Holy blogging, Batman, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How're you? I had a thought... there are 492 billionaires on the planet and not one of those losers had decided to become Batman. Ever wonder why you never see Batman and I at the same time? It's because we're not friends anymore and things are awkward between us now. Haha. Hey, just a friendly reminder that you still have plenty of time do do your taxes at the last minute.
So, how's your Monday? I bet it's better than this story. Dr. Gilbert Kalonde is an assistant professor of technology education at Montana State University, and an amateur fisherman. In April 2015, he went to his local Walmart to buy a fishing license. During the process, a Walmart employee asked Kalonde what he does for a living. He explained he was a professor and provided his MSU credentials. But evidently, that wasn't good enough for this smartass clerk. "The Bozeman Daily Chronicle" reports that when Kalonde received his license, it listed his occupation as "clean toilets." There are multiple reasons why this prank is especially offensive. First of all, the man is a professor of higher learning. Also, he's an immigrant (from Zambia), which adds a possible discriminatory motive. And finally, "clean toilets" is not a job. It's not even a noun. The worst part is that Kalonde didn't even notice the sabotage until years later. He renewed his fishing license in 2016, and although he again made it clear he was a damn professor, his new license also said "clean toilets." He still had no idea, however, until he showed it to his teaching assistant and a few students, who asked if he had changed jobs. That's when he got mad. Professor Kalonde is suing Walmart for libel, claiming that the megastore wanted to expose him to "hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy." I know he's a man of letters, but he might want to dumb down the language of his lawsuit. The word "obloquy" might fly over the head of the guy who wrote "clean toilets."
Apparently the airline that can't figure out how to deal with an overbooked flight without calling the police to assault one of their passengers... and won't let little girls board its planes in leggings... is at it again. The ugly incident wasn't exactly violent or sexist this time, but in a way it seems even weirder. On Saturday, Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell boarded a United flight with friends and family in Houston after flying down from Salt Lake City. The group's final destination was Costa Rica, where Maxwell and Hohl plan to get married on Thursday. But the couple, who were last to get on the plane, discovered a man lying down asleep in their row of seats. Noticing that the cabin was far from full, they simply sat down a few rows ahead... but still in the coach section. At that point, they said, a flight attendant demanded to know why they weren't in their correct seats, and wouldn't take "uh, there's a guy asleep there" for an answer. (Also, that's not even proper positioning for takeoff!) Eventually, and despite the fact that they woke up the mystery napper, an air marshal arrived and told the pair they would have to deboard. "We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat," Hohl told ABC affiliate News13. "We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat." United, meanwhile, accused the bride and groom of disorderly conduct, a charge they both deny. "We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn’t measure up to their expectations," the company said in a statement. These passengers repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating, which they did not purchase, and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats. We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow." Ooooookay. Whatever you say, you psychotic airline. Obviously, Maxwell and Hohl will be thinking twice before flying the unfriendly skies with United again. But Maxwell's stepfather Michael Gallagher probably had the best take on the drama, "Truthfully, we all worried that maybe something would happen in Costa Rica, and we were willing to deal with that," he said. "Never in our wildest dreams did we think United was going to screw it up in Houston, Texas." Hey, at least they're consistently on-brand these days.
