Episode 84: Holy Flashlight!: March 26, 2023

A Riddling Controversy
February 9, 1967
"The Riddler now has enough money to buy Professor Charm's Demolecularizer. He demonstrates his weapon on a park statue and issues an ultimatum. If all criminal statutes are not rescinded, he will begin dissolving all buildings in Gotham."
70 minutes

RD: Not ready to walk on 3 legs. He has a show to record after all. He also rearranged his tables. While in TNA Vince received a Batman (66) train for Christmas. 

Catcher Todd Pratt was born on the airdate. Vince relates how he didn't go with TNA on an Australian tour since he took Jeremy Borash with him to watch the Mets at Giants. Somehow he was recognized there by some Mets. Pratt threw him a baseball. (:05)

Narrator: "When last we saw our beleaguered battlers they were slowly sinking in a bitter batter of Riddler quicksand. A grim and gritty end awaits them unless something awfully good happens awfully fast."

Robin: "Holy Titanic, Batman! We're going down for the last time!"
Batman: "Don't be a pessimist, Robin. Many of those who survived that tragedy did so by remaining calm and treading water until help arrived. And Jack had plenty of space to float on that piece."
(Glad of him to leave out that the bulk of the survivors were actually in lifeboats, and those in the water froze to death.)
Robin: "But this is quicksand!"
Batman: "I know, Robin. But I seem to recall a recent report on jungle survival which indicated that
many victims of quicksand are victims because of their own panic."
Robin: "Not doing a lot for my nerves!"
Batman: "The specific gravity of quicksand approximates that of water. If we remain calm and motionless we shouldn't sink much farther than your lower lip." 

Blade Vince tries a joke. RD is puzzled.

Sure enough the Duo are still buoyant.
Batman: "We won't have to float long, old chum, if our experimental Heel-and-Toe Batrockets perform as well as they should."
Robin: "Experimental Heel-and-Toe Batrockets? Haven't been tested yet."
Batman: "Let's not put off till tomorrow what we can do today, Robin."
It works (as RD predicted they would), and their dummies are pulled out on ropes.

Narrator: "Later at the Riddler's hideout in the soon to be opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the  magic of electronics provides the Riddler and his band of malevolent yeoman with a fascinating  account of their latest criminal coup." (:16)

Said magic comes in the form of...a televised news report on the robbery by the "light-fingered" Riddler, who flexes in response. 

Anchor: "The following riddle left at the scene of the crime provides [Gordon's] only clue. "When is an eagle's nest blessed best?""
Riddler: "That mealy-mouth faker. Issued a joint statement with Batman and Robin, did he? Well, he knows and we know that the Caked Crusaders are defunct, departed, demised, dead!"
Anna: "What if he isn't lying?"
He responds by grabbing and embracing her close to him for some reason. "Even if it were possible,
it couldn't matter less. One more cunning caper and I'll have the prize of Professor Charm's  demolecularizer. Then let them send the regiment of Batmen against me!"

Vince does not sense any fear or menace from this Riddler. RD just sees Gomez Addams.

In the Office both Duos are trying to figure out the riddle.
Gordon: "Seems to me that any nest is most blessed when there are little ones in it."
Robin is first to think of an actual eagle's nest. Batman links it to the Aerie, a nightclub atop the Gotham City State Building, "a favorite watering place for Gotham City's elite."
They also think there may be a connection to "Anthony Aquila, the exiled dictator from South America" who has $1 million in a wall safe. Batman has the "ingenious tactic" to...have the police secure the nightclub while they go to Aquila's penthouse. "There's treasure at both ends of the rainbow, commissioner."

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in Anthony Aquila's palatial penthouse reproduction of his former plantation  home, the Riddler and his bearers lurk in the underbrush." (:25)

For some reason there is some extensive overdubbing as Riddler cracks the safe while swinging a machete. "There it is, you nearsighted nitwits."

Batman: "Riddler, come out of the bush and surrender! As a duly deputized peace officer I order you to  drop that sack and give yourself up!"
Riddler: "Impossible! Fifteen feet of lethal quicksand!"
Across: "They sure don't look defunct to me, Riddler."
Down: "Or demised, departed and dead."
Riddler: "How? How did they survive?"
Robin: "Right was on our side, that's how!" 

Cue an early fight where the stunt doubles easily handle the goons and corner Riddler. Of course since it's too early in the episode he already took hostage Anthony Aquila dressed as Fidel Castro hostage in a large cage. (You'd think that if Castro lived anywhere up north it would be in Florida instead of New Jersey, no?)

