I swore last week that I found the most bizarre Batman-themed commercial of them all…or at least, since that other bizarre commercial featuring Batman I saw on the Nostalgia Critic. And then I saw no one had written about it. Well, holy act of Congress, Retroist readers, I NEED to show you this Batman Public Service Announcement!
Last Time on Retroist…
Last week, I spotted your typical, run of the mill department store commercial, given a total twist…
That’s right, Batman shops at defunct department store Zayre!
Holy great prices!
And while I assumed I’d found the funniest Batman placement in a commercial, I recalled one equally funny (and bizarre), but no one else had talked about it on here.
Man you are gonna laugh!
Holy Public Service Announcement, Batman!
Yes, go on, read that again. Batman and Public Service Announcement. All in the same sentence. Like this shouldn’t be a thing, but yet, it is.
The year was 1973, and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division needed to teach employers about a thing called Equal Pay. But, they needed to drive home the point. They needed someone who doesn’t receive equal pay (because when you have a shortcoming, why not just have the wronged party flaunt it around?), someone other wronged parties can look up to.
The Public Service Announcement You Won’t Believe!
I swear I feel like I made this up, but I’ve seen it.
And now, so will you!
Upload via USDepartmentofLabor
And that’s the short version. There’s a longer version!
Upload via FilmArchivesNYC
So, let me get this straight…
And Adam West’s performance. It’s so…phoned in. I’m with the Nostalgia Critic on this one, it feels phoned in. Like he was so over this Public Service Announcement before it was even filmed. He just seems so bored.
(Note from Allison: I didn’t embed the Nostalgia Critic’s commentary about it due to the language used in the commentary, but if you haven’t seen it. All language aside, his commentary pretty much says exactly what I was thinking…aside from “what the heck?”)
And since when did superheroes get paid? Because I want to be an Avenger, but only if they have a competitive healthcare plan. And 401K.
As for getting paid less than Robin…yeah, I have a problem with that too.
Holy discontent, indeed!
I love the campiness of this Public Service Announcement, it just falls right in line with the campiness of the television show.
The interesting part about this is that the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division produced this Public Service Announcement in 1973. This is a full four years AFTER Batman was cancelled. Now, from what I’ve read, Adam West was cast in the role originally because he could deliver the silly lines with a totally straight face. So, his “phoned in” performance is actually falling in line with how he delivered the lines on the show. Except for one thing…equal pay was a pretty serious and heavy issue in the early 1970s. Batman kind of seems like a jerk about it, and while that shouldn’t seem like a good thing, it only adds to the bizarre hilariousness of the whole concept.
I love this commercial.
But, of course, it makes me wonder…did Batgirl save the day for Batman and Robin?
I’d say “tune in tomorrow, same Bat time, same Bat channel,” but well…not a television episode?