

In honor of National Cereal Day, here are my Top 10 Breakfast Cereals (considered and voted on by 12 year old me since it’s been that long since I’ve actually enjoyed breakfast cereals):

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#10.  Rice Krispies

This one was part of our regular breakfast rotation given the fact it was always included in the one serving six-packs mom would pick up for us.  I was (and have never been) a fan of puffed rice, but thankfully this cereal was devoid of any actual puffed rice flavor.  In fact, it was pretty much devoid of any flavor.  Nice textural crunch though.

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#9. Lucky Charms

While not exactly “magically delicious”, this cereal had its charm – in the form of those colorful marshmallow bits that I would always save for last, turning the milk in the bowl a lurid kaleidoscope of colors.  Those other non-marshmallow bits though?  They were a necessary evil.

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#8. Corn Flakes

This is as healthy as it gets – for twelve year old me.  Seriously.   If I wasn’t eating cereal, it was powdered mini donuts and milk.  This one had a great texture and just a hint of sweetness offering the promise of something more.

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#7. Cocoa Pebbles

Every day, I’d come home for noon, eat lunch and watch The Flintstones.  So when they came out with their own breakfast cereal, Fruity Pebbles, I was all over it.  And then, when they offered up a chocolate version – even better!

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#6. Frosted Flakes

Corn Flake’s hipper, sexier cousin.  THEEEEEY’RE Pretty Good!

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#5. Count Chocula

With all due respect to Franken and Boo Berry, the Count had the edge.  Still, I never found the chocolate cereal bits quite chocolatey enough.

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#4. Trix

Although its deranged mascot clearly belonged in a mental institute, this one was one of my favorites – despite the fact that they were just round froot loops.

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#3. Cap’n Crunch

If I were to choose a top cereal today, this would probably be it – mostly based on the fact that its milk remnants make for a delicious ice cream base (see previous blog post).

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#2. Froot Loops

Now THIS is what I’m talking bout.  Straight sweet color and crunch without any of those good-for-you bits to spoil your breakfast.

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#1. Cocoa Puffs

With a mascot crazier than the Trix rabbit and product that promised a crispy-crunchy-chocolatey trifecta, this one was always top of my list.  It seemed to have disappeared from store shelves when I went looking for it a few years back, but I have recently discovered it lining the shelves of my local dollar store.  Yes, I am, admittedly, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

And you?

March 6, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #1 (cover art by Patch Zirchner)

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Amazing Spider-Man #16.HU (Cover art by Greg Land)

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Batman #66 (cover art by Mikel Janin)

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Black Order #5 (cover art by In-Hyuk Lee)

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Doomsday Clock #9 (cover art by Brand Anderson, Gary Frank)

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Immortal Hulk #14 (cover art by Alex Ross)

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The Dreaming #7 (cover art by June Chung, Jae Lee)

Which were your favorites?

March 5, 2019: Prep Day 2!

Today’s ensemble…

Decepticon cufflinks, Little Prince socks, grey suit, and Macallan Amber.

Casting, emails, more casting, more emails, even more casting, even more emails, reviewing scripts and pulling scenes for the upcoming chemistry reads (aka. even MORE casting).  And the color palette meeting.

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Hey, this is important!  Gummy Bear sausages are a thing –

https://t.co/wD7Cgi18Ae

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I mean, Zoie almost unfollowed me for posting this informative news piece about a place that serves pizza ice cream: https://twitter.com/thisisinsider/status/1100782609502679042

Please, select your Lantern Corps…

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Then pick up your ring…

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March 4, 2019: And so it begins…

Today, we kicked off official prep on this new sci-fi series with a good old-fashioned concept meeting.  In attendance: show creator/director/Executive Producer R.T. Thorne, myself, and a bunch of familiar faces from my Dark Matter days (including Production Manager Catherine Lang, Production Designer Ian Brock, Art Director Kelly Diamond, Graphics Roxanne Borris, Costume Designer Noreen Landry, Props Master Victoria Klein, Line Producer Robbie David, and On Set Producer Ivon Bartok).  I welcomed everyone back after a refreshing two year hiatus and then we rolled right into our first two episodes, touching on everything from force shields to holograms, night shoots to mealworms.  We went from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., stopping only for a quick lunch and a conference call with the network to discuss music, casting, and genetics.

Tomorrow, the Wardrobe and Art Department convene for the big palette meeting.

I shit you not.

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Prep Day #1 look = blue suit, black design shirt, red lantern cufflinks, pocket handkerchief, and ninja cat socks.