Riddler: "I prepared this tricky cage in case the news report was true and you two showed up. In mere moments, an explosive charge inside that ticking green box will send Senor Aquila and his palatial penthouse higher than any eagle has ever flown. Unless you and junior here unlock the secret to these  battling bars and disarm the bomb in time. Well, adiĆ³s, amigos!"

Robin proves a point for once, determining that removing one rod will unlock the cage. Batman pulls it out and proves his sidekick right. Of course there is no bomb, just a donkey's tail to pin on the man. 

Finally having his $3 million in his lair, Riddler hands the money in a crocodile suitcase to Professor Charm. The latter already has his demolecularizer with him as he pulls out a pen.
Riddler: "You want me to pay $3 million for an 89 cent pencil flashlight?"
Charm: "That 89 cents pencil flashlight, as you call it, Mr. Riddler, is, in reality, a highly sophisticated weapon which took a lifetime to develop. Powerful enough to disrupt the molecular structure of matter, yet so simply designed that it can be recharged by plugging it in any household electrical outlet."
He demonstrates by zapping a hat into nothingness.
Riddler: "Make it come back now."
Charm: "It isn't yet possible. I haven't even began work on the molecular storer for lack of funds."
Riddler has to make do by once again embracing Anna.
RD: "Imagine if Anna Gram spoke French."

In response to the Riddler's threat (after freeing himself from Anna no doubt) the Batmobile pulls up to a large statue where the Undynamic Duo are. (:35) Robin walks over the Batmobile again.
Gordon: "Do you think he would dare desecrate the statue of our revered war hero right here in Coley
Batman: "A life of crime has worn the Riddler's moral fiber to a frayed strand, Commissioner. He may  have little respect for the memory of the great Marshall Coley."
Of course they do nothing as the Riddler walks up, zaps the statue, then...just walks off.
Robin: "Holy Houdini!
O'Hara: "Great slithering snakes!"
Batman: "Careful, Chief O'Hara. Whatever unknown force was employed in dematerializing Marshall Coley's statue may have left a contaminating residue on the pedestal."

Just then a delivery boy peddles up.
Boy: "Someone here called "Batman"?"
Batman: "Yes. I'm Batman."
Boy: "Telegram."
Riddler-Gram: ""Unless Gotham City is declared an open city, and all criminal statutes rescinded within two hours, police headquarters will disappear as surely and as quickly as Marshall Coley's statue.""
O'Hara: "That swaggering peacock! Oh, he's only bluffing."
Riddler-Gram: ""If the city fathers refuse to capitulate after police headquarters is gone, building after  building will disappear until they do.""
Batman: "To confound us further, the telegram ends with a riddle. "What is it that travels on all fours in the morning on two legs at noon, and three at twilight? If you intend to follow me, add the answer to the other three.""
Gordon: "What can we do, Batman?"
Batman: "It saddens me, Commissioner, but I just don't know."

Yes, the World's Greatest Detective has one weakness: not knowing basic Greek mythology

Thankfully Robin did not skip that lesson at school, and knows it refers to mankind. 

Batman: "Now let's concentrate on the last part of Riddler's challenge. "If you intend to follow me, add the answer to the other three." We'll select the keywords from each of the first three riddles. Page,  banquet, eagle's nest and man. For instance, the letter P in the word "page" is the 16th letter in the alphabet. Using numerical positions in the alphabet as a common denominator, we then add the number two for banquet and five for eagles - "
Robin: "And 13 for man."
Batman: "And the total?"
Robin: "36."
Batman: "36. Thirty-six inches in a yard or three feet. And who has three feet to you? No one. Or NO MAN. I seem to recall a recent announcement of a factory opening by that name. Robin, activate the remote Bat Computer again."
Sure enough, they obtain the factory's address.

Batman: "Commissioner, could you arrange for the immediate delivery of four 100-pound sacks of sodium dichloride to the Batcopter? I'll explain later."
Gordon agrees without question, since as he's not a chemist he wouldn't really know that such a compound could not technically exist.
Batman: "Do not, I repeat, do not capitulate to any of Riddler's demands until you hear from me under any circumstances."
Gordon: "You have my word on that too, Batman."
Robin: "What are we gonna do with four 100-pound sacks of sodium dichloride, Batman?"
Batman: "Checkmate Riddler. Hopefully."

