As LIFE magazine told its readers when Batman was entertaining TV audiences for the very first time:
It’s all over the place. Madness! Supermadness! The entertainment world offers it on all sides, and the public gobbles it up. Batman conquers TV. Kids swing Batman capes in the back yard, and Bat products are everywhere….
Batman swooped from the comic books to the TV screen only a few weeks ago and is already among the top 10 sows, one of the great sudden successes in entertainment history. The hero is still his spooky but saintly self, a Dracula with a halo who pops out of his Bat lair to foil enemies with mysterious weapons. Adults can take it as a joke or lap it up like kids. Either way, batman wins.
The boom in bedlam springs, of course, from man’s old love of the bizarre and the fantastic. But it also reflects today’s restless, volatile spirit. Pop art and the cut of camp have turned Superman and Batman into members of the intellectual community, and what the kids used to devour in comics books has become a staple in avant-garde art. Any way you slice it, the new supermadness is breaking the laws both of gravity and logic ad providing a useful escape hatch from the booby hatch. In a world that often looms confused and loony, it helps clear the air to see it portrayed that way.See more photos from the set of the classic TV show here.