The influence of the ’60s TV series was immediate and profound—even inspiring a bona-fide dance craze. In a scene from the show’s first episode, Batman enters a club and, after drinking a spiked orange juice, ends up cutting a rug with a fetching young thing (played by Jill St. John). To his stiff-limbed shuffling—clearly inspired by a then-popular dance called the Watusi—Batman adds his signature flourish: a V, formed by the middle and index fingers, pulled horizontally across the face. The origins of the Batusi remain a subject of debate: famed dance instructor Arthur Murray claimed credit for inventing the moves; while Adam West, in a 2005 interview, said “I worked it out on my own, made it a singular moment of madness inspired by the ongoing debate in the media about whether drug use was mind-expanding or debilitating.”
The dance has subsequently appeared in various other TV shows and movies, including The Simpsons (with a cameo by West), Everybody Loves Raymond, and most famously, in the Jack Rabbit Slim’s scene from Pulp Fiction.
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