Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Lane's Hookup with Batman, Robin, and the Joker

West Hollywood, March 1991

Everybody in West Hollywood had a good celebrity dating story.

Older guys claimed to have dated Marlon Brandon, Cary Grant, or Rock Hudson.

Younger guys claimed hookups with Scott Baio, Johnny Depp, or Keanu Reeves.

Everybody claimed sausage sightins of Rob Lowe, Tom Selleck, and Sylvester Stallone.

Since nearly every actor was closeted in those days, and vehemently denied any "accusations," it was hard to tell which story was real, which an exaggeration of a casual meeting, and which just wishful thinking.

But Lane didn't have any good stories.  Oh, he had dated some actors: a minor cast member of M*A*S*H,  the star of a Saturday morning tv show, a guy who played a Klingon on Star Trek.  But nobody really famous.

For someone who grew up a stone's throw from Paramount Studios, it was downright embarrassing.

"You can have my Celebrity Boyfriend," I told him one day.  "We broke up a while ago, but I'm sure I can arrange some sharing."

"The guy who starred in one tv show that nobody watched?  I'd rather stick to my M*A*S*H story."

"How about Michael J. Fox?"

"I don't want a getting-coffee story.  If I'm going to do this, I want at least a sausage sighting out of it!"

Then I had an inspiration:  "How about Cesar Romero?"

Lane frowned.  "The guy who played the Joker in the old Batman show?"

"You mean Sophia's boyfriend on The Golden Girls," I corrected him.  "And also the Cisco Kid.  And a Latin lover in about a hundred movies.  He was a big heartthrob, back in the day."

"How do you know the Joker?"

"You know that love seat in my room that's impossible to sit on?  I got it from him."

A couple of years ago, I answered an ad in Frontiers and bought a gold-and-white loveseat from Cesar Romero.  It turned out to be horribly uncomfortable, hard and scratchy -- I never sat on it; mostly it held clothes that I was to lazy to throw in the hamper. But I kept in contact with the barely-closeted Hollywood legend.

"Isn't Cesar Romero like a hundred by now?" Lane asked.

"He's a distinguished older gentleman," I answered, "But still in good shape -- I've seen him at the gym, walking on the treadmill or cruising in the steamroom.  Besides, when you tell the story, you can push it back a few years.  You can be a naive teenager asking for his autograph on the set of Batman in 1968.

" 1968 I was twelve.  But ok, I like Daddies.  We can go out, and if something happens, I'll tweak it a little into a celebrity dating story."

I arranged for us to have lunch at the Greenery, an al fresco restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Cesar was taller than me, white haired, and heavily tanned, an affluent retiree wearing a pink shirt unbuttoned a few buttons, and white shorts that displayed a considerable old-guy bulge.

Lane and I prepped by renting two of Cesar's old movies, Lost Continent (1951) and The Castillian (1964), assuming that he wouldn't want to talk about Batman.  But he said the Joker was his favorite role.

"I had a blast!  I played the Joker 20 times, and every time I got to 'accidentally' fondle Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin).  Sometimes more than that.  Not that they minded -- we all became good friends.  I think Burt looked up to me as a role model."

After dinner we drove back to Cesar's apartment in Brentwood, on the other side of UCLA.  It didn't look like an old person's apartment -- all black leather and ultra-modern chrome.  He must have remodeled (that's why he sold the loveseat, I concluded).

Cesar sat between us on the couch with glasses of lemonade and, getting a little frisky, told us about the guys he had been with:

A long-term relationship with Tyrone Power.  Dating Cary Grant.  Hookups with Walter Pidgeon, Tony Perkins, and William Holden.

"Usually I went down on them.  That was the main thing gay guys did in those days.  And the guys receiving, they didn't think of themselves as gay.  It was just a friendly gesture.  Desi told me, 'Come on, Cesar, let's just get it over with, and then we can be friends."

"Desi Arnaz?"  I asked.  "Junior or Senior?"

Desi Arnaz (1917-1986) was the star of I Love Lucy in the 1950s.  His son, Desi Arnaz Jr. (1953-) was a former teen idol, with a band and some movie roles.

Cesar grinned.  "Why, both of them, of course."

This was so interesting that I was forgetting to cruise.  Then I saw Lane's hand rubbing against Cesar's bare thigh.  Cesar smiled and moved it to his crotch.

"So, anyone recent?" Lane asked.

"Tony Randall.  Raymond Burr.  And..."

Suddenly the doorbell rang.  Cesar brushed Lane away and stood, tenting, to ring in...Burt Ward!

He was in his 40s, chubby and squinty, but still recognizable as Robin the Boy Wonder from the Batman series.  Later we found out that he was still acting, appearing mostly in low-budget sexploitation movies like Cyber Chic and Beach Babes from Beyond. 

"Hey, I just wanted to return the book," Burt said, staring at us with surprise.  "I see you're busy."