In a news story that bears unbelievable similarities to The Jungle Book, a girl around eight years old was discovered in a forest in India where she had been living "comfortably" with a tribe of monkeys, the "Times of India" reports. Police reportedly rescued the "Mowgli girl" from a tribe of monkeys after she was spotted by a park ranger in the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh. "She was terrified of us, she could not speak or hear properly," one of her rescuers, Inspector Ram Avtar, told Cover Asia Press in a statement, according to the "New York Post." "She was surrounded by three monkeys. She had wounds on her body, specifically on her elbow and one on her leg. She was wearing clothes but not very dirty." He added that she "appeared to be abandoned by her family." "The Times" reports that she cannot speak or understand any (human) language, is scared of humans, and often behaves violently towards the doctors trying to treat her (like any human who had been living with monkeys would). When they first found her, she would swing her arms and walk on four legs, according to reports. Since her rescue, the girl has been in a district hospital for two months, where she is being taught to communicate and walk on two legs, Cover Asia Press reports. Dr. Dinesh Singh, who is treating her, said she is recovering slowly and "now walks like a human," but has tried to run away from the hospital. And can you blame her?I can't imagine what's more traumatic... living in the forest with monkeys, or being plucked from your monkey family by weird hairless creatures who speak a foreign language and force you to walk on two legs. Lots of media sources are calling her "Mowgli girl" after the young protagonist in The Jungle Book who lived in the forest among animals, quite happily aside from a few mishaps. I hope this little girl will find her way into a loving family. And I also hope she learns to speak, and eventually write, her story. That'll be one hell of a memoir.
Great news, winos! According to very important new research, one type of alcohol can actually boost your libido and improve your sex life, Metro UK reports. But before you get too excited, this is moderate amounts of only one type of booze. Still, we'll take it! Who knew science could be so useful?? So what's the magic libido-boosting booze? No big surprise, it's red wine. According to researchers, two glasses of red wine a day can significantly boost sex drive in both men and women. Just remember: more than two glasses can quickly backfire, so don't go overboard. The way this libido-booster works is a little different depending on your gender. For men, a compound in red wine called Quercetin blocks an enzyme that flushes out testosterone, subsequently boosting your testosterone levels and desire for sex. And for women, red wine gives your libido a lift by increasing blood flow to your "erogenous zones," Newsmax reports. Can't argue with scientific facts! Red wine is a popular thing to drink on dates, so maybe most people already had this one figured out. But in case you doubted its success in the past, science now verifies: red wine is one of the best aphrodisiacs on the market. And it's probably available in bulk at your local wholesale store. Time for a Costco run!
Okay, so, as this entry has as semi-Batman theme going, I have a Batman related story for you... Scottish mom Laura Hopkins found her little boy in front of a mirror covered in drawn-on lipstick and, naturally, asked him if he had done it. Hopkins's clever son, however, claims to be innocent. Batman, Gotham City's famed caped crusader, is to blame. Hopkins posted a video of the cute interrogation to the Facebook group The Unmumsy Mum, and it went viral, with over 700,000 views of the little boy's utter shamelessness. As if Batman would draw on the mirror! That's ridiculous! He's too busy protecting Gotham! Still, it has some basis in canon. At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman agrees to take the blame for a series of vigilante murders around Gotham that were, in fact, committed by a traumatized Harvey Dent. You have to imagine that he'd be okay with taking the blame for a cute kid who drew with lipstick on his mom's mirror.
Alright, so, a lot of kids are on Spring Break right now. If you're one of those kids I hope it does't end in disaster like like this guy with the best friends...
At least he has something to drink when he wakes up. So, yesterday I went to Star Wars Celebration Orlando and I was surprised when I saw one product that was being sold there...
Disney and their synergy. Haha. A new Star Wars TV show was announced as well...
That's fantastic! So, one of my favorite stores is Hot Topic... even though I feel so old when I go there. Anyway, there's a Hot Topic movie coming out which is kinda surprising. Here's the poster for it, kids.
What a great cast, I hope it's good. United Airlines has a brand new slogan which I don't know will help their cause...
Fantastic. And now the week of the Internet in one pic...
Okay, I don't write for a newspaper but if I did chances are I would write something like this....
Top Phive Groups of People Who Went To See The Fate Of The Furious
5. People who can't get enough of the simmering sexual tension between Vin Diesel and his Dodge Charger.
4. Car insurance claim adjusters who simply can't believe their eyes.
3. Fans of things that go zoom-boomy-boom.
2. The franchise's screenwriters, doing research before starting F'nine and the F'nine-ious.
And the number one group of people who went to to see The Fate of the Furious are...
1. The Pep Boys.
I hope you can go to it next Saturday... after all, I'll be there. Alright, one thing I think is funny is farting... and even funnier once in awhile fart stories makes it in the news. So, here once again is a pheature called...
This hilarious pic shows the moment an Internet cafe owner dropped a massive fart to clear his shop of customers.
CCTV footage from the cafe shows the owner impatiently sitting in his office as he waits for customers to leave at closing time. With their backs turned, the owner sneaks into the room before dropping his pants and letting it rip right under their noses. He then slopes off into his office with a beaming smile as if nothing has happened, poised for his customers' reactions. The foul prank appears to reap instant results as both computer users rush to the feet with their hands over their mouths. Visibly disgusted, one lifts his t-shirt over his mouth to mask the stench as he quickly exits the room.
Yesterday was President Donald Trump's first White House Easter Egg Roll, and DAMN IT, HE IS DOING IT HIS WAY! According to a video from Politico, a kid excitedly asks the president to sign his "Make America Great Again" hat. Much to the boy's delight, Trump complies... and then proceeds to toss the cap into a crowd of people. Wait, WHAT? "No!" shouts the kid as the president smiles. Then HE DOES IT AGAIN! I'm confused. Was he purposely bullying this kid, or did he forget what he was doing as he was doing it? Can Donald Trump just do one normal thing just once ever?
Cracker Barrel is a chain of restaurants catering to highway travelers with the insanely specific need for both pancakes and a wooden sign that says "Never Enough Thyme."
Today's guest is a high Batman fan like myself who is the writer and director of the upcoming documentary "Beat of the Bat" which you can fund on GoFundMe. I did. Anyway, please welcome to the Phile... Pat The Batman Fan Evans.
Pat: Thank you! Good to be here!
Me: So, how long have you been known as Pat The Batman Fan?
Pat: Well, I've been a Batman fan since I was 4 years old, but I started referring to myself as Pat The Batman Fan on social media because I thought it was catchy and fitting. These days you have to be savvy with the online. Am I right, kids?
Me: I am a Batman fan as well, and the old TV series, which is now called "Batman '66" to some, is my favorite. That's the first TV show I got into as a kid. I was born just a few years after it ended though. What about you, Pat? Are you old enough to see the show when it originally aired?
Pat: Not quite old enough for the first run... Sounds like pretty much the same situation as you. I saw re-runs starting in the mid-70s. LOVE the "Batman '66" comics too.
Me: When did you first start to get into the show?
Pat: Right away!
Me: What about it did you like? I liked the characters and the look of the show myself.
Pat: I found it terribly exciting. Gadgets, villains, fights, the Batcave, the Batmobile! Like many others, being so young when it came out the camp part of it went right over my head! I thought it was all imminent danger! I have a very fond memory of my mom taking me to a Saturday matinee of it, 40 years ago. And obviously the theme song stuck with me...
Me: So, I have a small collection of Batman '66 items, but something tells me you have more. What is your favorite item do you have?
Pat: Ha ha. You might be right. I tend not to play favorites with anything but probably the rarest thing I have, '66-wise, is an autographed, personal photo of Madge Blake riding in a car during the 4th of July parade in Covina, CA, 1967. The banner on the side says "Aunt Harriet from TV's Batman". So cute. I got it from her granddaughter, along with a few call-sheets and an envelope addressed to her with a return label for the "Batman" TV show production office. I also make props from the show. Probably the most impressive looking one is my Batzooka. I also made a set of replica "Oceanic Bat-Sprays" that I'm proud to say reside in the awesome display at Wally Wingert's place (Planet Wallywood). Wally, of course is a tremendously successful voice actor (He played the Riddler in the Arkham game series) and one of the greatest fans of the '66 Batman show. He has been friends with Adam for 30 plus years and is in our documentary talkin' Bat-Music. Great guy!
