Episode 5: Holy Koufax!: August 29, 2021

The Joker is Wild
January 26, 1966
"The Joker decides to fight fire with fire against Batman with a utility belt of his own."
72 minutes 

RD Thinks Criton's A Crook. Russo disagrees. He also doesn't listen to his own podcasts. However the other day while driving this podcast came on and his wife seemed to like it. I'm glad it wasn't the last radio progrem then where one of the people was a concussed drunkard.

Vince likes the show's attempts at continuity. That's the joke. (:03) But this is actually due to Warden Criton to again appear with his "advanced theories of penology making a place where recreation is part of reform." RD wants a similar character to appear in pro wrestling. Vince thinks it's referencing his gimmick.

At Arkham Asylum Gotham State Penitentiary, "entertainment plays a role in CONtainment". (:07) Among the item swaps, a corkboard, pin-ups exchanged for art material, "law books for hacksaw", "a travelling bag for what have you", a glee club, bowling, and afternoon softball with the aforementioned Joker pitching. RD can't believe how bad the baseball field was, prison or otherwise. It was more circular than diamond! Vince ridicules the team the Joker is up against easily throwing softballs and laughing at them. I'd go mad too if I was in his place.

RD notes the first appearance of the Joker's theme. (:11) RD Jr's school banned spiral-bound notebooks like what Russo is using due to all the mess they make.

Even more bizarrely the game has spectators including O'Hara. Vince wanted him drinking. The catcher swaps out one ball for another while loudly saying "this is the one". Hitting it causes a smoke bomb and the spring-loaded pitcher's mound to launch the Joker out of jail into a net. (You'll have to take the show's word for it as we just hear a spring instead of seeing any moving bodies.)

Gordon recalls O'Hara just for some reason so he can call Batman instead. (:18) Dick is playing Chopin on the piano while Bruce and Aunt Harriet make fun of him for some reason. 

Bruce: "All music is important Dick. It's the universal language, one of our best hopes for the realization of the brotherhood of man." What happened to language language

At Alfred's prompting the two say they have to go to the ballgame rather than fishing. Dick: "Holy Koufax!"

RD wonders why no one caught on that the Joker was making a spring in the prison workshop despite it being of enormous size. They then find a paper-mâché bust of the Joker which doesn't really look much like him. Batman: "A trait of the criminal mind, the urge to boast often leads to the criminals giving themselves away!" This leads them to the Gotham Museum of Modern Art's newly opened Comedians Hall of Fame which sadly does not feature the Joker. RD thinks they should have renamed it to the Random Warehouse of Randomness. Vince wonders why Pete Rose still isn't in the Hall of Fame.

As the Dynamic Duo visit they are beset by groupies - Robin groupies. (:26) RD hopes they were high school seniors or co-eds marking out over a 12 year old. Vince wonders if Robin had a cold during the shooting due to his nasal voice. He also thinks the cops wouldn't have let Batman remove a No Parking sign if he were Black. Batman parks somewhere else after regardless.

The two enter the museum 30 seconds before closing to see another Joker statue that looks nothing like him, despite Batman's claims to the contrary. The curator promises they'll lock up tightly but the Joker is already there just hiding behind a statue with his henchmen, about to raid the Hall of Fabulous Jewels. Vince was fascinated by a statue of "Vin Vinson".

The Duo break in anyway to fight as obvious stunt doubles. Vince wonders if the word balloons were thus used to try and cover them. (:36) During the scuffle a hung jewel-encrusted toy sword falls onto Batman knocking him out and allowing the two to be captured.

Joker: "Batman and Robin: the dashing diamonds of daring-do!"

While captured and tied up Batman manages to break free with a utility belt smoke bomb of his own: "Here's a joke for you, you FIEND!...This is the end of your evil career!" He uses what RD terms a "double noggin knocker". Vince thinks the sword only pretended to knock him out so Batman could use it to his advantage.

Joker: "I swear by all that's funny: I will never be foiled by that insidious unconstitutional device again!...Never again will that ghastly girdle thwart my plans!"

Young Vince would see his grandmother wearing a non-ghastly beige girdle. Sadly he did not wear one as a utility belt. He would wear a blue towel as as a cape instead. Geek Nerd & Poindexter RD references "The Joker's Utility Belt" as seen in Batman #73 (1952).

The Joker's hideout is in a still shot of the Gotham Pier Amusement Park with the same henchmen the Duo's stunt doubles beat up. (:45)  RD uses it as proof that secret crime boss Gordon released them after their arrest to return to criminal activity on his behalf. They plan to steal the cruise ship SS Gotham.

Vince finds the name of one of them, Queenie, hilariously funny. Not to be confused with the more well known Harley Quinn, she was also in the comic in the 40s and actually found out Batman's secret identity, but was killed before divulging it. 

IMDB lists her trademarks as "natural brunette hair" and "seductive deep voice". She too appeared on The Original Series. (Although I am admittedly more fascinated by her long lasting marriage to Zubin Mehta, musically inclined as I am.) RD feels he underrated the earlier Molly and updates her to 9 Batpoles so that Queenie gets an 8 due to her appealing evilness. A head shaking Vince gives her a 3 due to her long in the tooth appearance as a mid-30s lady.

Back at police HQ no one figures out Bruce and Dick may be more than they seem when an evil clown doll crashes through a window. (:52) They think the "chaplain of chicanery" will rob the circus which left last week. They call up Batman but Alfred tells them he's "out for the day" like he's gone grocery shopping or something. This saddens Gordon considerably to the point of depression. Bruce takes the doll as a souvenir of his "narrow brush with crime", evidence collecting and safekeeping be damned. RD wonders how it could have been thrown through a high story window. A facepalming Vince has to remind him the Joker has a strong pitching arm.

O'Hara then mocks Bruce after he's gone for some reason so Gordon has to stand up for him.

The doll is scanned on a doll stand in the Batcave because why not? A facepalming Vince has to remind him they find only "ordinary dust patterns". 

Thus they naturally segue to the opera. Robin: "Holy ravioli!" The Co-Bros call Pagliacci the Jim Belushi opera. (:60) The Duo go to the TV studio where it is to be shown, as a clown appears wearing a mask from the bank heist from The Dark Knight. Vince remembers a Rice Krispies commercial of the time based on one of the more famous arias (from the opera, not The Dark Knight). Meanwhile there are constant cuts to a bar where one drunk patron says random things and thinks his mother-in-law is on the screen. The clown is in fact the Joker who escapes by throwing sneezing powder, causing the Dynamic Duo to again lose a fight and about to be unmasked on live TV. Patron: "They shouldn't be out with those colds."

Vince wonders why the cliffhangers so far have been rather weak, predictable, and flat. RD liked the Joker's sinister theme and the filmography. (:65) He remembers a third of the cliffhangers and guesses they'll escape with their own utility belt. Vince thinks the patron will do a run-in.

RD does his shilling. (:68)

  • Special Guest Villain: The Joker (Cesar Romero)


  • RD Time Outs:

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