Now that it’s been more than a month since the release of The Dark Knight and we can step back and finally have some perspective on the phenomenon of the second highest grossing movie of all time, one thing has become really clear: it’s amazing that the people who played Batman before did that. (The working title of this list was “FINALLY, AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON.”) It’s not even a question of “Who Was the Best Batman?” because that’s obvious. It’s Christian Bale. We all know that. It was the the cover story on last month’s issue of Duh Aficionado magazine. But seriously, the other guys who played Batman? Can you believe these fucking guys?

Adam West

When: Batman (TV Series), 1966-68
What TF: Adam West gets a pass because when he played Batman the world still thought that cigarettes were better for you than salad. But seriously, unless this was some kind of secret mission from the depths of the Hollywood Underground to legitimize homosexuality for the mainstream American viewing public, what was up with this guy’s Batman?

George Clooney

When: Batman and Robin, 1997
What TF: George Clooney has plenty of charm and charisma, sure, but remember how GEORGE CLOONEY WAS BATMAN? That is so crazy. That seems like a joke. Like someone went to George Clooney’s mansion on Halloween and videotaped it and they accidentally released it as a summer blockbuster. Of course, that doesn’t explain this.

Val Kilmer

When: Batman Forever, 1995
What TF: Admittedly, the real question when it comes to Val Kilmer is “Can You Believe This Fucking Guy Is In Movies?” I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was great in Top Gun, and no one will ever be able to take Madmartigan away from us, but he’s basically the Ted Nugent of actors now.

Michael Keaton

When: Batman, 1989, Batman Returns, 1992
What TF: We all have fond memories of Tim Burton’s Batman movies, as we should. But Michael Keaton? It’s hard to remember that there was a time when Tom Hanks and Steve Guttenberg were equally famous and when Michael Keaton was thought of as the type of guy who could bring dark justice to a world gone mad, but it was called the late ’80s and we must remember it so as to never make the same mistake again.

Comments (14)
  1. Jonathon  |   Posted on Aug 25th, 2008 0

    I still think Michael Keaton was great for two reasons: the lower half of his face is very ugly and almost makes him look tough, and also, he is so geeky as Bruce Wayne (Mr. Mom with lots of money) that it sets up a nice contrast

    • That, and he was comically old. His parents get murdered and it takes him 30 years to get his Batshit together.

  2. Duh Aficionado is the greatest magazine in the universe

  3. george clooney was fated to blow: nippled batsuit (like WEIRDLY pointy nippled batsuit, could poke a man’s eye out).

  4. miracle#4  |   Posted on Aug 25th, 2008 +1

    Val Kilmer can fly a plane, do calculus, shoot lions, light your fire and play God while kicking your a**! Val Kilmer is THE SAINT man. Do NOT dismiss him! DONT YOU DARE!!!

  5. gabe, what? michael keaton was THE BEST batman to date. christian bale is great for the ladies and all, but he’s a humorless douche who has the most laughtastic i-am-very-serious-and-grim voice ever. mr. mom rocked it because:

    1. he was ironic.
    2. he was believably mournful re his dead parents.
    3. he parlayed his beetlejuice gruffness into genuine menace.

    wow, you got this so wrong!

  6. rob  |   Posted on Aug 25th, 2008 -3

    I agree with the few prior. Michael Keaton was the best batman. Christian Bale is a joke. The horrible voice, no personality.id rather have michael keaton back…even at the age he is now.

  7. Nobodies talking about Adam West.

  8. adam west kicks ass at everything he does.

    cartoon voice-overs especially.

    think fairly odd parents and family guy.

  9. I like Adam West, but only as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy.

  10. Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Aug 26th, 2008 0

    Michael Keaton was a joke as Bruce Wayne! Not too bad as Batman though.

    Bale is by far and away the best. Batman Begins is the greatest superhero movie ever followed closely by Dark Knight. Awesome stuff.

  11. dtrashed  |   Posted on Aug 27th, 2008 -2

    Val Kilmer is ‘basically the Ted Nugent of actors now.’? Are you saying Ted Nugent is the greatest living guitarist and doesn’t get the respect he deserves because of drug problems and being notorious to work with? Have you seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or the Salton Sea? How about the Doors, and the horrible Tombstone that was actually watchable because he was in it? Yeah, the Saint was stupid.

  12. Tycho  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2008 0

    I don’t see why people keep thinking of batman begins as good.
    the plot is so obviously stupid*, bale is not capable of pulling off the kind of basic human charm that would make me sympathise with an orphan, his bruce wayne is still way too patrick bateman. And where were people getting ‘dark’ from.

    Granted the dark knight was infinitley better (wayne becomes more like bateman, but with a villian dripping in charisma to distract people).

    so as a batman my vote is still for keaton.

    *if we have a device to vaporise water, so that we can infect people with a gas of some kind, what people are going to be left alive after we’ve vaporised their mostly-made-of-water bodies????????????????

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