#3. "Miranda," by Adam West as Batman
20th Century Fox
With Christopher Nolan's dark and gritty Batman still fresh in everyone's memories, it's easy to forget what Adam West did with the character in the 1966 Batman TV series, probably because 90 percent of what he did was dance and get caught in easily escapable death traps. Throw in some silly fight scenes and campy gadgets and you have a character that couldn't get more ridiculous ... until you hear him make a bunch of really bad sexual innuendo in song:
I never met a girl like you before, Miranda.
And I'd do anything for you, if you'd just ask.
But you know how much I love you, darling.
So ... come into my cape?
20th Century Fox
"Because I just did."
Yes, kids, this is what Batman used to be like (hint: When Tim Burton's version came along in 1989, that was considered a gritty reboot over this). The rest of the song then resorts to weirder and weirder references to West's Bat Junk, and it's really better if you imagine it being sung by Christian Bale:
Would you like to see me make my muscles dance, Miranda?
[My mask] is attached to my special super thermal b-nuclear long underwear.
It's probably worth mentioning that in between Batman shamelessly macking on Miranda, we get segments of Robin begging Batman to come save the city from various threats, like a giant octopus, to which Batman tells his sidekick to kindly fuck off because it's really been a while. In which case, Batman probably should have taken some dating advice from The Riddler, who similarly had his own single in 1966, titled "The Riddler," as sung in character by Frank Gorshin.
Unlike "Miranda," though, "The Riddler" is a cheerful '60s pop track interspersed with bad jokey riddles, including:
What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer!
Why do birds fly south for the winter? Because it would take too long to walk!
The lyrics were entirely stolen from popsicle sticks and Laffy Taffy wrappers.
However, the song also contains the sounds of some sexy women fangirling all over The Riddler a good 30 years before Harley Quinn made that kind of behavior cool. So, the lesson here is that a guy in tights making a bunch of bad dad jokes can get more ass than Batman.
#2. "Who Is The Doctor," by Jon Pertwee as The Doctor
Purple Records, via Lord of the Boot Sale
Doctor Who is like one of the final levels of geekdom. The British sci-fi series has been on air for 50 years now and boasts 800 episodes starring the titular Doctor, a time-traveling alien from the planet Gallifrey who has wacky and occasionally tragic adventures through time and space.
When it came time for the third incarnation of The Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee, someone decided they needed to make an official Doctor Who album, because obviously that was the next step in the evolution of the franchise. Thus we have the 1972 single "Who Is The Doctor" -- a bizarre, electro synth-pop song spoken over the show's main theme tune, in which The Doctor lays down some truths about his mission, punctuating each verse with an emphatic, "I AM ... THE DOCTOR!"
With hair like that you can be as over-dramatic as you damn well please.
It's all very poetic, but by the third verse starts to descend into nonsense:
My voyage dissects the course of time.
"Who knows?" you say, but are you right?
Who searches deep to find the light
That glows so darkly in the night?
Really, it makes Pertwee sound like he is doing the opening for an '80s cartoon. And what better way to end this song based on a TV show that never took itself too seriously than with The Doctor proclaiming:
As fingers move to end mankind
Metallic teeth begin their grind.
With sword of truth I turn to fight
The satanic powers of the night.
OK, that's just ridiculous. And it's blatant false advertising -- in reality it would be another 34 years before The Doctor actually fights Satan.
Referred to as "The Beast," because the BBC can't just nut up and call a spade a spade.
#1. "Highly Illogical," by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
When it comes to ruining Star Trek's legacy through song, everyone immediately thinks of William Shatner's musical career. But to truly never be able to look at Star Trek the same way again, you probably need to hear Leonard Nimoy's stoic and serious Spock character sing a Beach Boys rip-off about love and how cars make no sense:
Originating on the 1967 album The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, "Highly Illogical" is a sort of comedy/pop mix sung entirely by Mr. Spock and concerning all the things about humans that blow his alien mind. Things like love and how women eventually screw it up:
But when they get married, before he's aware
She changes his habits, the way he combs his hairbr /> She changes him to someone he's never been
And then complains he's not like other men.
Now really I find this most illogical.
It's basically the Vulcan version of "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe."
Admittedly, that is something you would expect from an alien science officer who rarely shows any emotions. But then you get to the part where Spock denounces cars due to never being able to find a parking space, and you realize that you've traveled through the looking glass to a world where nothing makes any goddamn sense whatsoever:
Take the case of your automobiles,
Greatest invention since man discovered wheels ...
But you never can find a parking space.
Interestingly, Spock's list of all things illogical that humans do somehow doesn't include recording a flower-child ballad about Bilbo Baggins, which incidentally can be found on the exact same record as "Highly Illogical":
And if it's your first time hearing that song, all we can say is, you're welcome.
Scott Elizabeth Baird writes from his sewer lair in Liverpool, England. In his free time, he maintains the fan page for the novel Once Called America, which you should totally check out here.
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Related Reading: Speaking of hilarious failures, did you know Frank Zappa once released an album with no words that STILL got a Parental Advisory sticker? If you're down to broaden your musical horizons, this collection of unintentionally hilarious 80s music videos oughta do the trick. And while we're on the subject of unintentionally funny things, you should probably watch these workplace safety videos.