Narrator: "While the Caped Crusaders race against approaching doom, their impatient adversary frets away the remaining minutes." (:42)
He does this by chewing out his goons for playing cards, then has Anna turn on the television to see O'Hara make more of a fool for himself.
Riddler: "Poor Chief O'Hara, knocking himself out looking all over the building for the demolecularizer when it's hidden in the commissioner's office. On my way back from Marshall Coley Square I plugged it into an ordinary electrical outlet behind the commissioner's couch. If the commissioner follows my instructions and issues a capitulation proclamation in precisely 4:55 p.m, I'll call him and tell him how to deactivate the automatic trigger: turn the wall switch to the off position."

Cut to a shot of the Batcopter.
Narrator: "Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo wings across the city with their cargo of sodium dichloride."

Then back to the lair. The TV news anchor announces that Gordon is still in HQ facing off against "wanton lawlessness".

Then back to the Batcopter Batcycle pulling up to the factory. The Duo have no time to walk up three storeys and get out the Batropes.  

Then back inside. A sudden onset of clouds appear over the HQ. There is a flash of lightning...and the building is still standing.
Riddler: "I knew it was a cheap flashlight. Flashlight! FLASHLIGHTTT!"

The Duo burst in through the window. Batman had used the fake compound to cloud seed a lightning bolt to neutralize the "fiendish weapon".
Robin: "As usual, your riddles led us right to you."
Riddler: "You've made the mistake of being predictable yourselves with your legendary window  entrances. Riddle me this: when is a floor like a puzzle?"
He opens a trapdoor under the Duo but they evade it, leading to another fight. Riddler responds to the stunt doubles by using his own 40 pounds lighter. Unsurprisingly this does not work for him.

Anna's attempts to flee are stopped by...O'Hara holding on to her.
Anna: "Let go of me, you blue-footed baboon!"
O'Hara: "I'll bet she's the toughest one of the bunch."
Robin: "She's the only one still kicking."
He then sells almost getting kicked in the head.

Despite this and her willingness to do evil, Vince can only give her a "very generous" 5 Batpoles. RD: "Are you insane?" He thought her cute (like me) for 8. Vince: "That is your worst rating in the history of this show." He thinks he is drawn to redheads. RD tries to respond with screen captures. Vince is not convinced.
Sadly Deanna Lund is no longer with us to settle this dispute. Among her work she was most well known for appearing in Irwin Allen's Land of the Giants, showing sometime after this episode. 

In the Office, Professor Charm manages to get away with most of his involvement by...returning all the money. (:51)
Gordon: "Coming forward voluntarily with the stolen charity money should tip the scales of justice in your favor, professor."
Charm: "No man can live with the wails of hungry children on his conscience."
Batman: "Professor, when you've paid your debt to society, you'll be able to continue your scientific studies, under the wing of the Gotham City Science Institute."
Charm (suddenly overcome with emotion): "I don't know how to thank you Batman, for arranging my membership."
Batman: "You can thank our friend Bruce Wayne. Mr. Wayne persuaded the membership to lower the  customary educational requirements. Robin, we should take this money to the Wayne Foundation before the close of business hours." (The Duo exit with the "donated" money to pay themselves.)
Charm: "Amazing man. Do you know who is under that mask of his?"
Gordon: "To us, professor, who he is is nowhere near as important as where he is at all times."

Vince looks through his phone to find a picture of (brunette) Mrs. Deal.
RD: "He's gonna find it. He's gonna either say "oh, she's a brunette" or he's gonna say "well the lighting in this, bro, kind of makes it, bro, look like she's a redhead, bro.""
Vince then changes his color to auburn.
RD: "You do need new glasses."
Junior always has a look of confusion on his face since he has to deal with his old man.
Vince continues to find odd pictures on his phone.

RD continues to be busy with things for the next couple of weeks.

Andy "Neck Brace" Kaufman will be in the WWE Hall of Fame. RD wants Bill Apter to induct (and then also enter). Knowing McMahon he would probably ask Michael Stipe. Or Jim Carrey as Michael Stipe.

Vince needs to take a bath.
RD: "I don't want you thinking about my 8 in the tub."