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Slowly restocking my in-office whiskey collection.

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And thanks to my buddy Jeff, I no longer have to drink straight out of the bottle.

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Hey.  Who called this meeting?

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A little pre-paint wall texture.

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Frank and Rick.

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Craig and Mean Jean.

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And this seems to be coming along nicely.  Whatever it is.

Meanwhile, one step closer on both the Untitled Awesome Project and the Super Project.

It’s gonna be a big month!

Let’s play a little Yes/No!

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

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Yes/No?

Answers to yesterday’s quiz.  Match the fandom name to the t.v. show:

Clone Club: Orphan Black

Clock Blockers: Timeless
Fannibals: Hannibal
Dunderheads: The Office
Flash Mob: The Flash (2014)
Wingnuts: The West Wing
Kimbits: Kim’s Convenience
Browncoats: Firefly
Sidekicks: Heroes
Psych-Oh’s: Psych
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Submitted without comment…
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March 1, 2019: All Aboard or Get out of the way!

Well, we’re certainly picking up speed and – Oh, yeah! – past the point where we can apply the brakes in any hope of slowing down this runaway train.  Nope.  It’s either All Aboard or Get out of the way!  Today, we barreled through three and a half hours of live auditions and another hour of self-tapes to accompany the four hours of callbacks we sat through yesterday.  We’ve got to start pulling the trigger on choices next week because, uncoincidentally enough, our first day of official prep is this Monday as we sit down for the Block #1 concept meeting which promises to be a real page turner.  It’s true.  It says so right there on the prep schedule:

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Got my hands full this weekend with production-friendly passes on Episodes 101 and 102.  And, most certainly, more auditions.  And some possible pottery glazing.

Quick!  Match the inspired fandom nickname to their obsession!

Clone Club

Clock Blockers

Fannibals
Dunderheads
Flash Mob
Wingnuts
Kimbits
Browncoats
Sidekick
Pysch-Oh’s

February 28, 2019: Sweet sweet elusive sleep!

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve had a goodnight’s sleep.  For some reason of late, it takes me forever to drift off and, when I finally do, I’m awake again hours later.  In bed by 10 p.m., asleep by 1 a.m., awake at 2:30 a.m., asleep against by 3:00 a.m., awake again an hour later, and so on.  I do, however, make up for my night time insomnia by being thoroughly exhausted through most daylight hours.  I’ve tried everything – chamomile tea, warn milk, booze.  Even formerly reliable melatonin hasn’t helped.  I mean do I have to resort to taking Suji’s CBD oil?  Akemi thinks it may be because I’m stressed, but what do I have to be stressed about?  And even if I am stressed, I apparently do a terrific job of hiding it from myself.

This inability to sleep through the night has made it incredibly difficult for me to focus, especially when it comes to reading.  Whereas, last year, I could get through a book, maybe two, in a single day, now I’m lucky to make it through a couple of chapters before growing weary and setting it aside.

And still work continues on several fronts.

Today, it was call-backs for our seven younger leads while auditions are coming in for our adult regulars.  Set construction is in full swing.  We’ve had our preliminary art department, props, and costume meetings – as well as several sit-downs to discuss visual effects and our ambitious schedule.  Tomorrow, it’s a chat with the broadcaster and another round of call-backs, these via Skype.  This weekend, I set my sights on our first two episodes with a mind to tightening, streamlining, and discovering some futuristic turns of phrase.

The outline for my (formerly titled) Untitled Awesome Project was delivered to the broadcaster last week and we impatiently await word.  No need for a long and detailed response.  A simple “Great!  Start writing that first draft!” would suffice.

Tweaked and delivered the series overview for that comic book adaptation last week as well.  Once our awesome artist has delivered the required images, we’ll put together a proper package, hopefully get that script order, then attach a director and awaaaaay we go!

Slow and steady progress on the BIG dream project.  We went back and forth on the pitch, finally locked it down, and sent it off to the production company.  Once they sign off, it goes to the publisher.  And once THEY sign off, WE go to the broadcaster and pitch it.  And if THEY give us the go ahead…we are going to have a blast.

February 27, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1 (cover art by Rahzzah)

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Books of Magic #5 (cover art by Kai Carpenter)

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Cloak and Dagger: Negative Exposure #3 (cover art by Jamal Campbell)

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Cold Spots vol. 1 (cover art by Sean Phillips)

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Fantastic Four #7 (cover art by Esad Ribic)

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Hex Wives #5 (cover art by Jordie Bellaire, Joelle Jones, Tula Lotay)

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Monstrella #1 (cover art by Sun Khamunaki)

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #29 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

So which are your favorites?

