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The Minstrel

The Minstrel was a villain and enemy of Batman in the Batman 1960s TV Series. He was portrayed by Van Johnson. His unique outfit bore a gryphon on the front of his shirt.

The Minstrel, who played a lute, was an electronic genius; this was, in fact, a logical pursuit for someone who was also highly talented in music, since both music and electronic energy are transmitted in waves. What made him so dangerous was he possessed a "level of electronic sophistication far beyond anyone else in the world" at that time.

The Minstrel used his musical talents to deliver his demands and taunts to Gotham's citizens, police force and protectors over the air waves. With rhyming lyrics he would communicate his villainous intents accompanied by soft strumming on a lute.

In addition, he had the peculiar habit of rolling his "R's."

He was not only a criminal mastermind, but also a strikingly handsome man who possessed a winning charm. Many of Gotham City's women were swooned by his personality and warm, attractive singing voice. (Van Johnson, the actor who acted him out, had had a distinguished career in musicals in which he did his own singing.) Harriet Cooper, the aunt of Bruce Wayne's youthful ward Dick Grayson, was one such woman.

When his female partner in crime, Octavia, remarked that Batman too had a warm, attractive voice, the Minstrel was incredulous. He could not understand how Octavia could be fooled by what he called Batman's "phony mystique." Later on, he called the Bat-Duo "inefficient."

Though he appeared to be in great physical shape, the Minstrel abhored physical violence, refusing to indulge in fisticuffs or brawling. When "The Melodic Fiend" was finally captured by Batman and Robin, his men defeated, he went peacefully into police custody. He did, however, promise a jailbreak and revenge in a song composed for a television interview.