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [6] (John Astin)
  • Screen Shares: 3. RD, RD, RD
  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. Lightning bolt
  • Entertain The People: 1

Episode 83: Holy Quicksand!: March 19, 2023

Batman's Anniversary
February 8, 1967
"During a party for Batman's crime-fighting anniversary, the Riddler appears and nabs a golden calf filled with money for charity. His next target is the Gotham City Bank, which he floods for an underwater robbery. Although Batman and Robin try to stop him, the villain makes a clean getaway, leaving only a final riddle that stumps the Caped Crusaders. They discover all too late that his next move is an attempt to destroy them, this time with deadly quicksand disguised as strawberry icing atop a giant cake."
54 minutes

RD: Mesmerized by Anna Gram. I am mesmerized by John Astin's attempt at the Riddler, a story just after Morticia Addams (and some time after Lurch).

Also RD hopes he has fun with Vince, although he seems to already.

RD promises to review 1979's Legend of the Superheroes and its roast version.

Narrator: "Gotham City, a glistening jewel in a sun-filled landscape on a day when all seems right with the world. But in Stately Wayne Manor, some of life's answers still prove elusive." (:08)

Cut to Dick drawing an extensive diagram. "Gosh, Bruce, I'm not really sure how important it is to know the maximum number of pieces a pie will yield after six cuts."
Braless Aunt Harriet: "Well, if you had a house full of guests and only one pie you'd find it was important."
Bruce (armed with a (Bat)protractor): "The trick to this pie puzzle, Dick, is to discover a rule that will give you the maximum number of pieces for any given number of cuts. Now, notice... (He cuts on the cake.) Thank you. Cut number one yields two pieces. Cut number two yields four pieces. (Condescendingly) Do you detect any pattern yet, Dick?"
Alfred whispers for the Batphone.
Harriet: "Oh, Alfred, I'm certainly glad I have you!"

Gordon: "A very serious situation has arisen, Batman. I'm afraid it's of such vital importance and might have such far-reaching consequences, I think we should not even discuss it over the Batphone. ... Now, if you will go directly to the Gotham Plaza Hotel, I'll explain further."
Dick: "Holy cryptology, what was that all about?"
Bruce: "I don't know, Dick. The Commissioner is not given to unnecessary alarm."

Surprisingly going to the Batpoles does not lead to the titles. Instead they lead to the Hotel, (Batman: "Better three hours too soon than a minute late") and Gordon taking him to a ballroom...where of course it's just a surprise party for him. Batman wipes an imaginary tear from his eyes for the honor which finally gives the commercial break.

When we return the big band plays Happy Birthday with the Batman theme. Mayor Linseed says a few words on how the luncheon, "one of many", is to mark the Dark Knight's first work by going against the earlier corrupt Commissioner who was working with crime boss Carmine Falcone

For this endeavor the "Gotham City Dairymen's League" have donated $200,000 in a golden calf for his "favorite charity", presented by Milkmaid of the Month Anna Gram. Everyone asks for a speech, including Robin shouting last and directly in Batman's ear. He barely has time to start when bombs explode releasing green gas.
Batman: "Citizens, stay calm! Make your way to the exits slowly!"

Somehow the fire department is already here, despite there being no fire. Of course this is a cover for the Riddler to appear as his men and Anna carry off the golden calf.
Riddler: "Salutations and consolations anniversary boy!"
Batman: "Riddler, that money is for charity."
Riddler: "I'll see that it gets into needy hands. In the meantime, I suggest you look for an engaging page to herald the next of my anniversary surprises. Ta ta!" (He jumps out the window onto a life net.)
Robin: "Holy trampoline!"

Gordon and actual firemen then come late as is their custom.
Batman: "There's no need for axes. There was no fire. Merely a well-planned smoke screen to hide the Riddler's theft of the golden calf."
Gordon: "That enigmatic egotist back to plague our fair city?"

As the Duo exit they see one blue van painted red for the Gotham City Emergency Squad, and another follow close behind.
Batman: "One vehicle is set on an evil course, the other on an errand of mercy. We can't risk stopping the wrong one."
Robin: "Luck is no lady today, that's for sure."
Batman: "Luck generally comes to those who look for it, Robin."
A nearby newsie sells the latest Gotham City Herald for 10 cents so Batman buys a copy to check the puzzle page for any clues.
Robin (shouting all of a sudden): "WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? LET'S SOLVE THAT PUZZLE!"