Me: Pat, where are you from, sir?
Pat: Oak Harbor, Washinton originally, then Southern Maryland, we moved as I was entering high school. Which was quite a culture shock. In between, Florida, San Diego (I was in the navy), San Francisco and Seattle (I went to the Art Institute there).
Me: Where do you live now?
Pat: Los Angeles.
Me: Are you married, and does she share your passion for Batman?
Pat: Yes and yes, mostly in the form of buying me stuff for the Pat Cave. She likes most Batman stuff but she's very much into horror movies. She's also an amazing singer-songwriter! She's Native American and has played at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, had her songs in movies and TV. She's playing the First Nations festival coming up here soon. On the horror side, she did the theme song for Heather Langenkamp's "I Am Nancy" documentary about playing Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street films. You should interview her as well. Check out her music at jamiecoon.com.
Me: Okay, I will. So, you are putting together a documentary of the music of the "Batman" TV show... how and when did you come up with the idea for this?
Pat: I was watching a DVD about the behind-the-scenes of the '66 "Batman" and realized there was no discussion of the music. Since the very first album I owned was Neal Hefti's "Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat-Songs" I was struck by that, and immediately thought something needed to be done to fix it.
Me: How long has this project been going on, Pat?
Pat: I had the initial idea about 7 years ago. There have been starts and stops for various reasons... my dad died and I had some major health things happen, but I've been working on it in earnest in my spare time now for a couple years.
Me: I love the title for it, "The Beat of the Bat." Did you come up with the title before the idea for the film?
Pat: Thanks! It was the idea, then the title.
Me: You have interviewed some people for the film, right? Who did you interview?
Pat: Oh, yes! Many of our key interviews have been filmed already: leading film/TV music expert Jon Burlingame, legendary guitarist Bob Bain who played with Hefti, Riddle and May (!) and whose credits would take up the rest of the interview, surf-rock pioneer Michael Z. Gordon who had a hit with the "Batman Theme" with his band The Marketts BEFORE Neal Hefti, '66 Batman expert and actor Wally Wingert, musician Johnny Green, who was the leader of the Joker's green-haired band in "Surf's Up, Joker's Under" (and still has his green hair), composer Chuck Cirino ("Chopping Mall") who recorded his own version of Neal's "Batman Theme" in 1989, and English folk-rock duo Chad & Jeremy, who appeared on a 2-part episode of the show as themselves! We've been very lucky with getting great people so far.
Me: The writers and people behind the music are Neal Hefti, Nelson Riddle and Billy May, right? Those three have all passed on, so was it hard to find other people for the film?
Pat: Luckily, Bob Bain had worked with all 3 of them so he was a great resource. Also, Jon Burlingame had interviewed them as well and is just generally a walking music encyclopedia.
Me: So, which one of those guys wrote the famous "na na na na na na na na Batman" tune?
Pat: Neal Hefti!
Me: I think when people hear the words Batman a lot that's the first thing they think of, am I right?
Pat: Absolutely! That's one of the things I always say. It's so tied to the character, to this day. You can walk up to anyone, anywhere in the world and say "Na na na na na na na na" and they will know exactly what you're talking about!
Me: How did you get in touch with Paul Hefti, Neal's son?
Pat: Picked up the phone and called him. Luckily he's a nice guy and he got on board with the idea right away!
Me: He's an Executive Producer for this film and is a musician himself like his dad, right?
Pat: Yes! He actually has his own project, Hefti Plays Hefti, which is a fantastic group that plays Neal's classic tunes with his own arrangements. They have an incredible singer called Devyn Rush, a real chanteuse. They've been playing out for about a year now. I encourage everyone to check them out at heftiplayshefti.com. They're on Facebook as well. Great stuff, and I'm so happy to see it flourishing because it's something he's wanted to do for years.
Me: So, do you think he'll be interested in a Phile interview?
