Batman (1966–1968)
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The Minstrel's Shakedown 

A musical and electronics oriented new villain threatens the Gotham Exchange for ransom.


Murray Golden


Francis M. Cockrell (as Francis Cockrell), Marian B. Cockrell (as Marian Cockrell) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Adam West ... Batman
Burt Ward ... Robin
Alan Napier ... Alfred
Neil Hamilton ... Commissioner Gordon
Stafford Repp ... Chief O'Hara
Madge Blake ... Mrs. Cooper
Van Johnson ... The Minstrel
Leslie Perkins Leslie Perkins ... Amanda
Remo Pisani Remo Pisani ... Bass
Norman Grabowski ... Treble
Del Moore ... TV Newsman
Army Archerd ... Putnam
John Gallaudet ... Brook Cortland
Eddie Garrett Eddie Garrett ... First Broker
Herbert Maass Herbert Maass ... Second Broker


The Minstrel, a villain with both musical talent and electronic ingenuity, is wrecking havoc with the Gotham City Exchange in an attempt to blackmail the exchange members. When he soon realizes Batman and Robin are equally skilled with electronics, he deems them a threat to his plan and sets a trap for their demise. Written by Twenty Penguins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

21 September 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Minstrel's musical theme is the melody from "A-Wandering Minstrel, I," a song from the Gilbert & Sullivan light opera "The Mikado." In addition, Minstrel's hideout, the Willow Street Warehouse, is a reference to "Willow, Tit-Willow", another song from the same opera. See more »


Octavia: [referring to Batman] He does have a warm, attractive voice, doesn't he?
The Minstrel: So what? He's still a second rate genius.
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Crazy Credits

The Minstrel's henchwoman is referred to on screen as 'Octavia' but the end credits list her as 'Amanda'. See more »


The Wandering Minstrel
Performed by Van Johnson
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User Reviews

Good plot but poor acting from Van Johnson
11 May 2016 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"The Minstrel's Shakedown" features an intriguing new villain, a musician and electronics genius calling himself The Minstrel, successfully wreaking havoc on the Gotham City Stock Exchange, a plot to extort $1000 per week from each Stock Exchange member. All of his prerecorded messages show him on a television screen, strumming a lute and singing his demands to the tune of "A Wandering Minstrel I." The biggest drawback for this two parter is the unfortunate casting of former screen heartthrob Van Johnson as Special Guest Villain, at age 50 far too old to play what is described as a 'nice looking young man,' his questionable singing sinking even further the character's credibility as a menace. There is a memorable cameo from Phyllis Diller as a whistling scrubwoman, before the Dynamic Duo find themselves tied to a rotating spit, their respective gooses ready to be thoroughly cooked.

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