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in his hideout in the soon-to-be-opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the Prince of Puzzlers coaxes his cohorts in a chorus of praise." (:24)
Riddler: "Tell me again, you cringing knaves, am I not the king? Breathes there another mortal who has absconded with a $200,000 anniversary present from under the cowl of the Caped Crusader?"
Goons (lifelessly): "No, Riddler, no one."
Anna: "And who else would be clever enough to turn in a false fire alarm?"
Riddler: "So the real rescue truck would run interference for my escape. Ha ha! What a marvelous piece of riddling genius that was. But I've only started with the Caped Crusaders. I'm going to confound them with conundrums unnerve them with enigmas, perplex them with puzzles until they wish they were dead. Then, my jigsaw jackanapes, then I'll grant their wish."

Riddler's uncharacteristic bloodlust for the Dynamic Duo's death  (much like Catwoman one time) makes the Duo think Astin would have been far better playing another villain. Vince suggests a returning Puzzler. But at least he wasn't trying to copy Frank Gorshin. 

Anyway, this Riddler gives his goons scuba outfits for the next step, then pulls Anna in close. RD thinks her clothes were very tight. Vince did not think much on her figure. 

In the Batcave the Duo continue to work on the crossword on a chalkboard while Robin still thinks about pie.
Batman: "This puzzle's given us a few minutes of mental exercise but it still has to provide us with a clue Riddler promised it would."
From this they learn about another banquet for Batman, hosted by the Sons of Balboa who will donate $100,000...for some reason in the form of a chest of gold doubloons.
Vince: "Like the chocolate with the gold foil."
RD wonders how Batman will cash it. 

Gordon calls: a vault in the Gotham City Bank has just been flooded.
Robin: "A flooded vault."
Batman: "Or a flooded bank."
Robin: "A bank wet, Batman."
Batman: "No doubt Riddler intended to divert us to the wrong banquet...No doubt a wily ruse of some kind. We'll need our Batrespirators."

Narrator: "While the champions of justice race to the Gotham City Bank, the Riddler and his frogmen are already at work in its watery vault room." (:34)

The show does a good job of making a flooded vault, which the villains show off by moving in slow motion as they blow open a safe and fill up a waterproof loot sack as the Movie theme plays (also in slow motion). The Duo arrive to cue up the series' one and only underwater fight; their stunt doubles fight in slow motion while the capes remain still and the Narrator's word bubbles are all watery. The Bros would have watched this all day.
Riddler manages to distract Batman from following by pulling out Robin's Batrespirator while the theme continues to play in slow motion.
Goons: "Worked like a charm, Riddler."
Riddler: "Why not? There's a difference between a Batman and a frogman."

Leaving the vault all wet the Duo find the next riddle speared on a door.
Batman: "Only Riddler and his ilk would have such a flagrant disregard for private property! This door will have to be repaired!"
Robin: "What does that giggling gorilla have to say this time?"
Batman: "Another one of his canny conundrums. "When is a man drowned but still not wet?""

Narrator: "Back in the soon-to-be-opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the Prince of Puzzlers tallies his ill-gotten gains."
This requires the goons to literally launder the money, totaling $1.5 million and one, half of what is needed for their plans.

Riddler: "You shallow-brained simpletons, where's your imagination? Your ambition? Why do I have to keep reminding you? Three million dollars will buy us a weapon so awesome, so destructive, so  terrifying, the Gotham City fathers will get down on their miserable knees and offer me anything not to  use it. The entire city will be mine, mine, mine! Caped Crusaders will be wherever it is Caped Crusaders go...when they're dead."
His goons take a delay before they laugh with him.

He then gets visited by a Professor Avery Evans Charm, who needs the amount to complete his "Demolecularizer" "and watch the members of the Gotham City Science Institute quake at my handiwork." He needs the revenge since...he's a high school dropout.
Riddler: "So am I."

Narrator: "When is a man drowned but still not wet? Unaware of the ghastly fate that awaits them, the Caped Crusaders struggle valiantly to solve the Riddler's latest conundrum." (:42)
Not even the Batcomputer "Bat Mo & Ind Computer" can help, whatever that is.
Alfred then appears to remind them of their schedule. "I understand that the Gotham City Baker's Guild
has prepared a rather unique cake in your honor, and wishes you and Master Robin to, uh, pose for the sculptured, uh, marshmallow figures of yourselves which will top the confection."

The cake is a giant one for some reason.
Batman: "It is rather formidable, isn't it?"
One of the goons is pretending to be a chef (Down is his name, Across is the other) and somehow towers over the Duo. He asks them to stand on top of the cake because they need to make a mold of their posing. Of course the Duo find nothing wrong with this, their minds still being on other things.
Batman: "That's the second appointment we've forgotten today, Robin, the final ceremony at Gotham Square Park. In which the funds accumulated in our honor will be turned over to our favorite charity."
The Bros wonder what this charity is, completely forgetting the Wayne Foundation. 