February 26, 2019: News of Note!

 

New parents face up to six years of sleep deprivation according to a new study.  Does this hold true for elderly pet owners as well?

Protect your dogs from coyotes with these awesome armored vests.

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Home A.I.’s with morals – and a direct line to the cops.

Winter is coming.  And so, apparently, are Game of Thrones Oreos.

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Also on its way = a beer that takes like Lucky Charms.

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Jason Momoa responds to girl who put his shirtless photo on the box of the Girl Scout Cookies she is selling.  He wants a taste.  Preferably shortbread.

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Actor Ryan Reynolds getting into character for his upcoming role in Detective Pikachu –

Pottery II: The Quickening!

Yesterday was, presumably, Part II of II of our couple’s pottery course.  I say presumably because, as it turns out, yesterday’s class didn’t cover the (apparently) all-important art of glazing.  Instead, the day was dedicated to hand-sculpting and trimming.

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The artist at work.

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Putting the finishing touches on that matcha bowl!

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According to Akemi, Nib Nib is a cocoa nib who “couldn’t become chocolate because he was eaten by bug”.

For my part, I decided to really unleash my artistic spirit –

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Starro the Conqueror.

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Stargate.

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Legion of Super-Heroes drink coaster.

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And since I discovered we would have to come back to glaze, I thought it only appropriate that I make a donut.

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Cha-daaa!

Still, as Ivon pointed out, I could probably do a lot worse than having to accompany my girlfriend to a couple’s pottery class…

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Coming Soon!

Some big movies opening in the coming months.  Among them…

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February 22, 2019: Gearing up!

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Since this new series I’m showrunning isn’t really mine in the way Dark Matter was, I’m going to refrain from posting any substantive behind-the-scenes teasers and leave it to the gang in PR to offer up fruitful insights into the production.  Well, the gang in PR OR some of you enterprising individuals who have already tracked down specifics on the series (name, production team, and shoot dates Mar 25 – Jun 25/19) and posted the news online.  Kudos on the detective work.  I, however, will remain necessarily cryptic until the grand official announcement.

Until then, here are some frustratingly out-of-context photos from prep…

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Former Dark Matter concept artist Bartok Rendulic is at it again.  Decisions, decisions…

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Production Designer Ian Brock will literally bend over backwards (and point!) for you.

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Series creator/Executive Producer R.T. Thorne weighs in on Set Decorator Andy Loew’s…thing.

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That rock facade is coming along nicely.

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I asked John, Andy, Kelly, and Cathy to take the friendly, happy, energetic BEFORE picture that I can use to compare to the morose, resentful, weary AFTER picture I’ll take four months from now.

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A little trivia about Line Producer Robbie David.  Apparently, he purposely put on a ton of weight before his wedding so that now, while his friends peruse their old photos and lament how far they’ve let themselves go, he can boast “I look so much better!”.

So, what is everyone up to this weekend?  I’ve got a visit to the farmers’ market and a pottery class lined up!

Holy Rankings! The Top 10 Villains from the 60’s Batman Series!

Atomic batteries to power.  Turbines to speed.

T.V. shows from the 60’s hold a special place in my heart, and none more than the ’66-’68 Batman series with its gloriously colorful, over-the-top villains. Apparently, doing a guest spot on the show was such a blast that producers had big name actors lining up for a shot to chew up the scenery.  Over the course of its three season run, the show featured roughly three dozen villains (and variations thereof including three version of Mr. Freeze, three Catwomans [if you count the movie], and two and a half Riddlera [I say a half because in addition to Frank Gorshin and John Astin’s portrayals, stage veteran Maurice Evans was brought in to play the role of the suspiciously similar Puzzler following Gorshin’s departure].

Anyway, this is one of those classic shows that you can still re-watch and enjoy, this time as an adult with a whole new level of appreciation.   There’s so much to love, from Adam West’s gloriously straight-laced Batman to that insanely convenient utility belt to those incredibly manic villains.

These were my Top 10 Favorites…

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#10 – Shame (Cliff Robertson)

I ain’t all bad.  Just mostly.

Unlike most of Batman’s villains, Shame was a bit of an imbecile and that, I suppose, is what made him somewhat sympathetic.  Decades later, Robertson would return to the world of comics, playing Peter Parker’s uncle Ben in one of the innumerable big screen features.

