6 February, 2006 at 9:50 pm (batman)

John Cleese and Batman the guinea pigFrom John Cleese’s podcast came the unlikely headline that he was going to introduce Batman. Apparently if I had paid up at the official John Cleese website (Pay for something? On the web? It is to laugh!), I would have been more familiar with the cast of Mr. Cleese’s menagerie and wouldn’t therefore have been surprised — but entertained — to find out that Batman was a guinea pig.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that John Cleese is English. Because of this, he seems to pronounce “Batman” the way that someone would say the word were he referring to a member of a cricket team or indeed the personal assistant of a military officer. However, when referring to Batman, captial-B, originally known as “The Bat-Man” when he appeared in Detective Comics #27, well, the pronunciation is slightly different. An emphasis on a different syllable, as my father would say. To call him “the batmuhn” is quaint, but removes the force from the title that will allow criminals to think of him in the proper cowardly and superstitious manner that is their lot.

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