The Duo get on top just as Riddler shows his face, also in a chef's outfit.
Riddler: "Congratulations, Bat brain, you've risen to the occasion."
He pulls a giant lever next to him and the Duo start to sink into quicksand.
Batman: "Riddler's own prepared mix, cleverly disguised as strawberry icing."
Riddler: "That's right, you sinking saps. Quicksand, 15 feet of it. Call it an anniversary present. Sorry I can't stay around to see you descend into oblivion, pastry faces, but I have an appointment to keep with some money at Gotham Square Park."
He then sings his own "Happy Anniversary" before departing.

Batman: "I did think it would all end differently, somehow less ignominiously. To drown in my own anniversary cake."
Robin: "Drown? But in quicksand?"
Batman: "Yes, old chum. Death in quicksand is technically drowning."
Robin: "That's it, Batman! The answer to the riddle! When is a man drowned but still not wet? We'll be drowned, but in quicksand so we won't get wet. Excellent! You've done it again!"
Batman: "Lot of good it'll do us now, though."

Narrator: "Can this be true? Batman and Robin caught in a quicksand cake mix? Is the party really over? Will Happy Anniversary be an epitaph for the Dynamic Duo? To see if they sink or swim, tune in tomorrow! Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!" 

Vince: "AEW had a match in an arcade?

RD wants to send his glasses to Vince so he can see better.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [6] (John Astin)
  • Blue Van: 1. (Red)

Episode 82: Holy Chowder!: March 12, 2023

Penguin's Disastrous End
February 2, 1967
"The Penguin attempts his scheme's masterstroke, complete with an audacious means of escape no one will see coming."
65 minutes

RD: Dizzy Filet of Soul. Vince thought it said "filly". He is quite excited today, although the episode wasn't as top tier as the earlier two.

The ABA was formed on the original air date, including Vince's beloved New York Nets Americans.

Narrator: "When we last saw Batman and Robin, they were locked into suits of armor and about to be pressed into paperweights by a giant hydraulic crusher. In just one moment, we'll see the crunching finish of our adventure."

Of course the Duo easily break out of the cube they were "crushed" in, completely unharmed from being under "a hundred thousand pounds of pressure". Why it's simple: they also keep the Batmobile's spare tires in their utility belts, which they use to push against the crusher and give them space. But of course. RD demonstrates to an incredulous Vince with some risque arm movements. 

Meanwhile Penguin is in Aunt Hilda's lair telling his goons to store their armor. (:08) When a goon asks why Penguin just gives him a dirty look. 

Penguin: "You got any more stupid questions?"
Goon: "Uh, no, boss."
Penguin: "All right, then close the door. And lock it, fink. Now, where is that dizzy filly of soul and her dizzier aunt, huh?"
Marsha: "I'm not so sure I like being called dizzy, darling."
Hilda: "And I'm not sure I like all those bumpkins cluttering up my nice cave."

She is not sure if she wants to make a stronger love potion for their "diabolical caper" since they are all "barging in here like a rude gang of rowdies."
Marsha: "Oh, don't be angry, Aunt Hilda. After all, Penguin has no place else to go."
Penguin: "No, Auntie. You wouldn't want a poor, homeless bird thrown out into the street, would you? Quack. Quack."

Hilda relents and goes to concoct it, as Penguin needs it to break into a subtreasury to steal $10 million in gold and use it with his stolen military plans.
Marsha: "Why don't you just use the suits of armor?"
Penguin: "That worked once. It won't work a second time."
Yes, it's not as if it proved its use after breaking into the Pentagon Hexagon. 

Unfortunately Hilda is out of lizards, so the potion won't be as potent. Again. Marsha decides to help for once with the secret ingredient of dance: "Don't get yourself in a stew, Pengy."

At Gordon's Office, O'Hara wants to throw Penguin into a scrap pile.
Gordon: "Rock pile would be more appropriate, chief, since there is one at Gotham State Prison."
Vince: "Is that a real thing?"
Vince: "Maybe Tammy Sytch is making licenses."

Gordon tells Batman that Penguin's plans were outdated by more than 20 years, so much so that they are not on any inventory lists. They do however have "special meta-piercing bullets" in case Penguin decides to use his armor again, assuming the police can actually hit. 

Also for some reason "the police switchboard is flooded with calls about hundreds of lizards running around the Murray Park section of Gotham City." Batman thinks they could lead them to Aunt Hilda. To the park!

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in the basement of the subtreasury building, $10 million worth of gold bullion is being carefully guarded."
The guards complain about their job before they hear the soundtrack. It's Hilda playing snake charming music for Marsha who starts disrobing (as part of her dance of the seven veils). Penguin and goons use the distraction to ambush them and go for the gold.  

The Duo meanwhile have found a manhole where many lizards have been reported emerging from, so they Batrope down into the lair. It's not completely empty; one goon is trying to open up a safe, putting up no resistance as they cuff him.
Batman: "There is no honor among thieves, Robin. (He opens the safe.) It's not difficult if you have
steady nerves and a good ear, qualities destroyed by the tenor of criminal life."
The goon refuses to talk about Penguin's plan. " I might steal, but I don't squeal. And like the Penguin says, after this caper, Gotham City is gonna be in the soup."
Of course this is enough for Batman to figure it out, so they leave him tied to a door as they go back to to the Batcave. 

Robin: "How did that remark tell you where Penguin is?"
Batman: "It wasn't what he said, Robin, but what Penguin had said."
Robin: "You mean about being in the soup?"
Batman: "Knowing the Penguin's twisted mind, he could mean only one thing."
Robin: "Soup?"
Batman: "Name a few, Robin."
Robin: "Chowder. Stew. Ragout. Bouillabaisse. Bouillon. ... Bullion!"
Batman: "Exactly, old chum. Bullion. Penguin is undoubtedly at the federal subtreasury at this very moment. And I'd better call Chief O'Hara."

The Bros argue over if chowder is a soup. (:20 - :27)

Despite the diversion (of the Bros arguing) Marsha is only now at one veil left. At Penguin's sign she blows something to knock out the guards, just as the Duo arrive. The villains respond by...running into the vault and locking the door behind them. The Duo and police take up siege positions to wait them out.

Of course this is all part of Pengy's plan; he brought an oxygen tank, his goons brought construction tools, Marsha got her clothes back and has a drink, Hilda brought her pipe to play on -
Penguin: "If I keep having to listen to that, I'll go straight."
Marsha: "Auntie only gets nervous in closed rooms, darling."
Penguin: "Why don't you try biting your nails?"

O'Hara: "He couldn't possibly escape, Batman. Why, even if he blew a hole in the wall, I've got 200 men stationed outside."
Batman: "I'm sure that you and your fine force of men in blue can handle anything in the realm of the ordinary, chief. But I have a hunch Penguin is cooking up something quite out of the ordinary."
RD: "Why don't they just open the safe?"
Vince: "What if [the villains]'re dead in there?"
My guess is they probably needed to stall for time to accommodate the later climactic set piece.
Anyway Robin breaks out a stethoscope Bat-sound amplifier and a "holy stereo" to eavesdrop.

Cut to Stately Wayne Manor.
TV Anchor: "This is the third day [emphasis mine] Penguin and his henchmen have been holed up inside the subtreasury vault."
Aunt Harriet (braless): "Three days, Alfred. Imagine that. What can he be doing inside there?"
Alfred: "I imagine that our law-enforcement agencies are asking the same question, madam."
Hard cut to the vault.
O'Hara: "What could that mangy creature be doing in there?"
Batman: "I wish I knew, Chief."
Gordon: "And what's he doing for food?"
Batman: "I wish I knew, Commissioner."
Robin: "And what's he -"
Batman: "I wish I knew, Robin."

Hilda has stopped playing by then to have a kitchen to cook up some toad stew (while wearing half a chef's hat). "Do you know how much vitamin B there is in the average toad? Just twice the daily minimum requirement."

Batman feels Penguin will now act, so he goes outside to check on their situation.

The goons announce they're finally done with their work, making Penguin smile in a golden aura: "That Batman thought he had me all wrapped up. That should teach that Caped Codfish something! Never  count your Penguins before they're latched."