"Not at all," Cesar said.  "Just entertaining some friends.  Care for some lemonade?"

He stared at the two of us for a long moment, as if trying to figure out what was going on. Then it dawned on him. ."Oh...thanks, but I can't stay.  Nice meeting you, though."  He vanished.

"I have to apologize for Burt," Cesar said, returning to his place between us.  "He's very nice, really, but not really comfortable with my lifestyle."

"But you've been with him?"  Lane asked.

"Just once."

"How big is he?  I mean, he had a huge bulge on the show.  I can't believe it got past the censors."

"He's quite the Boy Wonder. Kielbasa+."

"I can do better than that,"  Lane said, unzipping and pulling it out (I'm not allowed to reveal his size).

Cesar got on his knees and went down on him.

Soon they were on the floor in the 69 position.  Cesar had a Bratwurst+, very thick.

I didn't participate -- I wanted this to be Lane's story, not mine.

Lane finished very quickly -- Cesar brought sixty years of experience to the task.  But Cesar took awhile.  Finally Lane tired of using his mouth and switched to his hand.

When he finished, Cesar said "Thanks" rather brusquely and pulled his shorts back on. "More lemonade, anyone?  I always drink lemonade or something acidic after sex.  It kills the germs."

When Lane told the story later, he started with "I'm going to tell you about my date with Batman, Robin, and the Joker," even though Burt Ward was just there for a moment, and Adam West, not at all.

As if Cesar Romero wasn't impressive enough.

See also: Batman and Robin; The Satyr's Hookup with Sylvester Stallone.


  1. I don't actually remember the celebrities Cesar mentioned, except for Desi Arnaz (Junior and Senior, of course) and Burt Ward. Of course, he might have been guilty of colorful exaggeration, too.

  2. The aroused guy in the first picture is Sylvester Stallone in his heterosexual porn movie, "Party at Kitty and Stud's," renamed "The Italian Stallion" for its DVD release. It's the only heterosexual porn movie I own. He's nude several times.

  3. Adam and Burt are coming to town in two weeks for a convention. This story will be in my mind!

  4. Censors really didn't mind bulges. Or unintended, split second, blink and you'll miss it dick shots (in a kilt or loincloth).

    For bulges, people just pretended not to notice: It's the 60s and gay people don't exist. Fashion changes related to 80s homophobia, and by the aughts, it was "cover the knees". The bulge was suddenly indecent.

    I have noticed inseams getting shorter.

  5. Something I thought I'd add: Of course Robin's huge. I go with two proofs of this:

    1) His name. Nobody wants a ten-inch Ric.
    2) He's DC's bicycle. And this is becoming even more so in canon every day. Still no male lovers, notwithstanding the Midnighter's admiration. (The fanfic writers don't care, and his pairing with Jason Todd has a delightfully punny name: Jaybird.) I mean, James Gunn even said "If Batwoman slept with Nightwing, she'd still be a lesbian."

    The other thing I wanted to add is, now I want Cesar Romero sucking Burt Ward to be the Grayson Joker variant cover. My previous wish was that all the covers reflect the protagonists' established relationship with the Joker as promised for this 2015 promotion. (The only one that did was Batgirl.)

  6. Ironically, Dick Grayson being such a sensual character is new to canon, began with Dan Didio. In the 60s, he didn't notice women, focusing entirely on the job.

    The 80s really codified this: He's against cheating, he can't see himself with someone he doesn't love (Marv Wolfman's pronoun choice, not mine), and there's a lot of subtext between him and Jericho.

    Dixon paired him with Barbara Gordon because people were interpreting her relationship with Black Canary as a romance. At least that's the old story. Given how Chuck Dixon rages about gays in comics now, I can believe it.

    What's interesting is Didio's heterosexism. There have now been two love triangles involving these kids. Not kids. Calling Barbara Gordon a kid is always a continuity error. In both, Dick acts in a sociopathic manner, quite frankly. The first one is notable for collapsing the post-Crisis New Teen Titans era, eight years of real time and four of in-universe time, into a story where Crisis on Infinite Earths (or at least its aftermath), The Killing Joke, and Total Chaos (but not her time on the Suicide Squad, which could be for an interesting story, a sort of civil war among the heroes, since Waller and Faraday want the Titans for themselves in this period).

    So, the climax of that story is Dick inviting Barbara to his wedding but forgetting to do that and sleeping with her. Wait, he was only getting married because an assassin from the future abducted and posed as Starfire and tried to assassinate Donna Troy so her son wouldn't be born. While using a mix of psychic powers and light manipulation (Always light!), she slept with him. Yes, DC had someone who's was recently raped go straight to sex.

    The second time is after yet another reboot, and he invites her to abandon her comatose boyfriend and join him in Chicago.

    Ah, heterosexism at its finest, shipping all over the continuity and characterization just so The Guy gets with The Girl.



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