Episode 72: Holy Traffic Violations!: December 25, 2022

The Catwoman Goeth
December 29, 1966
"Though Batman escapes the Sandman's trap, Robin is left to wander in a deadly maze. A clue leads Batman to Catwoman's lair, where he informs her of Sandman's plans to elope with J. Pauline Spaghetti and keep her fortunes to himself. Enraged by the Sandman's trickery, Catwoman sets out after him. Batman, with the now-rescued Robin, also follows, and the group meet up at Spaghetti's old deserted pasta factory."
49 minutes

RD: Big Fan of Childish Claptrap. Is that a new villain?

Vince is still feeling his cold from earlier in the day but he's pushing on regardless. He's saddened that Jeff Lane hadn't sent him any gifts before he started recording with RD. 

RD won't apologize for Beaver Cleavage. He also doesn't understand Lou Albano. He did find that Michael Rennie was Klaatu (Barada Nikto) in The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Narrator: "For you, of course, some time has passed. For the Caped Crusaders, mere seconds!"

Elsewhere as Batman struggles to be hit by falling needles which keep missing, Robin awakens to Sandman gleefully saying he killed Batman. Robin, not Sandman.
Robin: "You fiendish quack!"
Sandman: "To the medical eye, such childish claptrap means only one thing, young man: you need some sleep."
So he throws enough sleeping powder to make Robin look like a drug addict. Vince: "Like a wrestler." Sadly he does not name names. RD: "You gotta pay extra for that."
Sandman tells his goons to take Robin's body to the Batmobile to dispose of at Catwoman's lair.

Meanwhile Batman's trap is so useless one of the needles breaks him free of his restraints, allowing him to use his utility belt to pull a release lever. (:09)

Catwoman is told of Batman's "death", which strangely doesn't faze her despite her last appearance almost leading to her dream goal of a kiss. She sends Robin off with one of her goons.
Catwoman: "How did things go with J. Pauline Spaghetti?"
Sandman: "It shouldn't be long before her entire fortune is in my control, Catwoman."
Catwoman: "Your control?"
Sandman: "Our control."
He goes to discard the Batmobile and plan to "have the last word, which will be the word that counts."
Catwoman: "For such a highly respected criminal, there's something insidiously untrustworthy about Sandman. Whereas he has only one life, I wonder if he realizes that a cat has nine."

A sign by a third grader gladly tells us of "Catwoman's Amazing Maze". 
Narrator: "What do we have here in the depths of the newly-renovated catacombs? A maze?"
Robin awakens again as Catwoman gloats that Mooney is also stuck inside it. He hesitates so she has to pull out her gun.
Catwoman: "This Catamizer contains deadly catasonic acid, Boy Wonder. Which do you prefer? Taking a chance on getting out of the maze in an hour, a week, a year? Or being catalyzed here in a matter of seconds?
She then flips on a clearly labelled "High Voltage" switch as Robin zaps himself on a cheap chain link fence.
Robin: "Holy voltage!"
Vince is reminded of TNA's perhaps worse attempt at an electrified cage, which for once was not his idea (or so he says).

Meanwhile Batman has to resort to calling Gordon from a pay phone. "I know Robin too well to believe he'd ever betray me and embrace a life of crime. I'm certain Sandman has turned him into a sleepwalker." However he does not the Undynamic Duo to help find him, knowing their uselessness, so he asks them to instead protect "billionaire noodle queen" Spaghetti.
Batman: "I must get to the Batcave as fast as possible."
Gordon: "Let me send a police car."
Batman: "A needless waste of taxpayers' money, commissioner. Gotham City's transit line is the world's most rapid."
Now I'm seeing Batman in full outfit patiently standing in the middle of a crowded subway car being completely ignored by everyone else.

Gordon (to O'Hara): "With Robin kidnapped, the Batmobile missing, J. Pauline Spaghetti somehow in dire danger, and both Catwoman and Sandman deeply involved...I've never said this before, Chief O'Hara, but for once, it looks as if our side has fumbled the ball."

Batman Batwalks his way from Wayne Station into the Batcave where Alfred is polishing the Batcycle.
Alfred: "Sometimes I can't help wondering if the hazards of crime-fighting are really worth the goal."
Batman: "That, Alfred, has never entered my mind."
They use the Batmobile Tracking Graph to find it is a run-down factory area.
Cut to a sign displaying "Run-down factory area" as Sandman is driving the Batmobile. "It won't be found too soon in this run-down factory area." RD wonders how he managed to get to drive it. Perhaps he put the car's security system to sleep.
Alfred suggests Batman request Gordon's help, but he declines since the vehicle is his personal responsibility rather than just stating Gordon is hopeless. So he is offered the Alfcycle. "A wise solution."

At the run-down factory area (:22) James Brolin reappears as a police officer finding the parked Batmobile. At least Catwoman is not disguised as an old woman this time.
Other officer Dan: "That's funny, that looks just like the Batmobile."
Reggie (Brolin): "All the new cars look alike this year."
Dan: "Maybe they all look alike to a rookie cop, Reggie, but when you've been on the force longer, you'll see some difference."
Reggie: "Registered to a guy named Batman, all right. With no street address. And he left the keys in the ignition. Two traffic violations right there. Vehicle code numbers -"
Dan: "It's not like Batman to do that."
Just then Batman runs up from "citizen" Alfred's cycle. Reggie asks for an ID while Dan tries telling him to relent: "He's got pull with Gordon and O'Hara."
Reggie: "I say impound the car and run him in."
Dan is willing to let Batman go (once they return his keys to him). He asks if they also saw Robin.
Reggie: "Who's Robin?"
Dan: "Oh you've really got a lot to learn, Reggie."
RD wonders on the police's hiring practices. "Where do they find these nitwits that would not even know who Batman and Robin are?" 

Meanwhile Robin is still "lost and confused" as he finds Mooney "in the inescapable center of Catwoman's torturous trap." They bemoan the situation as Catwoman looks on from above in yet another sensuous manner.

Regardless of outcome this is the last we see of Mooney for some reason. (:27) There's also not much information on actor Jeanie Moore and her sporadic work to be found...unless you're as persistent as RD, who found she was Ernie Hudson's first wife. (Also he looks way younger than than he should be in his mid-70s. Perhaps he is a god.) Regardless Vince was not impressed, giving her a "nice" 3 Batpoles. RD gives a 6.

That diversion aside, in Gordon's office Batman calls to inform on the Batmobile being found by somewhat nitwit officer Dietrick and his even worse rookie sidekick Hogan. "A credit to your department, commissioner!"
O'Hara was assigned to Spaghetti, so of course he's also incompetent enough to let Sandman drug him and take her away, as he manages to relay in another phone call.
Gordon interrupts him for a third phone call, a Mr. Tuthill of Gotham City Security Trust, a bank. Apparently an hour ago some Dr. Somnambula entered his branch with Spaghetti of whom he's eloping with (to her own island), and gave him Catwoman's address to relay to Batman.
Gordon: "It's grand larceny, that's what it is. Not to mention fraud, swindle, extortion, and a vicious and sinister plot."
Vince wonders what is the crime of being genuinely smitten with someone.

Batman goes to Catwoman with a plea to help her catch Sandman. She agrees.
Batman: "Where's Robin?"
Catwoman: "Who?"
They go back in forth in their flirtatious combat, which makes RD think of her as moist for some reason (and which offends Vince for some reason). She directs him to her maze and tells her goons to prepare to leave for the Canary Islands - just as the Undynamic Duo and some officers come in to just...arrest her?
The police actually doing something? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within a lair?
It's probably just the Northern Lights or something.

O'Hara: "Where ever there's a cat, Catwoman, there's usually a back alley."

And of course Batman finds handling the maze and rescuing Robin so easily it is done in the space of a Narration. ("Yes." "May I see it?" "No.") Instead we need the stock footage from the Movie of the Batboat being clearly driven by their stunt doubles.

The island is where Pauline's previous husbands are all buried. "J. Peter Spaghetti, he fell into a kneading machine. And my second husband, J. Phineas Spaghetti, he dried to death on a vermicelli tray. And my third husband, J. Patrick Spaghetti, cut. You know those revolving knives that cut noodles into bite-size pieces? And J. Paul Spaghetti, he stumbled into a steam cylinder. He expanded to three times his size. Not a bit pasty."
Sandman, finding out his wife to be is a black widow, then sees a plague for a fifth plot. "Oh, doctor dear, a wise woman must look ahead. ... I wonder what's happened to the minister I called."
Sandman: "He probably stumbled into something."

The Dynamic Duo show up on time for the fight, including Batman punching a really obvious Sandman stunt double in the face. The goons are dumped in spaghetti sauce and Sandman is dropped into a giant pot attempting to "escape" water hose noodles like he's in an Ed Wood movie. "Noodles," he states in defeat. All throughout Pauline has been naturally asleep. 

That finally done, Bruce and Dick return from their "camping trip" to Stately Wayne Manor. Aunt Harriet has commissioned an architect who wants to make a maze in the garden. Alfred thinks it may be hard to solve.
Bruce: "Actually, not so tricky, Alfred. You see, most mazes are based pretty much on the same pattern. Upon entering, you turn to your left. On the first two occasions where you have a choice, you keep right, thereafter you keep to your left."
Dick: "Is that how you found - I mean, uh, is that how it's done?"
Bruce: "For some unknown reason, they attract cats by the thousands. They're also strangely sleep-inducing, undoubtedly due to the hypnotic effect of the irregular pattern."
Harriet decides for a regular lawn instead.

One benefit to a video progrem is actually seeing gifts being opened. (:44) Vince had sent a '66 Batbook. RD had sent a (Headknockers) Bobblehead of the Dark Knight.

  • Special Guest Villain: Sandman (Michael Rennie)
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess: Catwoman [5] (Julie Newmar) [4]

  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 2. Needles literally missing the point. Escaping a maze within one off-screen.
  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Barbara Streisand
  • (Soon To Be) Window Celebrity: 1. James Brolin

Episode 71: Holy Mattress!: December 18, 2022

The Sandman Cometh
December 28, 1966
"Catwoman and the Sandman have teamed up, and they're after the fortunes of J. Pauline Spaghetti, a rich insomniac. Catwoman pulls a publicity stunt, getting the Sandman (under the guise of "Dr. Somnambula") an invitation to Spaghetti's penthouse - and her financial records. Batman and Robin investigate the situation, but soon find themselves trapped by the criminals."
61 minutes

RD: Ho Ho Ho!!! He's wearing his Santa hat. Vince is trying to record while getting through a cold. RD does not like visualizing Vince in a hot tub.  

Narrator: "Another pleasant night steals over Gotham City. And SPEAKING OF stealing: what unholy alliance is this? The Catwoman and that cunning continental criminal, the Sandman?" 

Sadly the Sandman is not a wrestler with a cane and a drinking problem, but an older fellow in a fur coat. The Bros argue on his age for some reason. 

The two villains are arguing in her Lair. Catwoman: "My record's been clean for months." (So, a couple of weeks then?) He leaves to meet his goons Snooze and Nap, she her Kitty and Cattie and Catarina. Their aim is to rob one J. Pauline Getty Spaghetti, though of course either is willing to betray the other to achieve it. 

Catarina: "I have fed the catfish, Catwoman. Watered the caterpillar ferns. And we made your couch in your favorite cat-skin comforter. Now I should pick up some fresh catnip." (She leaves)
Catwoman: "Hmmm...Fresh catnip? At this time of night?"
She sees Catarina is actually an undercover police officer named Mooney placing a call to Gordon. For this one occurrence RD gives the Commissioner actual applause. 

Catwoman gets the jump to meow loudly into the phone.
Gordon: "Just as we suspected, Chief O'Hara. Sandman and Catwoman are in cahoots!"
O'Hara: "'Tis an ill wind that blows across this proud borough tonight."
Gordon: "I hesitate calling on Batman at this hour, but -"
O'Hara: "Especially since no crime has been committed."
Gordon: "No crime? My every instinct tells me that a member of our own fine force, Policewoman Mooney, is in dire danger! And who knows what may follow when Gotham City's foremost female felon, Catwoman, has aligned herself with Europe's crack criminal, Sandman? I must alert the Caped
Crusader for the sake of us all."

At Stately Wayne Manor (:16) bra-ed Aunt Harriet hears the Batphone ringing in Bruce's study. 
Alfred: "No doubt some of his Hi-Fi equipment needs adjusting."
Unfortunately Batman is supposedly out of town on "personal business", according to Alfred, saddening Gordon to no end.
Gordon: "I'm afraid we've been overlooking something, Chief O'Hara. Batman has a life of his own which we know nothing about."
O'Hara: "Well, even Batman is entitled to a wee bit of privacy."
So they light up the Batsignal.

RD still has his old Indiana hillbilly accent that appears sometimes. 

Bruce and Dick are currently in the "back country" with some other guys. He reminds the group to brush their teeth before they wonder what to do.
Dick: "My ear's ringing. It keeps saying, "To the Batpoles, to the Batpoles, to the Batpoles!""
Cue title - and everyone still at the camp.

Cut then to the Morpheus mattress store and Catwoman laying down on a bed.
RD: "Holy Julie Newmar in lingerie! Best episode ever."
Narrator: "What do we have here? An advertising stunt? Or maybe something else entirely?"
Then one of Sandman's goons comes and carries her away. RD wonders if there was a panty shot. 

In a call by Gordon the store owner, Mr. Smuggly, wonders how she managed to get past security to get a lie down. "Those Morpheus mattresses: like sleeping on a zephyr."
Gordon: "This is no time for a sales pitch."
He has to somehow re-determine who they are facing. Then he goes for the Batphone again.
Gordon: "Grain by grain, the hen fills her belly, Chief O'Hara. A pithy proverb about patience. Batman told it to me himself."

The Disguised Duo appear just in time before Alfred can make any excuse on their end, and of course already know about the situation. 
Bruce: "About that ringing in your ears..."
Dick: "Oh, it's louder than ever."
Duo: "To the Batpoles!"

They still have to get to the office though, (:27) so the Undynamic Duo spend their time actually working watching KGC TV and Catwoman termed a Sleeping Beauty without people already knowing who she is. She credits her quick sleeping to "Dr. Somnambula", making the reporter ask to stop her advertising.
Gordon: "There's a devious and dangerous design here someplace, Chief O'Hara. And what audacious arrogance. ... Where the devil is Batman?"

In a rundown mattress factory (helpfully labelled) Sandman compliments Catwoman's acting. Then he wants her to answer the ringing phone as his "nurse". It is their target, J Pauline Spaghetti.
Catwoman: "The doctor is quite busy at the moment, Mrs. Spaghetti. There are 80 patients in the
office, 206 in the waiting room, and the line outside extends around Gotham Park...several times."
Pauline will pay $50,000 for a "penthouse call", $100,000 if within 10 minutes.

Cut to Gor - the Batcave, as the Duo return from their offscreen trip. (:32)
Batman: "Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara didn't have much to offer."
RD: "They should do this more often."
They of course immediately figure out something's up.
Batman: "it's all some murky masquerade to hoodwink a hapless, sleepless moneybags. Now, can you name some famous insomniacs?"
Robin: "Well, there was Olaf the Sad of Norway."
Batman: "He's been dead for 800 years."
Robin: "And that famous Chinese historian, Fu Hop Chung."
Batman: "Born with no eyelids."
Robin: "The French empress whose head stayed awake even after she'd been guillotined?"
Batman: "Poor creature."

So they check with the Batcomputer which answers by shooting out red play-doh as spaghetti. 
Batman: "A variety of elementary paste, larger than vermicelli, but not as tubular as maca -"
Robin: "That's it. Spaghetti."

Young Vince would eat so much play-doh that he would get "worms" that his father would have to coax out of him rectally with a q-tip. RD has his wife appear just to make sure she still does not like the smell. (:38)

At the Spaghetti Hotel Sandman arrives at the penthouse in a doctor's outfit under his coat. Spaghetti hasn't slept for over seven years (which may be trouble considering RD finds the actor was more than 80 years old at the time of filming). He puts his stethoscope on her head (as she goes to open her top for the more traditional chest) and then sprays a sleeping powder into her face. This makes her sleepwalk under his command, from which he gets her financial records.
His two goons then appear. "A funny-looking jalopy parked in the rear alley a minute ago. Some kind of a hook snagged the terrace railing. And two way-out characters are climbing up the wall on ropes. Real weirdoes."

Sadly there are no celebrities as the Duo climb and enter through the window, and Spaghetti is finally happy for once she's got some sleep without any money missing. They make sure, allowing Sandman to sneak out undetected. Needless to say she is not pleased.
"That door leads to the hall. The hall leads to the elevator. The elevator leads to the street. It's quicker than any Batrope."

Cut to the Duo suddenly at the factory and immediately knowing things are not right with the Dutch angle. Sandman and goons suddenly pop out of a Murphy bed with a "It's nap time for both of you!" into a fight. Robin bounces a guy on and off a bed while Batman does dropkicks. Before the Duo can overwhelm with mattresses Sandman manages to incapacitate Robin with sleeping powder.

Batman is then tied to a large stitching machine.
Sandman: "This machine will button you up forever, Batman. Wonder Boy, or whatever they call you, start the machine. ... I'm sorry we can't remain for the last stitch, but you were right about me and Catwoman. And I promised her a little souvenir of this quilting bee. Robin will fill the bill nicely!"

Narrator: "Are our eyes deceiving us? Batman quilted to a mattress? Robin led away by the Abominable Sandman? To be the sleeping pawn in Catwoman's cat and mouse game? Wait on pins and needles, you'll find out tomorrow! Same Bat time! Same Bat channel!" 

RD likes the story so far, and not just because of Catwoman's wiles. 

Jordan Mishkin sent RD 45s of Frank Gorshin's singing.


  • Special Guest Villain: Sandman (Michael Rennie)
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess: Catwoman [5] (Julie Newmar) [4]

  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Stealing


Episode 70: Holy Ottoman!: December 11, 2022

The Duo Is Slumming or Batman, Dark Knight of Gotham, Part 2
December 22, 1966
"The Puzzler continues with his plan to hijack Artemus Knab's new airplane, the Retsoor, all the while leaving puzzles behind for Batman and Robin to ponder. He familiarizes himself with the jet's designs, then prepares to fly his prize to a foreign country where he will hold it for ransom. But the Dynamic Duo have an easier time with his clues than he expected, resulting in a climactic confrontation at the airplane hanger."
55 minutes

RD Sez "By Gum It's Gum!" That's from Henry III I believe. (Act VI, Scene 6)

The title is more rhyming than creative. But it's not in iambic pentameter. 

Vince: "Bro, I gotta be honest with ya RD."
RD: "Let me write this down - you're being honest with me."
Vince compared the story to a recent showing of Raw, it was that interminable.

Vince can still remember when he was 13 years old and was gifted a stereo system at what he thought was the highest price in the world at $99.99. Young RD got a disk drive for his Atari computer to play pirated games alongside a color printer. Older RD had initial doubts when his wife found she was pregnant on Christmas Eve, but he went along with it until they later confirmed it. 

Sad News: Vince and his son had trouble assembling a newly bought arcade machine.

To further try and delay talking about the actual episode, RD also read up on Mr. Evans (:15). I forgot that he was also Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes. 

The Duo are still tied up in their "aerial balloon" at 19,000 feet. Batman gets the idea of using the chewing gum wrapper to cover the altimeter's air hole to keep the reading below 20,000.
Robin: "This'll teach that crook to be a litterbug. He should put trash in the proper waste container!" 

However they are still high above, and at that point it's a wonder at this high up they are unaffected by hypothermia and oxygen deprivation. And don't tell me it's the outfits protecting them, they're not Kryptonian! Nature must obey necessity, after all. (Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3)

This is where Robin's bird calling comes in - a flock of red-breasted nuthatches are flying nearby, which he conveniently...does not yet know. "Holy Ottoman Batman!" is all he can say.
Batman: "The bird by its nature is a very hostile bird. If you can infuriate this bird, perhaps he'll attack the balloon."
They succeed in having one poke some holes into the balloon.
Batman: "Farewell feathered friend! Sorry to have disrupted your vacation!"
Of course the balloon starts to rapidly descend.
Batman: "It's the power of gravity, Robin. Not even the Puzzler could prevent that."
Fortunately they land right next to a phone booth as for some reason the theme of the Penguin's Submarine from the Movie plays.
Batman: "We can thank the taxpayers and Governor Stonefellow for this emergency public telephone."

Back at the lair Puzzler is happy for their jewelry haul, but they still need to get the Retsoor. To Rocket: "Now go be expressive to multi-billionaire Artemis Knab." He would have another goon do it if they were not a lady or busy making balloon animals.
The Duo crash through another window.
Puzzler: "But you're...you're dead! How puzzling."
He covers their escape by...dropping balloon animals on them. RD compares it to the drop they do in the Arcade on more able children. 

Rocket manages to make it during that to Knab's penthouse, and petitions him to make it into movies. (:25)
Knab: "I would say that you're a very well-rounded young lady. Ha. Ha. Ha. With considerable well-rounded talent."
She slips a sleeping pill into his oolong tea that knocks him out, allowing Puzzler to enter through his window and open the safe. He takes pictures on how to fly the plane and leaves a note for Batman on Knab's chest. 

The Dark Knight is currently in Gordon's Office wearing really large headphones as they open up another "gift" to reveal a rooster.
Gordon: "I've had some strange birds in my office at some time, but this is going too far!"
They determine Puzzler is to steal the plane later that night, so the Duo leave to wall climb to Knab's penthouse. 

As they climb Robin has a strange feeling "as if visions of sugar plums were dancing in my head." This summons Santa Claus through the window. You know, that old contemporary of Shakespeare? (:29) Even if it was shown (as it is now reviewed) in the December season, it feels more out of place than it normally should be out of place. It also doesn't help that this Santa looks rather...odd.
Santa: "Say, you tell me where the Batcave is, and I'll, I'll leave a little present in your stocking."
Batman (to the camera): "If you can't trust Santa, whom can you trust? [To Santa] We can't tell you here, Mr. Claus, but we'll telephone you at the North Pole on the Batphone."
RD wonders how he can call different numbers with just one button on it.
Santa: "Good, good, I'll get to the Batcave if I have to slide down the Batpole instead of a chimney. Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!"
Batman: "Merry Christmas Santa!"
Robin: "And say hello to the eight reindeer for us!" 

By the time they reach the penthouse Knab is awake and not happy to see them, not helped by Batman waving his hands around oddly like he is holding Yorick's skull in them.
Robin: "We told you, stupid, don't trust the Puzzler!"
They find Puzzler's note.
Batman: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Artemis/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. That's a quote from -"
Knab: "I know. Hamlet." (Act I, Scene 5)
The note is blank but Batman detects "a slight odor of invisible writing" on it. Knab asks to go to the Batcave with him to analyze it, but he is politely denied. 

This is also the last we see or hear of Knab or any of his monopolies. My guess is that Batman just took all his properties on Bruce's behalf due to Knab's (involuntary) collaboration with a criminal. Or, to continue his analogy with Howard Hughes, he'd just trick him to stay in a private movie theater for the rest of his life instead of imprisoning him.

In the Batcave the revealed text only says "puzzles". Robin thinks it's for seven-league boots, seven seas, or seven veils, none of which actually feature in Shakespeare. Batman thinks it's a seven digit telephone number (without area code). RD wonders how they would incorporate the lack of Z on the dial-pad, which is what the Duo are also thinking. This leads them to 'zounds', at least. (At least the writers seem to spell it right.)

RD: "Have we mentioned this Puzzler kind of sucks?"

Puzzler has shifted his operations to a shed and his outfit to "the perfect Space Age garb" in order to fly an airplane. Then Batman calls.
Robin: "Holy miracles, Batman, you got his number on your first try!"
Puzzler: "Speak, knave!"
Batman figures his latest puzzle and they rush to the airplane hanger.

Puzzler has a "magic lantern show" waiting for them of a plane sideshow. To Rocket: "Create your usual diversion." Glider asks if they will sell the plane (for $4 million) to a foreign power.
Puzzler: "Have you taken leave of your senses Glider? I may be an arch-villain, but I am a one hundred percent naturalized American arch-villain!"

Of course the Duo already there awaiting the group and their fight, including many Irish whips. (:42) During it Robin gets inside a jet engine (which is not on).

Afterwards the Undynamic Duo arrive so late due to "traffic" Batman literally rolls his eyes at them. 'Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind, indeed. (King Lear, Act IV, Scene 1)

Puzzler: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Too many puzzles. Is that what did it, Batman?"
Batman: "One too many. Quantity finally exceeded quality, Puzzler. And all those quotes of Shakespeare didn't help either."
Puzzler: "My soul is full of discord and dismay."
Batman: "Hamlet."
Puzzler: "Act IV."
Batman: "Scene 1."
Puzzler: "Line 46."
Batman: "45."
Puzzler: "Egad, sir, you're right!" 

Vince is close in guessing Rocket's age by two years. (36) He also gives her 2 Batpoles for that. RD is a generous 5.5. Despite this, Barbara Stuart was a regular TV presence for over 50 years, most notably for Gomer Pyle.  

At Stately Wayne Manor Alfred blows up the remaining puzzle balloons on Aunt Harriet's behalf for "underprivileged children" for some reason.
Harriet: "They really are quite a novelty, aren't they?"
Bruce: "Verily, Aunt Harriet, quite a novelty. Well, all's well that -"
Alfred: "That ends well, sir?"

Thus exits the Puzzler, confusion's masterpiece. (Macbeth, Act II, Scene 3) Honestly he was pretty terrible. There may have been more amusement in finding where his lines were coming from rather than his plan or mannerisms, none of which made much sense. It's as if they wrote Jean-Luc Picard to the point where he was quoting his own Shakespeare everywhere beyond the occasional parts here and there, even when speechifying. (Or hawking Pontiacs.) 


It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5


  • Special Guest Villain: The Puzzler (Maurice Evans)

  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/For [jack]daws to peck at. (Othello, Act I, Scene 1) 
  • Window Celebrity: 1. Santa Claus

Episode 69: Holy Hamlet!: December 4, 2022

The Puzzles Are Coming or Batman, Dark Knight of Gotham, Part 1
December 21, 1966
"The Puzzler, a villain with a fondness for both Shakespeare and aviation, indicates he is after the fortunes of Artemus Knab. He convinces the billionaire to invest in his puzzle balloon business, but when the Dynamic Duo find that Knab seems too intelligent to fall for a phony scheme, they look deeper for the criminal's true intentions. Their search leads them to Knab's airplane monopoly, but unknown to them, the Puzzler has plans to halt their investigation - permanently."
48 minutes

RD: Not Practicing Bird Calls. He's not Bitey. He tries one anyway.

Vince thinks he found a villain worse than Mr. Minstrel Man. RD still thinks MMM was the worst, but our non Riddler villain is not far. It was originally supposed to be the Riddler anyway, but Gorshin had contract issues. Vince would rather get (super)kicked in the face.

Twister was first released on the original airdate.

To try and delay talking about the story (and who can blame him?), RD mentions that he nearly died at a Target on Black Friday. (:05) Some one wearing reindeer antlers was holding up the line looking at a National Geographic. In the parking lot he was almost hit by an idiot in car were it not for the wife pulling him out of the way. He did get a good deal on a TV (from elsewhere).

It's "another serene day in Gotham City" in the penthouse of the Gotham Arms. The Puzzler awaits wearing a crooked hat and a huge bow-tie. Among his crew also with him are Glider, Ramjet, the rotund Blimpy, and an old lady named Rocket, not to be confused with Marvel's own. The penthouse is not actually theirs, but belongs to a man named Artemus Knab, who is not yet present. 

Being a Puzzler, he of course frequently quotes from Shakespeare. Because when I think of puzzles I think of Early Modern English. That was in that one Hamlet soliloquy right?

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Also the penthouse is so high up they can see straight down into Gordon's Office in the Police HQ.

Puzzler: "This should startle the pillars of the law, the caterpillars of the Commonwealth/which I have sworn to weed and pluck away...a quotation from the Bard, young Rocket." (Richard II, Act II, Scene 3)

As expected Vince does not like Shakespeare. Neither did the show's producers who for some reason gave Puzzler Bookworm's theme. Perhaps because they are both literary fellows? 

Gordon is on the line with the Warden, talking about the prison having no more space, all thanks to the fine work of the Dynamic Duo the police. Before I can write a joke about that, a small drone-like plane drops a smoke bomb through the window. O'Hara rushes in thinking it a "child's prank" and the two just stare at it.
Gordon: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Chief O'Hara?"
O'Hara: "Aren't I always Commissioner?"
I initially thought it meant calling in the Duo, but they first guess it is the work of that villainous Puzzler, that scurvy companion (Henry IV Part 2, Act II, Scene 4). THEN they cry for help.
Gordon: "I know we've been working the Caped Crusader overtime lately, but I feel I'd be shirking my duty to the populous of Gotham City if I didn't call on his help in this dire crisis. " 

At Stately Wayne Manor Dick is...practicing bird calls. (:16)
Bruce: "Yes Dick! Your bird calls are close to perfect. If more people practice them, some day we might have a chance for a real communication with our feathered friends."
Dick: "In that case I think I'll polish up my Ruby Crown Kinglet, and my Rose-Breasted Yellow-Tailed Grosbeak calls."
Unfortunately before he has a chance to try out his Black-Throated Green Warbler, Alfred whispers the Batphone ringing.
Aunt Harriet: "They're always on the move."
Alfred: "Well, that's because they're young."

Back in the office, Batman: "Puzzler's maleficent methods are legendary, plus, the fact they're usually connected with an aviatic caper, along with his Shakespearean touches."
Robin: "Holy Hamlet!"

The bomb has a "backward puzzle": "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows" (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Scene 1). Batman spells 'bank' backwards to Knab, he of the penthouse, "one of the richest men in the world from his aviation monopoly". He declines Gordon's "assistance" as he wants to go by himself to personally "cross swords", like he is Romeo and Puzzler is Tybalt (and Robin is Juliet or something). 

Gordon: "Whoever they are beneath those masks they wear -"
O'Hara: "You've said that before, Commissioner."
Gordon: "And I'll say it to my dying day, Chief O'Hara! Gotham City owes the Dynamic Duo a debt which can never be repaid."
O'Hara: "Well, if this Artemus Knab is as rich as they say, maybe he can help a little?"

SPEAKING OF Knab, he and Puzzler are playing a game of actual Monopoly (though sadly it's not Batman or Stratford-Upon-Avon themed), when the Duo arrive through the window. 
Puzzler: "Now, by two-headed Janus/Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time: art thou not verily the Caped Crusaders?" (The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 1)
Batman: "Yes Puzzler, I'm Batman."
Robin: "AND I'M ROBIN!"
Knab doesn't mind Puzzler's presence for a damned and luxurious mountain goat (Henry V, Act IV, Scene 4) since he has a good idea for making money: puzzle balloons, whatever the hell they are. Robin thinks otherwise.
Knab: "Young man, there's no easier buck to be made in this world than an honest buck."
Batman: "Sometimes Robin is inclined to be a bit impetuous."
Knab: "It should make an interesting addition to my airplane monopoly, not to mention my movie studio monopoly, my stock market monopoly, my ship building monopoly, and my various other lesser monopolies."
RD wonders what Bruce would be thinking on Knab being a literal billionaire with monopolies (perhaps on Boardwalk).
Puzzler hands Robin a balloon: "You're obviously not too old to play with balloons."
Robin: "I'm old enough to recognize a bunco artist!"
Knab reminds the Duo there is a perfectly fine door to use. 

Enter Batman and Robin in the Batcave. (:26)
Robin: "I just hate to see a reasonably successful multi-billionaire like Artemus Knab taken for a ride by that shady pseudo-Shakespearean swindler."
And he has such a February face! So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness! (Much Ado About Nothing, Act V, Scene 4)
They use the Bat Air Jet on the balloon, which has another line on a hawk from a handsaw (Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2). They guess it has to do with Knab's christening of his new plane the Retsoor (or Rooster spelled backwards), which will take place at the Airport and could prove a good target for the Puzzler to hit.

Sure enough Puzzler and his retinue are at the christening with Knab in his "old jalopy". Rocket complains about not possibly networking with the rich and famous around to get into movies. The other goons wonder why they don't steal the plane as well as the peoples' valuables.

Puzzler: "Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens!"
Blimpy: ""Fat and greasy"?"
Puzzler: "A favorite line of mine from As You Like It, Blimpy. Translated it means, "get going!" (Act II, Scene 1)
The balloons they have brought with them contain, yes, gas. Sadly it is not colored, but it does paralyze or freeze everyone in place like they're trying to stand motionless on a theater stage.
Puzzler: "A little extra pocket money is never a bad thing. Don't leave anything on the table."
Rocket aims for the jewelry left laying around. Puzzler: "Frailty, thy name is woman!" (Hamlet, Act I, Scene 2)
They wait around for the Duo to appear so they too get gassed rather than preparing for an ambush. Their brains are as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage. (As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7)
Of course now that the two are at his mercy Puzzler...does a Hamlet and doesn't kill them straight away. No, he just...takes a picture of the plane's control panel. Then they just exit.

Return the Duo (whenever they unfreeze) to the Batcave to another balloon (rather than just having them do it at the Airport where it would make more thematic sense). The line in one of them leads their Batlogic to the lair of the Globe Balloon Factory, Shakespeare's famous theater.

The Duo are greeted at the factory by balloon animals. Ah, this mus be Puzzler's playing company then. (:34) Rocket is there looking even older than before, manually blowing up some of the balloons.

Rocket: "I'm sorry, Puzzler told me he's not seeing anyone today."
Batman: "At the risk of sounding conceited young lady, we're not just anyone!" 

So they just walk inside into a fight. Robin is thrown on his stomach where Blimpy is gyrating on top of him, like his wife's a hobby horse (The Winter's Tale, Act II, Scene 1). Batman responds with an Irish whip and Robin adds a hip attack, but Puzzler takes them out with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune a dart.  

The Duo are thus tied in a hot air balloon basket (which Vince or Mrs. Deal would never want to take a ride in) which will detach at 20,000 feet.
Robin: "I bet even Shakespeare doesn't have such words for such villainy!"
Ramjet offers chewing gum to relieve the ear pressure, but they decline it. He takes the piece for himself and throws the wrapper into the basket.

RD re-tells winning a helicopter ride at 5 years old.

Puzzler: "This was the most unkindest cut of all! Farewell Dynamic Duo! Bon Voyage! Happy landings! Adieu! Adieu! Remember me!" (Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2)

Actually, a more appropriate line would have been Good-night, sweet prince/And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2) But then the Duo would have fought over who was Hamlet and who was his surviving friend Horatio, paying no attention to how to get out of their conundrum and - huh. I'm putting more thought into this than our 'villain' ever did.

Narrator: "Horror of horrors! Is there no escape? That altimeter is rising fast! Is this the last hurrah for the Dynamic Duo? Can anything save them? We'll find out tomorrow! Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!" 

Neither Bro remembered to look up the work of Mr. Evans, but it's pretty obvious he had his Shakespearean background for his work. This included his then appearances on Betwitched (to also do Shakespeare).

  • Special Guest Villain: The Puzzler (Maurice Evans)

  • SPEAKING OFs: 3. Sad, Shakespeare, Christmasopoly