Tag Archives: joker

Positive Cynicism EP. 108: Random Discussions

As Hurricane Dorian had Florida in its sights, @TheTravisYates was busy prepping his house to withstand the storm and trying to keep his family safe. Since he was unavailable to co-host his regular monthly episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart recruited @my123cents host and one half of the newly crowned Stride Pro Wrestling tag team champions, @kevinhunsperger to take Travis’ spot.

Due to the sudden change in co-hosts, there was no topic in place so it was decided to do another random episode where topics were submitted from friends and then drawn from a pile of post-it notes. What are the topics? Where would the conversation go? Would any of it make sense? Listen to the show and find out.

Positive Cynicism EP. 75: The Cost of Fun

For their first episode of 2019, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett start the show discussing Eric’s most anticipated films of 2019. From there, Chad explains how the cost of going to the movies keeps him away from the theater which leads to a bigger discussion regarding the price of extracurricular activies.

Nerds United Episode 114: Post-Thanksgiving

Hello and welcome to a brand new Nerds United. We sure are happy you’re here.

In this week’s episode, Mike and Greg talk about their Thanksgiving weekends and their awesome families. Another of your favorite Marvel shows is leaving Netflix, which we all anticipated. Fuller House is still on the streaming service. But that Disney App is starting to look pretty inviting. However, we’re still pretty sure there’s one 1946 movie that will remain buried in the vault.

Hear Nickelback cover a Metallica song, and hear the guys talk about the Joker movie, and how Mike says the DC Cinematic Standalone Universe is still unproven.

“You’re a wizard, Harry.” Famous words from a famous giant (or giant-like man). But what are some ridiculous things that Hagrid could have told Harry Potter that would have been just as believable (if not just as odd) as telling a ten-year-old boy that he’s a wizard?

Thanks to everyone who has picked up a shirt. Want to be one of the cool kids? Get your shirt here.

Fresh Content Day 18: A Bold and Brave Batman Statement

This is a DC Movie hot take years in the making. I will state here as I tend to do…these are just my thoughts. I’m fairly certain I’m in the minority on this issue. So take it with a grain of salt.

I like Batman Begins more than The Dark Knight. I’m not saying it’s better, but I am saying I like it more.

Two villains made their big screen debut in Batman Begins. We got Scarecrow and Ra’a al Ghul. Granted, Scarecrow worked for the “Head of the Demon,” so in a way, a Gotham villain was doing the bidding of the League of Shadows. But we got to see two rogues that we had not seen in any previous live action Batman setting.

The Dark Knight was great. I’m not saying it wasn’t. And while Heath Ledger’s Joker became the new benchmark of all Jokers before or after, it was the third live iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime.

In all other Batman versions, we see the finished product. Even in the 1989 Michael Keaton Batman, while the Caped Crusader was relatively unknown, he had all of the components together, the suit, the gadgets, the mystique. What I liked about Batman Begins is we got a chance to see the brief aftermath of the Wayne murders, the momentary encounter between a young Bruce and a young cop by the name of James Gordon. And that paid off at the end of the Nolan series when Batman said that “a hero can be anyone.”

We got to see Bruce travel the world and eventually end up in the League of Shadows, a key component of his training that had been left out of previous movies. It is his refusal to kill for the League that caused the rift between him and Ra’s. That he won’t “cleanse” Gotham City, but feels he can save it his way (and ultimately does), really sets the two apart from each other and makes it the ultimate stakes. While Ra’s would like his foe vanquished, you recall that as the train is speeding to certain doom, Bats says “I won’t kill you…but I don’t have to save you.”

To me, it shows that Batman as a vigilante or hero is still in his infancy. I think an older, more experienced Batman would not let al Ghul die in the wreck so he would have to face justice. Scarecrow we know evaded capture until the The Dark Knight.

Now in an uncharacteristic move, Batman does repeat a line that Rachel says to Bruce earlier in the movie, giving away his secret identity. But if you can’t trust someone you’ve known since childhood, who can you trust?

I love both movies. But it was really nice to see more of the Batman origin besides that one night in Crime Alley (which we’ve seen again in Batman v Superman). It was good to see how he got where he ended up.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? As always, there’s that comment section here or on Facebook. Let me know.


#ToughCallTuesday 4 – Batman ’66 Villains

Batman ’66…the colorful, campy version that pre-dated the Dark Knight.

Batman was on twice a week when it aired originally, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now I won’t pretend that I watched it when it aired originally. Obviously, I wasn’t even born yet. But I did watch a lot of this show in syndication years later.