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#9 – Bookworm (Roddy McDowall)

“Now the fact is that our bats have flown the belfry, unaccountably still squeaking.”

Not only was he a literary-themed villain, but he was played by Roddy McDowall, star of my favorite film series at the time, The Planet of Apes.  You get the sense McDowall truly relished his delightfully low-key performance (Well, certainly restrained in comparison to many of the other big screen greats who graced the Bat set).

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#8 – Mr. Freeze (Otto Preminger)

“Batman, but–but you were supposed to be a famous frostie freezie by now!”

Sure, the series boasted a slew of outlandish casting coups, from Liberace to Tallulah Bankhead, but one of the wildest was famed director Otto Preminger who positively revels in the role of the villainous Mr. Freeze (changed from the originally conceived Mr. Zero).  Rumor has it, however, that his demanding nature made the behind-the-scenes interactions with co-stars a little…chilly.

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#7. Catwoman (Earth Kitt)

“Karate isn’t effective unless accompanied by yelling. Let him howl until he springs a vocal cord, then get him!”

While she wasn’t the first actress to play the feline-themed seductress, she certainly sunk her claws into the role and made it her own.  Some southern affiliates objected to the casting and threatened not to broadcast her episodes to which the producers responded: “We don’t care.”

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#6 – Egghead (Vincent Price)

“Please, please, Miss Bacon. All of you are approximately the right age, in your early thirties, but I have eliminated you, Mr. Tyler, because you are lefthanded. No, the Caped Crusader is not portsider, and you, Mr. Savage, are out because of your accent. So aside from a couple of aging rock-and-roll singers, you, Mr. Wayne, are the only Gotham city millionaire who is athletically inclined with eggsessive agility. Therefore, you must be Batman!”

As someone who grew up on Hammer horror films, seeing Vincent Price guest on my favorite t.v. show was a real treat.  Yet another actor who really makes the most of his onscreen presence, Price was said to have loved the series which he considered well ahead of its time.

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#5 – Penguin (Burgess Meredith)

“Politics is wonderful! I can use all my lowest, slurpiest tricks, but now they’re legal! I should have been a politician years ago!”

Meredith (who took on the role after both Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy turned it down) holds the record for most villainous appearances in the series at a whopping 20 episodes.  The actor freely admitted his bird imitation was decidedly more duck than penguin (due to the fact that the smoke from his “prop” cigarette irritated his throat), but that trademark Waugh! Waugh! Waugh! became as essential a part of his character as his umbrella.

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#4 – King Tut (Victor Buono)

“It isn’t that I love you any less, Batman, simply that I love me more.”

Buono delivers a tour de force performance as the Professor-turned-King-of-Egypt going from zero to one hundred and back multiple times over multiple scenes.  I imagine filming his episodes must have been a hell of a lot of fun.  According to Buono: “Batman allowed me to do what actors are taught never to do, overact”.

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#3 – Catwoman (Julie Newmar)

“If you pick the right door, I’m yours, Batman. If you pick the wrong door, you’re mine. So which is it, Batman? The lady or the tiger?”

My first true t.v. crush.  She always struck me as one of Batman’s most formidable villains.   The fact she could wield a whip certainly helped cement that impression. According to Newmar, she was going to turn down the role only to have her brother, and his friends from Harvard, convince her to take it because it was their favorite show.

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#2 – Joker (Cesar Romero)

“Uh, Susie, Sweetie.  A special extra bonus.  A half pint bottle of the most exquisite Canadian perfume.”

Yeah, yeah.  Many other actors have portrayed the clown prince of crime on the big and small screen, but nostalgia makes it hard for me to love anyone else in the role.  Apparently, Frank Sinatra loved the character so much that he threw his hat in the ring in the event Romero ever grew tired of playing the Joker.  Still, as much as I loved Romero, his decision NOT to shave his mustache for the role (requiring a heavy application of make-up that never really held up in close-ups) kept his character from taking top spot.

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#1 – Riddler (Frank Gorshin)

With money, who needs friends?

Gorshin left the show after its first season due to a contract dispute, but returned for its third, garnering an Emmy nomination for his memorable performance and turning a relatively (at the time) obscure comic book villain into a formidable Bat-foe.  He apparently developed his character’s high-pitched laugh at Hollywood parties – and that laugh was won him the role.

Agree?  Disagree?  Weigh in with your opinions, Bat-readers!