When we think of ABC’s beloved Batman series, we often think of cool costumes and cliffhanger episode, Adam West and an oft-amusing tone. What I don’t often think of is Burt Ward’s penis, or more specifically, his Robin bulge.
At least until now. Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1966-1969 series was recently inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he recounted in an interview that his bulge attracted attention from the Catholic League of Decency, who I suppose were the Caped Crusaders of their own cause. Per Ward:
They thought that Robin had a very large bulge for television. With Adam they put Turkish towels in his undershorts!
According to what Burt Ward told Page Six, the studio actually had him taking some sort of penis medication that would “shrink” him up. Obviously, this was a non-ideal situation for the actor, who ultimately came up with another solution to keep Robin from looking too ahem big in his costume. He said:
I took them for three days and then I decided that they can probably keep me from having children. I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.
The sixties were a wild time for Hollywood. On the one hand, the Catholic League of Decency was on the hunt for families being intimidated by penises during primetime. On the other hand, I can’t imagine a TV show today asking an actor to take some kind of medical substance in order to de-enhance his dick. If I'm wrong and this is happening still, please send me a hot tip immediately.
And honestly, was the bulge that noticeable? Looking at show images, Adam West's Batman look is a whole lot tighter to me, but maybe that only came after complaints from the Catholic League of Decency? Regardless, Burt Ward said he started using his cape as a shield, which is interesting to me, as the actor has previously said the costume in general was "not a lot of fun to wear." Maybe all of this begins to explain that comment.
Bulge or no bulge, the 1960s version of Dick Grayson made an impact on pop culture. The character lives on in the fans’ minds, and Burt Ward’s Hollywood Star ceremony even included a few celebrities, like Kevin Smith (a noted Batman guy) and Maria Menounos, who dressed in costume for the event. Smith even shared a fun post about what all Burt Ward meant to him growing up.
Having typed about a famous actor's penis for the last several minutes, I feel it’s probably best to just end on a more heartfelt note. But if you haven’t been keeping tabs on Burt Ward in recent years, he’s still out there playing Dick Grayson on occasion, most recently in The CW’s arrow-verse crossover “Crisis On Infinite Earths” earlier in 2019. He also has voiced the character for projects like Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and more. He's been in the public eye for more than fifty years thanks to the role, and