All-In For Alfred

Alex M. Parker

Alex M. Parker

Alex Parker is a policy writer in Washington, D.C. with 15 years of journalism experience.

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8 Responses

  1. Really enjoyed this!! Thank you so much!Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Butler was originally the servant in charge of the wine cellars.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I loved this essay.

    “A begrudging and slightly disapproving enabler who can never quite figure out if he’s helping Bruce live, or helping him die.”

    This is a great line.

    (I admit to loving the storylines where Alfred is sarcastic.)

    Great essay all around.Report

    • Alex Parker Alex Parker in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, Alfred’s sense of humor and how he adds some levity to the franchise as it got darker overall would be a nice angle to explore, wish I had included that. Would need to find some of Alfred’s best zingers.Report

  4. Love this piece, great job Alex.

    As “recurring” characters played by multiple actors, of the tv/movie portrayals I don’t there has been a bad Alfred. I think, for all it’s movies other issues, Iron’s Alfred was a strong version as an equal partner and in many ways the engine driving the eco-system that supports Batman/Bruce Wayne. As Alex touched on so well, the modern Butler isn’t a glorified waiter, they are estate managers more likely to have MBA’s than knowing the placement of a bullion spoon. And such fits into the Batman mythology of Alfred being not only a caretaker, but a teacher and mentor.Report

  5. Jeeves is of course the reason that Archer’s valet was named Woodhouse.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “Just as Alfred’s duties have upgraded from sweeping and cleaning to running the Bat-computer, the modern-day butler must be much more tech-savvy.”

    Heh. I recently saw an article which appeared in, of all things, Playboy Magazine, where the hip young 1970 man-about-town’s bachelor pad was a three-story townhouse with an indoor pool and a revolving circular bed, and an “electronic brain” where the “houseman” could control “all the systems” and set the appropriate mood lighting and music, ensure “temperature control in all zones”, monitor the cook time left in the “radar range”, and ensure that the “young master” was aware of any telephone calls or visitors — the latter screened by video at the remote-controlled entry door, of course!Report

  1. April 5, 2020

    […] into an obsession with examining the lesser-known threads in the 80-year mythology–from Alfred’s history as a bumbling fop or Batwoman’s homophobic […]Report