Bat Boy is one of the Weekly World News' primary staple subjects... sure, they revisit the World's Fattest Man, the Fish with Human Legs, maybe the Frog Baby, but Bat Boy is among the first and most beloved. Not only is he an American hero and a Broadway (well, okay, Off-Broadway) sensation, but he's just cheek-pinchingly cute.

Bat Boy (the legend goes) was found in a cave in the Shenendoah mountains in 1992. He was two feet tall and weighed 19 pounds, and his captors estimated him to be about three or four years old. Bat Boy was very feisty, almost violent, and was quickly subdued and detained in a federal research facility in West Virginia. However, he escaped twice within two years, finally leading feds on a six-state manhunt. He was recaptured in 1997, but eventually escaped again... Bat Boy just has to be free.

Bat Boy has been known to bite people -- the WWN reported on his attack of a ten-year-old girl, who reportedly learned a valuable lesson: "From now on I'm not going to throw a rock at anything unless I'm sure it's not a bat boy." At heart, however, he's turned out to be a sappy romantic, a Democrat, and a patriot: He fell head over heels for Jenna Bush, backed Al Gore in the elections, and most recently was recruited for special operations in Afghanistan. (Apparently his unique sensory abilities, his size, and his affinity for caves make him an asset in the hunt for Al Quaeda operatives. The razor-sharp teeth probably don't hurt.)

Before being shipped overseas, Bat Boy made a secret pilgrimage to New York to see the musical based on his life. Predictably titled "Bat Boy: The Musical," the production starred newcomer Deven May, and was a shocking critical success. Reviews ran from "Immensely satisfying" (USA Today) to "An instant classic!" (The New York Post), and it won two Lucille Lorton Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Oustanding Off-Broadway Musical. It really is a masterpiece of camp, in a compassionate and touching sort of way, and the book, by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming, is occasionally sidesplitting. Possibly my favorite line, from "Hold Me Batboy," though alone it can't really convey the brilliance of the lyrics:

They stripped him of his dignity
They beat him like a gong
And he was kicked repeatedly
I also gotta love the part where the kindly family teaches Bat Boy, whom they've named Edgar, how to say phrases like "These sandwiches are terrible, the butler should be shot!" ("Show You a Thing Or Two"). He ends up with a very cultured, overdone English accent, offering to do taxes, drive carpools, and teach yoga ("Let Me Walk Among You").

Song list for "Bat Boy: The Musical," which probably gives at least some insight into the Bat Boy story:

  1. Hold Me, Bat Boy
  2. Christian Charity
  3. Ugly Boy
  4. Whatcha Wanna Do? (a rap that has to be heard to be believed}
  5. A Home For You
  6. Another Dead Cow
  7. Dance With Me, Darling
  8. Mrs. Taylor's Lullaby
  9. Show You a Thing Or Two
  10. Christian Charity (Reprise)
  11. A Home For You (Reprise)
  12. Comfort and Joy
  13. A Joyful Noise
  14. Let Me Walk Among You
  15. A Joyful Noise (Reprise)
  16. Three Bedroom House
  17. Children, Children
  18. Inside Your Heart
  19. Apology to a Cow
  20. Finale: I Imagine You're Upset
  21. Finale: I Am Not a Boy
  22. Hold Me, Bat Boy (Reprise)

Of course, the musical does add some elements to the Bat Boy mythos. For instance, they have him being birthed by a woman who was raped by a flock of bats. Dr. Ron Dillon, the zoologist reported by the Weekly World News as Bat Boy's discoverer, postulated no such origin story.

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