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WATCH: Batman stories from The Boy Wonder, Burt Ward

By Mike Avila & Christian Long

When Burt Ward landed the role of Robin, the Boy Wonder, on Batman back in 1965, he beat out more than 1100 other actors who'd tried out for the part. But as far as the producers were concerned, Ward, just being himself, was the Boy Wonder.

"Be yourself, and be enthusiastic, and those are the only two things we want you to do," Ward told SYFY WIRE about his first day on set after landing the role. "So that's what I did."

As part of our Batman at 80 celebration, Ward also dished on living the global sensation of the Batman TV series, some behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and what he brought to the role while acting opposite Adam West's Caped Crusader.

The role of Robin wasn't simply an acting job, however. After it premiered on Jan. 12, 1966, it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, capturing the imagination of kids — and adults — across the globe.

Of course, being set against the backdrop of the swinging '60s counterculture meant that there was more to the show than pastel sets and garishly cartoon-like villains. Namely, all that sexual innuendo that West managed to work into the show, despite it not being in the script.

"We found ways to get into things that were so forbidden at the time," Ward explained, while talking about how West would purposefully fudge a dozen takes or so before working in one of his zingers that'd go unnoticed by the crew. In doing so, the show broadened its appeal well beyond being simply a superhero kids' show and helped set a template that's still used in big-budget superhero films today.

Speaking of today, Ward spends a good chunk of his time nowadays running his own Gentle Giants dog food and product line, which you can check out here. And for plenty more stories about Ward's tenure as Robin, check out the full video below!