Pat: Couldn't speak for him, but certainly you should ask him! He's a great guy! Try contacting him through the Hefti Playts Hefti website.
Me: Do you play any instruments yourself, Pat?
Pat: Drums, but unfortunately I haven't picked up a set of sticks in years. I was just thinking that the other day. It would be nice to smash some skins again.
Me: Me too. You were trying to raise money on Kickstarter to fund the film but now you're doing it on GoFundMe. What happened?
Pat: Well, the Internet is a big place and there's a lot going on in the world. It didn't really start to catch on until the tail end of the campaign. It's just how it played out, despite our best efforts. So, when the Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully, we figured we should just keep plugging and flip it over to GoFundMe and keep the momentum going.
Me: What's your goal, Pat? How much are you trying to raise?
Pat: Twenty-five thousand would do the job, but I'm really hoping we can hit our stretch goal of 75,000 plus so we can include more music, video clips, etc. All the bells and whistles.
Me: So, when someone pledges what do they get?
Pat: We have all sorts of rewards from digital/Blu-ray copies of the films to t-shirts. I'm going to be adding more personal perks, putting up more stuff from my personal collection. Anything to make the film!
Me: I pledged 70 dollars... so what do I get?
Pat: At that level you get the Official Beat of the Bat T-Shirt, a Blu-ray copy of the film, digital downloads of both posters & of course, thanks in end credits!
Me: So, how much money have you raised so far?
Pat: About 2,000 in jut a few days so far. Need to keep that momentum! Come on, Bat-fans, we need you!
Me: Is this your first documentary you have ever done, Pat?
Pat: Yes, although I did do a silly, short faux-documentary about being a no-talent comic when I worked at the Improv. I had Sarah Silverman, Craig Robinson, Zach Galifinakis, Jay Mohr and a few other people basically insulting me in it. I should see if I can find a copy of that somewhere. This was before YouTube was a thing so we didn't really do anything with it at the time. Just for funnies.
Me: That's so cool. Are you in the film business?
Pat: For the last five years I've been coordinating large scale crowds of extras for films such as Jason Bourne, Straight Outta Compton, Steve Jobs and others.
Me: I love the promo video on the GoFundMe page. How did you get this props made, and the Batman gloves and stuff?
Pat: Thank you! As I mentioned, making props from the show is something I love doing, so any excuse to do it! I made the Bat-Amp and Bat-Picks, imagining what they would look like if the had been made for the show. I'll be including a lot of prop stuff into the film. I think it is an effective way to capture the spirit of the show and make things more visually exciting. The costume is a spot-on replica owned and worn by my buddy Scott Sebring, who is a great guy and one of the top '66 Batman fans. He has done Batman cosplay at major events, including Adam's star ceremony at the Walk of Fame. He was nice enough to be in the trailer. We were very careful not to show too much of him though, can't show the emblem or anything that. The gloves were actually borrowed from, again, Wally Wingert, because Scott's had some wear from doing so much cosplay and he hadn't had a chance to replace them. So we borrowed a pair of Wally's, which worked out great cause we only had a day with Scott and I so the next day I put on the gloves and did the close-up hand stuff myself.
Me: Have you heard from anybody like Adam West or Burt Ward about this documentary? Have you approached them?
Pat: Can't say anything about that just yet.
Me: Ahhhh. I tried to get both of them on the Phile actually but no luck... I was soooo close with Adam. Have you met any of them?
Pat: I have met Adam and Burt both briefly on a couple of occasions. The first time I met Adam I was extremely nervous and babbled like an infant. The next time I was slightly more composed.
Me: I met Adam once at MegaCon... and was nervous as well. Over the years some people have covered the Batman theme... Iggy Pop, Flaming Lips, NRBQ, The Who... do you have a favorite version?