The Bill Dozier/Adam West Batman was my first introduction to Batman, as I’m certain it was for many in my generation. I didn’t actually watch the 1989 Michael Keaton Batman movie until a few years later, watching it at my friend Andy’s house on video cassette (kids, you can learn more about the ancient technology known as the VHS here).

There are a few things I remember vividly about the show. First and foremost, I think, is the legendary Batmobile.



Second is the bust of William Shakespeare that, when you pop the top and push the red button, you Bat Cave. It was something that the designers of the last Rocksteady installment of the Batman series, “Arkham Knight,” borrowed for their own purposes.


There was the plethora of Bat-gadgets. My favorite was the ever-popular Bat-Shark-Repellent.

But there were villains. SO MANY VILLAINS! In 120 episodes, there were 34 different villains. Villains who were smart, cunning, or alluring. And villains who were goofy and wouldn’t be taken seriously in today’s hyper-realistic, overly serious television programming. And yet, these villains were portrayed by some of the biggest names of the day. Vincent Price as Egghead, Milton Berle as Louie the Lilac, Art Carney (of The Honeymooners fame) as the Archer, and Zsa Zsa Gabor as Minerva. Also, and this is true…you can tell people that Liberace was a Batman villain.

But for the sake of time, let’s just stick with some of the more familiar characters.

The Joker – Cesar Romero was already well-known in Hollywood when producer Bill Dozier called him to the studio to play the Crown Prince of Crime. The Joker debuted and was as riotous as always, with his boisterous laugh, his gag weapons, and his dim-witted henchmen.

Romero’s Joker only appeared in nineteen of the 120 episodes of the series.

Burgess Meredith was the infamous villain known as The Penguin, a tuxedo he donned just nineteen times himself. The long-stemmed cigarette, the top hat. The Penguin had the iconic look. While this was a decade before Rocky, Burgess had been an actor since the mid-1930s, just another testament to the fearless aspirations of Dozier and Co. They weren’t going after small potatoes to fill roles on some goofy television show for kids. They took this seriously. Well, as seriously as they could for the late 1960s.

Catwoman was played by three actresses. Julie Newmar suited up the most times, playing the feline twelve times. Eartha Kitt portrayed Catwoman three times, and Lee Meriwether twice. In fact, finding the number of times Meriwether appeared as Catwoman meant a lot of scrolling down on the IMDb page, with the total cast of 630. Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, was my first tv crush before I knew what that even meant. But right behind her was the lovely Newmar, who exuded appeal. Eartha Kitt brought a whole new element to the character, as I believe she was the only one of the three to actually purr. I’d never be so bold as to tell Eartha Kitt to do something different. She rocked it as Catwoman, though Newmar is still my preferred Catwoman.


Frank Gorshin’s Riddler character only appeared in ten episodes, but left an indelible mark on my memory. He had that “smarter-than-you” cackle and over-animated jumping and kicking. Plus, the way he chose to attack Batman’s brain power rather than his physical strength meant that The Riddler could have been anyone, not necessarily someone in top physical shape. In fact, in Season 2, The Riddler was played by Gomez Addams, John Astin. But Gorshin’s my guy.

Of course, I guess that could be said about any of Batman’s rogue gallery mentioned here.

Then again, it was the 60’s, and in a time when Batman’s own physique wasn’t well-defined, and Robin wore hot pants, anything was possible. It truly was the golden age of television.

But this is called #ToughCallTuesday for a reason, meaning I have to play favorites. And wouldn’t you know – it is perhaps my toughest call to date. All have their merits, and they were all played by actors or actresses who seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time on this hero show.

BATMAN, Frank Gorshin, 1966. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved, Courtesy: Everett Collection
BATMAN, Frank Gorshin, 1966. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved, Courtesy: Everett Collection

Plus, one of my favorite sayings is “Riddle me this, Batman.”

Thanks, Frank Gorshin’s Riddler, for being me favorite Batman ’66 villain.

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments. And leave a suggestion for next week’s #ToughCallTuesday!

Nerds United Episode 38

lego matt

Meet my longtime friend Matt. He also has a background in radio and took those talents to not one but TWO shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network: GAMER and PoppedCulture.

But Matt is a busy man…a student working on his mass communications degree with a minor in creative writing. So I won’t go into much detail here, as Matt can tell his own story. But check out his Vimeo and Tumblr for some of his creativity.

Here’s his latest short film, as mentioned in the episode:

“Scrutiny” Short Film from Matthew Horst on Vimeo.

matts reads
Just a small sampling of what Matt has been reading.