Episode 73: Holy Strudel!: January 8, 2023

The Contaminated Cowl
January 4, 1967
"The Mad Hatter has escaped from prison, and is on a quest to add Batman's cowl to his collection of hats. He attends Gotham City's annual headdress ball disguised as the Three-tailed Pasha Of Panchagorum, and snatches a large ruby off of columnist Hattie Hatfield's headdress. The villain makes a getaway, but not before turning Batman's cowl pink with a radioactive spray. He trails Batman to the Atomic Energy Laboratory, knowing he will have a chance to snatch his cowl when it is removed for decontamination."
The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul
January 5, 1967
"What appear to be the skeletons of Batman and Robin are found at Gotham City's Atomic Energy Laboratory, where the Mad Hatter left them to irradiate. Word of their demise spreads like wildfire. With the world busy mourning its loss, the Mad Hatter has no trouble snatching a valuable ruby from the Golden Buddha of Bergama's forehead. However, when rumor spreads that Batman and Robin are still alive, the Mad Hatter's scheme appears jeopardized."
72 minutes

RD: Last Name Is Not Puffendorfer. Of course not, or his name isn't Real Deal Real Deal Reynolds.

What do you mean it isn't that either?

Vince complained about his wife being late coming back home off-camera due to worrying about her outside. RD is also similar like that. 

RD and family were quite ill last week, so the Bros have to make up for missing last week by double dipping today.  He found the silver lining in being able to exchange gifts and spend time with them regardless. He still has to visit Vince in Colorado. Vince asks about his symptoms for some reason.

Narrator: "Gotham City, like any other large metropolis, abounds in the quaint shop, the unique store. And what could be a more bizarre emporium than Bon Bon's Box Boutique? Open early on this sunny morning, almost as if awaiting some equally bizarre customers." (:07)

The Mad Hatter is one such bizarre customer, requesting 700 hat boxes. He pays by putting Miss Bon to Bon to sleep with his hat. RD wonders why no one recognizes him. Vince thinks it's due to his obscurity compared to other villains. RD reminds him of what he looks like. 

At Stately Wayne Manor Bruce gives one Professor Overbeck a cheque for the Gotham City Atomic Energy Laboratories. Alfred whispers for the Batphone, leaving Herr Overbeck to flirt with Aunt Harriet: "You have a certain way with a strudel."

Gordon: "There's little doubt about the culprit's identity, Batman. Warden Crichton tells me the convicts
were enjoying a softball game last week, and the Mad Hatter stole home and kept right on going in Warden Crichton's cap. The warden was acting as umpire."
Vince wants to give credit to Hatter for managing to escape and the Warden watching him do it.

What is new in the trip to the Office is a head-on shot of the stunt doubles driving the Batmobile.

Gordon: "Sometimes I wonder if the warden's rehabilitation program isn't getting out of hand...Who knows what disaster lies ahead when a man of the Mad Hatter's twisted tendencies is loose in Gotham City?And who knows what lies in store for you, Batman? He'd stop at nothing to add that cowl to his horrific hoard of headpieces."
Batman: "The loss of my cowl is secondary, Commissioner. But not the fate of Gotham City."
The Duo decide to...head back to the Batcave. Well that was completely pointless.
Gordon: "Looking back, Chief O'Hara, it's hard to remember how we operated at all before those two masked Samaritans appeared on the scene."
O'Hara: "It's not hard for me to remember, Commissioner. Things were a mess!" 

Narrator: "Masked Samaritans or not, it looks like things may get even messier, judging by what's going on in the Mad Hatter's current hideaway in the defunct Green Derby Restaurant."
Vince was not aware of the original Brown Derby restaurant chain that was in vogue during the 60s. (There is still one in DisneyWorld.) (:19)
Hatter puts away his claimed hats with his girl Polly while talking about them. "A soup├žon." However he vows that his final piece will be Batman's cowl. 

Hatter: "It's a plan which is better understood as it unfolds, Polly,  involving as it does the Headdress Ball tonight, at which you will be in charge of the hat-check stand, plus the Three-Tailed Pasha of Panchagorum, plus this plastic gun filled with radioactive spray, plus the Golden Buddha of Bergama
and the priceless ruby in its forehead, and finally plus that elevated water tank at the rear of this property, down the ladder of which Benny and Skimmer are now climbing."
Polly: "What on earth are they doing in the water tank?"
Hatter: "Preparing a watery grave, elevated of course for the Caped Crusader, if I don't think of a trickier means of disposing of Batman first."

In the Batcave the Duo are getting many useless Batcomputer cards on hat synonyms. 
Batman: "You're right, Robin. No doubt even that mechanical marvel feels the stress and strain of crime-fighting and has chosen this particular moment to let down. Perhaps if I activated the Accelerated Concentration Switch."
Overclocking the Batcomputer leads to tonight's Annual Charity Headdress Ball, run by Hattie Hatfield and her large ruby headpiece that may be a target.

Batman: "As we have one of our infrequent free afternoons, I think we should run a check on
our Batarangs and our Batropes."
Robin: "We did that right after our last Batclimb."
Batman: "Forewarned, forearmed, Robin. All the walls of the Gotham Towers West are sheer glass."

Narrator: "But even as the Headdress Ball gets underway, what surprising news is this hotel manager receiving in the foyer of the Top Hat Room?"
Manager on phone: "The Three-Tailed Pasha of Panchagorum?"
Hatter from phone booth: "Yes, he's in Gotham City incog-nit-o."
He persuades the manager to reduce the security, who in turn notifies Hat Check Girl Polly: "I'll give him a three-tailed hat check."

Meanwhile the Duo do their climb of the building.
Robin: "Looked like a fancy affair down on the 62nd floor, Batman."
Batman: "Just goes to show, Robin, that people who stay in glass hotels shouldn't throw parties. Eyes front. After all, we're not social climbers."

Hatter makes his presence as the Pasha as the Duo sneak in through the window.
Robin: "Who's that?"
Batman: "Let's slip in and find a better vantage point. I'm sure we'll be unnoticed."
He then walks into trays in a very 'un-Batman' way, or so wrote RD. Cue food fight where 'Hatter tosses Batman salad'. Robin responds with a 20 foot uppercut.
Hatter claims the ruby anyway and throws a smoke hat to cover, then fires his plastic gun's radioactive spray at Batman's cowl, turning it bright pink. "A form of virulent radiation, Robin."

Even worse, when Batman returns to the Batcave, Alfred informs him that his other cowls are in the "Home Dry Bat-cleaning Plant" for another couple hours. And replacement material is late to arrive. Batman takes an anti-radioactive Batpill. "Of greater importance is getting a usable cowl and to use it in
apprehending Mad Hatter!" 

So they Professor Overbeck at the Laboratory for his assistance as a favor for "Mr. Wayne's friend". Overbeck reminds RD of Allen Dale.
Suddenly Batman tells Robin that they were followed rather than while they were in the Batmobile (when they were their stunt doubles).
Thus Hatter knocks out Overbeck's assistant Otto and takes his place in a large hazmat suit. 

Overbeck: "So little is known about this radioactivity of radioactive agents. So little is known that we only know one thing, that eventually they are deadly."
Robin: "Gosh, Batman. I hope that pill is still working."
Batman: "The effects are beginning to wear off faintly."
Hatter appears to direct Batman to take off his cowl behind a curtain.
Robin: "Need any help, Batman?"
Batman: "No, Robin. Just remember, eyes and ears."
Robin: "So your name's Otto."
Overbeck: "Oh, excuse me, Wonder Boy. I should have introduced you. Yes, this is Otto. Otto Puffendorfer. You see, he's my reliable assistant ever since I had a little laboratory way back in the old country."

Batman hands over his cowl to Hatter, who is excited he runs off and removes all doubt, incapacitating "Boy Birdbrain" with a light kick to the shin.
Of course Batman has another cowl with him. And of course upon catching up to Hatter and his goons they easily capture them, placing them in a fluoroscopic cabinet to be x-rayed "forever".
Hatter: "Happy tintypes, Dynamic Duo."

Narrator: "Is this to be believed? In our scientific age? First Batman's cowl radio-activated! And now the Caped Crusaders fluoroscoped forever? Keep framed to their framework! Tomorrow! Same Battime, Same Batchannel!"




Narrator: "When we said our last fearful farewells to Batman and Robin, the malevolent Mad Hatter had trapped them in a fluroscopic cabinet of an atomic energy laboratory. Where, exposed to high voltage X-rays, it would only be a matter of moments before they be radiated forever. For you, another few hours have gone by. For the Dynamic Duo, an eternity. As we shall shortly see. Horror of horrors, can it have happened at long, long last? The disastrous demise of the Dynamic Duo? Yesterday, flesh and blood...now cowled skeletons!"  

Thankfully even in death they have their nether regions covered. But where are the rest of their clothes? (:42) Vince prefers this state to that one time they were frogs though. 

Polly: "Why did you bring me here if you knew about this all the time?"
Hatter: "Every man likes a pretty girl with him at a skeleton dance."

Cut to the Office.
Gordon: "No. I won't believe it. I don't believe it. I can't believe it. My world has just been ripped to shreds...seam by seam..."
O'Hara: "Come now, Commissioner, nothing could be as bad as all that."
Gordon: "This is, Chief. A cleaning woman at the Gotham Atomic Energy Laboratory..."
O'Hara: "Now, now, easy does it."
Gordon: "...just called the editor of the Gotham Post Tribune."
O'Hara: "Maybe if you loosened your tie."
Gordon: "And told them -"
O'Hara: "Have you still got that bottle here in your drawer?"
Gordon: "That she had seen the...the skeletons...of Batman and Robin."
O'Hara: "The what?"
Gordon: "The skeletons of the Caped Crusaders, shrouded in their cowls."
O'Hara: "Hold on to me, Commissioner!"
Gordon: "In a fluoroscopic cabinet where they met their maker..."
O'Hara: "Don't say it!"
Gordon: "...under high-voltage x-ray."
And then they start bawling.

This is so "monumental" Batman's theme is made into a death march. Even the President is expected to go to Gotham City. Even the Queen is expected to go to Gotham City. Even Brezhnev is expected to go to Gotham City.

Of course the Dynamic Duo are fine due to Batman's Bat X-ray deflector thingamajig in his utility belt. And the extra cowl. And the extra outfits in the Batmobile. And two spare skeletons in a closet. "It never hurts to be prepared, professor."

However Hatter had known that Batman had planted a tracker in his cowl, so he threw it into a water tower. 
Polly: "Jervis, you sound like the Joker or the Puzzler, or even the Riddler."
Hatter: "Those phonies?"
His two goons report that everything has come to a complete stop due to the discovery of the skeletons.
Hatter: "Now, don't go soft on me, Polly. Who made Batman and Robin famous crime-fighters? Criminals, that's who. If you want to show a little respect to the departed, stay crooked. That's the least you could do."
Polly: "I guess you're right, Jervis. It is sort of like putting flowers on their graves."
Then they all laugh.

At Stately Wayne Manor Harriet can't add one phone caller to the 4000 other women on the funeral committee. "But I might work you in on the Statue of Batman Committee." (:50) There is also a large crowd outside the gates since they knew Batman was a good friend of the owner.
Harriet to Alfred: "See that they're served coffee and sandwiches."

The Disguised Duo go to the study to call the Office, but the Undynamic Duo are preoccupied by the window view.
O'Hara: "Fifty-thousand people...just standing."
Gordon: "The greatest of all the ills of man is grief, Chief O'Hara."
The Batphone rings.
O'Hara: "Mother McGillicutty! He's calling from the grave!"
Batman is still on Hatter's trail.
Gordon: "Mad Hatter? At a time like this who cares about that pipsqueak's inconsequential crimes?"
Batman: "Any crime, no matter how large or small, Commissioner Gordon, is a violation of a public right and common law, and the criminal or criminals committing such an offense must be apprehended for the sake of all human morality."

Hatter manages to steal his other ruby from the Golden Buddha when Polly finds out and informs him about the Duo's return.
Hatter: "Wouldn't you know. I reach the peak of my career and now a petty annoyance like this."

The Duo track their tracker to the water tower behind the Green Derby (Robin: "Holy mermaid!") when Gordon calls back on the gem's theft.
Gordon: "But you don't know how relieved I am to tell you this, Batman."
Batman: "Relieved? At the loss of a million-dollar ruby?"
Gordon: "No, no, no. Relieved to know that you're back on the job."
Batman: "Well, old chum, out of the sarcophagus and back into the saddle."

Polly is hat checking at the Green Derby also (despite it now looking like an empty warehouse) and asks to take their cowls. 
Polly: "You're Batman?"
Robin: "Holy hoodwink!"

Batman has her lead them to the water tower where the other villains are on the basis that he has a radioactive cowl. "Is he expecting you to play coy, then innocent, then frightened, then lead us to him?"
So the Duo Batclimb the rest of the way. Hatter tries to turn on his hat mesmerizer - only for the wind to blow it away. Cue (sadly non water) fight. Robin's stunt double hanging off the side reminds RD of a steel cage match. Hatter is cornered on the top of the tank. 

The police arrive late after "celebrating" the Duo's resurrection.
Batman: "A waste of the citizens' time, energy and money, Chief O'Hara."
Gordon is at the bottom arresting Polly while Batman gives the royal wave to the gathered spectators.

Back at Stately Wayne Manor Harriet wears a bedroom curtain as she asks Alfred how he knew the Duo were still alive. The men make a big deal about wondering if they should tell her: the cleaning lady at the Laboratory who told him is Egbert's wife.

Harriet: "So that's all it was. An idle rumor that shook the world. Well, perhaps it's just as well. At least Batman and Robin, wherever they are -"
Duo: "Whoever they are beneath those masks."
Harriet: "- must know with what esteem they are held in the hearts of all the people on this earth."

Vince was sad the story didn't give justice to Polly, who despite not having Pauline's full figure still gets 9 Batpoles. RD found her very cute for an 8. 28 year old Jean Hale had the majority of her career in the 60s, and was married to Dabney Coleman for over 20 years.

Rupert's Arcade will be six years old on April 1st.  

For once I have no idea what would make for the previous year's Gooker. Ric Flair maybe? I'm sure there will be a 1000 words written on it though one of these days. Vince finds current Raw bad anyway, and this is before McMahon's return from being a cowl wearing skeleton.


  • Special Guest Villain: The Mad Hatter [2] (David Wayne) [2]

  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. Spare skeletons
  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Dolly Parton

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