Pat: Again, don't usually like picking favorites but in this case, absolutely the original Neal Hefti version. But there have been some unbelievably great covers over the years. And it was the most recorded song in 1966! Most of them I like, for various reasons. Some are downright scary.
Me: Alright, so, how are you getting the word out about this pledge? I know you have done a podcast and this interview on the Phile should help.
Pat: You ever see those guys on the corner, spinning signs?
Me: All the time.
Pat: I hired a couple of them. And I've been driving around in a Batmobile making announcements, Blues Brothers-style. But mainly podcast interviews & social media.
Me: When do you plan to have "Beat of the Bat" released, Pat?
Pat: If all goes to plan- famous last words... by Christmas.
Me: So, do you have any other documentaries in mind?
Pat: I do, about the history of autograph collecting. I also have a dark, twisted original film I'd really like to make called Lucky Town.
Me: So, apart from "Batman '66," by the way, you read the comics, right? They're pretty good... anyway, apart from the TV show, what other Batman did you like?
Pat: The comics are great, I wish I had more time to read them. I like most Batman stuff for different reasons, some more than others. But aren't we lucky to live in a time where you can take your pick of so many different versions of Batman?
Me: Did you like the Batman vs Superman movie? I did not.
Pat: His suit was cool. Physically, he probably looked the most like the Batman I imagine in my mind's eye. I just think Zack Snyder and I have wildly different versions about how Batman would behave. Superman as well. But one could argue the same about the Adam West version. Why would Batman run around in daylight, making sure he paid his parking meter? You could find problems with any of the film versions of Batman, and comic versions too. Depends on your taste. But overall "BvS" was not for me.
Me: What about the new Batman animated movie that came out last year? That's really good, right?
Pat: It is excellent, yes! Return of the Caped Crusaders. Adam, Burt and Julie came back to play their original roles. Wally Wingert played the Frank Gorshin Riddler in it as well... a dream for him cause Frank is a hero of his and he knew him! Also, the dynamic music partners... long time animated Batman music composers did the music and knocked it out of the park, incorporating the feel of the music of the show but modernizing it brilliantly. Lorne Balfe did the same with the Lego Batman Movie. And actually, Michael McCuistion from DMP took some classes from Neal Hefti in college! Talk about fate!
Me: One off topic question I have for you, I saw a pic of you backstage at the "Conan" show... how did that happen?
Pat: My buddy Gary Cannon, who is a hell of a human being, does warm up for the show. I've known him since 2000, we used to do open mics together. He, unlike myself, continued to do comedy and moved up through the ranks. Then, while I worked at the Hollywood Improv as a showroom manager, he hosted a ton of shows there. Hosting is a lot different than doing straight stand-up. Gary is a master of it.
Me: You should try to get on "Conan" and I guarantee you'll earn enough cash to make a dozen Batman documentaries. Am I right? Y
Pat: Yes, I considered a King of Comedy type hostage thing with Conan but eventually decided against it. Maybe I could abduct Andy Richter and hold him for ransom? Put me on the show or the sidekick gets it! That's almost a '66 "Batman" plot.
Me: Okay, so, if someone wants to pledge money to this fund what's the address, Pat?
Me: When it comes out would you want to come back on the Phile?
Pat: If I'm still capable of speech, gladly!
Me: Thanks so much for being here on the Phile, I really hope you will come back again soon, and I hope this film gets made. I am looking forward to seeing my name in the credits. Is there anything else you wanna mention?
Pat: Every Batman fan, please go to beatofthebat.com. Check out the videos we have there, read all about the film. Then pledge at least $5 and help us write this final chapter in the history of '66 "Batman" history and give credit to these amazing musicians! Iif every Batman fan does that right now, we'll be golden!
Me: Alright, sir, take care, and good luck, and I hope to have you back on the Phile soon!
Pat: Thank you! Anytime!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to pat for a Bat-tastic interview. The Phile will be back Thursday with Phile Alum Tony Smith from Gone Dead Train. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker