Episode 55: Holy Bard!: August 28, 2022

Hizzonner the Penguin
November 2, 1966
"When Penguin runs for Mayor of Gotham City, Batman is persuaded to run against him."
59 minutes

RD: Voting for Goldwinner. He is the 3rd or 4th vote.

The Washington Post once ran an article on the story having an obvious connection to an election 50 years later. The story's original airdate was a week before the '66 midterm elections anyway.

RD reminds Vince he has a Vote for Batman sign hung up in the room. 

'Hizzoner' is slang for 'his honor', which tripped up Vince in trying to figure it out. 

The Gotham City Charity Fund annual luncheon is gatecrashed by the Penguin - who stops a "foul play" robbery by "Harry Hooligan" on a blind man with a boxing glove umbrella. 

RD recently saw a drive-thru attendant at the Chick-Fil-A wearing a chained wallet.  

"That crooked quack is up to no good," says one policeman.
Penguin: "Citizen Penguin to the rescue!"
The policeman wonders why the Penguin is not hitting him instead, and knowing the uselessness of the police I'm sure he wouldn't do anything to defend himself. Instead the Penguin gives the criminal to the police to arrest.

So yes, he's pretending to be a good guy again.

Gordon is shocked when hearing about Penguin's antics, including donating $100,000 to the Fund. O'Hara: "That feathered fiend must be cooking up something pretty foul in his bubbling cauldron!" 

At Stately Wayne Manor Dick is woodenly practicing his Macbeth. Bruce reminds him he has a civics exam to study for. Alfred is laying on the floor, perhaps overwhelmed by his bad acting (and he should know since Napier was also a Shakespearean actor in his younger days). He gets up to answer the Batphone, then passes it to Bruce who is just standing there.
Bruce: "Civics will have to wait, Dick. Penguin is up to some new tricks. Alfred, you may exorcise your familiarity with the bard."
Vince: "What's the 'bard'? I've never heard that word before in my life."

Cut to the Duo in Gordon's Office an elevator in Police HQ going to Gordon's Office on the 13th floor. (:13)
Robin: "Did you hear those rumors in the lobby? The Penguin running for Mayor?"
Batman: "Well it's a free country, Robin."
Robin: "It won't be if he's elected. Besides, I thought convicted felons were barred from holding any official office."
Batman: "I suspect Penguin has done his civics homework, and just discovered a paragraph 34.8 of the city charter has never officially been repealed. That would be the one that specifically allows convicted criminals to run for public office."
Robin: "Holy disaster area!"
Batman: "I don't think there's any danger of the Penguin being elected, Robin. The people of Gotham City are not as simple-minded as he might think."
As they exit the elevator, the other occupants reveal their Penguin for Mayor badges.

Incumbent Mayor Linseed is at the Office waiting for the Duo to say his farewells to. Gordon's assistant Bonnie brings in Linseed's pollsters Gallus (Gallup), Rooper (Roper), and Trendek (Trendex) who have their own portable presentation slide. Penguin is leading at 60%, compared to 30% for Linseed, 7% Undecided, and 2% (from two old women) for Harry Goldwinner. They then leave to go report the same to Penguin.
Linseed: "He knows even more underhanded tricks than I know!"
He then requests Batman to take his place as mayoral candidate, which apparently is a thing one can do at the drop of a hat (or cowl). Batman has to look outside the window for a moment to reflect on this.
Batman: "To run for mayor of a great American city like this...it's a great responsibility. But am I worthy of it? Why don't you ask this of Bruce Wayne instead? I can ask him on your behalf you know, old chum."
But he decides to accept for the will of the people. "Hooray for Batman!" they all cheer.

The plan of Penguin wanting to run for Mayor is so obviously evil that the people...would allow him to run again in Batman Returns, in Gotham (even before Batman), in 2003's The Batman Adventures, and in Harley Quinn (though this is the Joker's attempt). 

The Penguin's lair campaign headquarters has lots of signage and excited folks singing "For He's a Jolly Good Penguin" while carrying him on their shoulders. (:22)
Lulu (a little girl): "Gee, I wish I was old enough to vote for you, Mr. Penguin."
Penguin: "Don't worry, little one, you'll get your chance on my fourth term."
The pollsters enter with their portable presentation slide. Now Batman is leading at 55%, compared to his 35%, 7% Undecided, and 3% (from a third) for Goldwinner.
Penguin: "So, old pointy ears has thrown his cowl into the ring, huh? Good! Once and for all I'll settle matters with that masked moron. And when I finish, he won't even garner enough votes to be elected dogcatcher!"
Cue everyone cough laughing.
Penguin: "Double the assessments. Triple the size of the posters. Quadruple the number of campaign buttons. We'll give the voters of this city the kind of campaign that they want. Plenty of girls and bands and slogans and lots of hoopla. But remember! No politics! Issues confuse people. A big smile, a hearty handshake, a catchy campaign song. That's the way to win an election."

All of a sudden RD gets 'persuaded' by a donation to the RD Reynolds Fund to exchange his Batman signage for Pengy ones, including his Rebel Alliance cap. Now he's RD: Vote for PENGUIN. (:25) Vince wants the same things in the mail.
Vince: "A 100 grand?"
RD: "I can be bought a lot cheaper than that."

Sadly Batman's campaign headquarters is not the Batcave. Even worse is the Duo having to help organize things instead of doing their actual job to combat crime or practice their King Lear.
Robin: "Don't you think we should make these election posters a little bigger, Batman?"
Batman: "I think these are quite large enough, Robin. After all, the voters are interested in issues, not window-dressing."
Robin: "Sure, Batman, but a little showmanship wouldn't hurt us any."
Batman: "No, Robin, I want to conduct a campaign that deals with the issues. I'm convinced that the American electorate is too mature to be taken in by cheap vaudeville trickery. After all, if our national leaders were elected on the basis of tricky slogans, brass bands and pretty girls, our country would be in a terrible mess, wouldn't it?"
Then Aunt Harriet donates a check in person.
Robin: "Holy bank balance!"
Batman: "It's because of people like Aunt - oops, Mrs. Cooper - that our campaign can't fail, Robin."
RD wonders how Batman could cash it.

Then they go around town to see the small Batman signage compared to the much larger Penguin ones with such topical slogans as "Tippecanoe and Pengy Too!" and "All the Way with Pengy" (instead of LBJ). (:32) Vince remembers a 6 foot girl in the 7th grade named Kim Davies that he and his friends made fun of for some reason (for fear of her beating them up). One person starts spraying graffiti on a Batman sign before a cop pulls a gun on him to shoot a Vote for Pengy flag. 

O'Hara notes in Gordon's office the Penguin's effectiveness, before lowering his head to reveal a Pengy sticker on his hat. Gordon gets up to show his Pengy on his back.  

Meanwhile the people want Batman to kiss babies...but he refuses for sanitary reasons. (:35)
Mother: "My child unsanitary?"
Father: ""A politician that won't kiss babies? That's outrageous!"
Batman: "I admit it's rather unusual, but - "
Father: ""It's more than unusual, it's downright suspicious!"
Penguin (suddenly appearing): "It's more than suspicious, it's downright criminal!"
He's more than glad to give a peck while still with the cigarette holder in his mouth, and as he does so he covers Batman's stickers with his own.
Penguin: "This child is beautiful, just like his mom!"
Mother: "I am never gonna go to Batman's rally, the man is a child hater!"
Robin: "It was a dirty lowdown trick!"
Penguin: "Right you are, my masked mutton head! Politics is wonderful! I can use all my lowest, slurpiest tricks, but now they're legal! I should have been a politician years ago!"
Batman: "Bear in mind, Robin; most politicians are honest servants of the people. The dishonest ones are the exception."

Then Batman has to give a very dry rally speech to a half dozen people. Gordon wishes for more energy. O'Hara has fallen asleep, but of course. Linseed asks Robin if they can have a brass band.
Robin: "Batman doesn't want the campaign to be a vaudeville show."
Linseed: "This isn't a campaign, this is a funeral service!" 

Cut to Penguin's raucous rally with Paul Revere and the Raiders playing a Yankee Doodle arrangement.
"Vote for Penguin, yes sirree / He's the bird for you and me / Clean up Gotham, 1-2-3 / So cast your vote for Pengy!"
Then Penguin sings something unintelligible before removing his hat. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Penguin Party stands for: mother, country, and the flag."
Old woman drinking champagne: "It's such a pleasure to hear plain, honest talk from a candidate instead of the usual political mumbo-jumbo!"

In the Batcave Robin bemoans their chances against someone giving out free champagne.
Batman: "The Penguin depends on the cynicism of the people, while I depend on their good judgment. Let's just hope that I am right."  

Penguin's agenda has him visiting the Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks, or GOON, so the Duo pay a visit to verify that it is in fact his henchmen. Cue fight with a bright spotlight on their stunt doubles. Robin is captured first, even with one of the 'men declaring "enough of the fancy umbrella play!"

The trap is a giant scale (measuring with "close/agony/KO/curtains") with the two over sulfuric acid against melting giant ice cubes. Penguin makes a show of complaint ("the election's on ice!") and dissolves one of his umbrellas to show the acidity. He would make a call to the police to rescue them...if he only had enough change. Wahk, wahk, wahk, wahk. So he decides to waddle to Police HQ within 3 to 4 hours.

Narrator: "Holy Batgraves! An acid bubble bath for Batman and Robin! What a way to lose an election! Batman don't just lie there! Do something! Whatever you do, don’t miss tomorrow’s bubbling finish! Same time, same Bat channel!" 

RD wonders why he would want to kill off the Duo anyway among other illegal activity if he is leading in the polls anyway. Old habits die hard, I suppose. 

RD is thankful he met Lex Luger some years ago and they hit it off very well, especially on social media. (:52) Vince once worked on a Christian wrestling show and outreached to Lex while he was still battling his personal daemons. While Vince was giving a speech Lex was making the children laugh by mocking Vince through making funny faces (or perhaps they were pained faces due to his shirt being too tight too Billy). Then he got arrested (for something else, not for mocking Vince).

  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [5] (Burgess Meredith) [5]

  • Entertain The People: 1
  • Window Celebrity: 1. Paul Revere and the Raiders

No comments: