There are a lot of TV birthdays to celebrate today, July 6: A talk show host and entertainment mogul, a superhero sidekick, and a man who played father and uncle to a set of identical cousins were all born on this date.
- Merv Griffin would have turned 88 today; he died in 2007. Griffin was an entertainment mogul who created game shows such as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, with his production company, Merv Griffin Enterprises. He hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show, for decades, in addition to hosting other talk shows and game shows. Griffin was also an actor and singer who had a top-ten hit with “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.”
- “Holy Social Security, Batman!” Burt Ward, who played “the Boy Wonder” on the Batman TV series, turns 67. Robin’s catchphrase, of course, was “Holy _______, Batman!” You see a list of the completed phrases here. They include “Holy Armadillo,” “Holy Oleo,” “Holy Davy Jones,” and “Holy Chocolate Eclair,” but not “Holy Crap” or the other one I use.
- Veteran actor William Schallert turns 91 today. Some remember him best as Martin Lane, the father of Patty Lane and uncle of her identical cousin Cathy Lane in The Patty Duke Show. He also appeared in roles on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Get Smart, and numerous other shows. He was in the famous tribble episode on Star Trek.
As a special treat, two of our birthday boys appear together in the clip below from The Merv Griffin Show.
Adam West and Burt Ward interviewed by Merv Griffin on The Merv Griffin Show (Sept. 1966)