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Holy Blu-ray! The five best original 'Batman' moments

By Henry Hanks, CNN
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue November 11, 2014
"Holy smokes, Batman!" Adam West might be the best-known of the Batmen. His campy, over-the-top portrayal of the Worlds Greatest Detective led to the popularity of the 1966 to 1968 Batman television series and the first full-length feature film, "Batman: The Movie" in 1966. Later West would voice the character in "The New Adventures of Batman" and "Super Friends." Click through to see other actors who have played the Caped Crusader of Gotham City. "Holy smokes, Batman!" Adam West might be the best-known of the Batmen. His campy, over-the-top portrayal of the Worlds Greatest Detective led to the popularity of the 1966 to 1968 Batman television series and the first full-length feature film, "Batman: The Movie" in 1966. Later West would voice the character in "The New Adventures of Batman" and "Super Friends." Click through to see other actors who have played the Caped Crusader of Gotham City.
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The Batmen: Actors who have played Batman
Lewis Wilson
Robert Lowery
Michael Keaton
Val Kilmer
George Clooney
Christian Bale
Ben Affleck
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 1966 "Batman" TV series is out on Blu-Ray and DVD
  • The show was a phenomenon when it first aired
  • The series was campy compared with the current Batman in comics, film and TV

(CNN) -- At long last, the '60s TV series "Batman" is finally being released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Fans of the Adam West and Burt Ward program have been waiting years for this moment, as a long-running rights dispute between 20th Century Fox and Time Warner (the latter is CNN's parent company) made it seem like it would never come.

Before November 11, anyone hankering for classic "Batman" had to settle for recording episodes from cable on the DVR.

When "Batman" made its TV debut in 1966, it was nothing short of a phenomenon. The first episode had huge ratings and launched a slew of Bat-merchandise as the dynamic duo invaded the public consciousness, appearing just about everywhere for much of that year.

For a time, the show had people tuning in the following night -- "same Bat-time, same Bat-channel" -- to see how Batman and Robin got out of their latest jam.

Up until Tim Burton's 1989 movie, the 1966 version of "Batman" was the best-known representation of the hero, and it's still fondly remembered nearly 50 years later.

Here are five of the most memorable moments of the series, which ran from 1966 to 1968. (We're not counting Adam West and Burt Ward's tongue-in-cheek performances, which are in a league of their own.)

1. The Batusi

Right out of the gate, we knew we were in for something special.

As Batman went into a nightclub (with the underage Robin waiting outside), he happened upon the Riddler's girlfriend, Molly.

As the pair danced, Batman unleashed some moves of his own, and the Batusi was born (soon to be replicated in "Pulp Fiction").

2. The Joker faces the dynamic duo

Cesar Romero's first performance as the Joker three weeks into the series stands as one of its best episodes.

Here we saw the Joker break out of jail, erect a statue of himself, pose as Pagliacci and more (in a plot based on one of the classic comic book issues).

It was a tour de force, and he was the first actor to turn the Joker into the role of a lifetime.

3. The window cameos

When celebrities weren't able to be "special guest villains," they ended up popping out of a window as Batman and Robin scaled the side of a building. Everyone from Jerry Lewis to Sammy Davis Jr. to Santa Claus turned up there.

4. Catwoman and Batman's neverending flirtation

Try as she might, Catwoman (played at various times by Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriwether) never could seduce Batman into a life of crime. And boy, did she try.

And here's Batman and Robin taking on Catwoman's henchmen, because no list is complete without a little "POW! BIFF! ZOWIE!"

5. Batgirl arrives

By season three, the show was on the brink of cancellation and introduced Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl.

Yvonne Craig -- the first actress to portray a female superhero on live-action TV -- breathed new life into the show for a short time, but sadly, ABC pulled the plug as that season ended. (Legend has it that it was too late for NBC to pick up the show.)

Of course, it's tough to narrow it down to five (and the less said about that surfing contest, the better). What are your favorite parts of the 1960s "Batman?"

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