As soon as Batman says he's worried, a gold (spray painted) M3 Stuart Light Tank bursts through the wall. (:37)
Robin: "Holy armadillos!"
Batman: "So those were the plans Penguin stole from the Hexagon. Yes, it all makes sense now. He set up his film company to steal the armor from the museum. He used the armor to steal the plans from the Hexagon. And used the plans to build a solid gold tank."
Gordon: "Now he's invulnerable, Batman."
Batman: "No one is invulnerable, Commissioner. Not even inside a tank."
O'Hara (going berserk): "I'll stop that mangy bird if it's the last thing I ever do!"
He moves his car two feet ahead in front of the tank.
Robin: "But he'll be crushed like a walnut!"
Batman: "The brave fool."

The Bros also compliment his foolhardy bravado, especially as the tank completely flattens the car. Penguin and Marsha pop out of the top to gloat as the Duo and Gordon rush to the now suddenly cardboard car. (O'Hara managed to escape into a manhole.)
Batman: "That was a brave gesture, Chief O'Hara. We need more than gestures to stop that fiend."
The Duo run to the Batmobile.

Non fink Howard Finkel was Vince's first driving colleague and introduced him to the Dairy Queen Blizzard.  He also heavily played the lottery.

The tank continues its wondering rampage...somehow. Forget it somehow going without gas (unless the goons brought some with them), solid gold is too soft to really take much hits. Forget the earlier armor-piercing bullets, just throw O'Hara as a human missile to make a dent.
Penguin: "How's it feel riding around in $20 million, Marsha?" (I didn't realize making it into a tank actually doubled its value.)
Marsha: "The springs aren't very good, darling."
Penguin: "Springs? Every bolt of this machine is worth a carload of springs. ... Who's firing that gun?"
Marsha: "Must be Aunt Hilda. She loves loud noises."
Penguin: "Stop that! Those shells are solid gold! Every time she fires that cannon, it costs $50,000!"
Marsha: "Oh, let her have some fun, Pengy. After all, you're a millionaire now." (Unlike before, when he already was?)
Penguin: "Even a millionaire blinks at $50,000!"

Batman (to Robin as they close in): "Can you handle the Batzooka?"
Robin: "The Batzooka! I forgot all about it. You bet I can handle it, Batman."
Batman: "I hope your aim is good." 

Thankfully Robin's stunt double has better aim than he does witty dialogue, and a clean hit easily stops the tank. 
Penguin: "That's a low-down, underhanded trick. Oh, and foiled again. It's exasperating."
Marsha: "Oh. Be a good loser, darling. Page from your own book, huh, Penguin?"
Penguin (to Hilda): "It's your fault! Wasting those golden shells."
Hilda: "Be quiet, dearie, or I'll turn you into a toad. Should I, Batman?"
Batman: "Thank you, but we have other plans for Penguin."
Marsha: "You know, darling, it really is a shame. You and I could have had a marvelous career in movies."
Batman: "I'm afraid your movie career will be interrupted for quite a while, Marsha."
The Bros wonder what she did that could be considered a crime. Indirect aiding and abetting is my guess.

Back at Stately Wayne Manor they somehow obtained the footage from the "movie" instead of giving it to the police as evidence.
Harriet: "It was very nice of Batman to donate Penguin's film to the Wayne Federation of Boys Clubs. I'm sure the boys will enjoy it."
A reminder: this was the same woman who as a member of the "Gotham City Film Decency League" wanted to see the film stopped. Vince reminds that she spent her bra money on drinking instead.
Dick: "Too bad Penguin and Marsha can't see it."
Bruce: "Somehow I doubt if they'd want to, Dick. Besides, by the time they get out of prison, this film will probably be on the late show."
Harriet: "Whatever happened to that weird old lady who was related to Marsha?"
Bruce: "Aunt Hilda? She's back at her old post, teaching a cooking class at the Bruce Wayne School of Home Economics. She never would have left in the first place if it hadn't been for her niece Marsha."
RD wondered why they arrested Marsha for not doing anything, while letting the potion making, tank turret shooting woman go free.
Harriet: "You know, Bruce, I think Batman is quite a good actor. Oh, my, he's very romantic."
Bruce: "I think Batman would appreciate your compliment, Aunt Harriet. Well, perhaps Batman has some show business in his blood."
Alfred: "Don't we all, sir? (To the camera) Don't we all?"

Vince almost forgets to rate the women just before they end recording. (:62) RD gives Hilda 4 Batpoles. Vince has 3.75. (Remember, Estelle Winwood was 84.) The two did not rate Marsha on her last appearance, so they give her 6. If it was as Morticia Addams they would have given 7.5.

Scott Keith of the Blog of Doom will also join in with the induction writing.  

Bill Apter is still not yet in the WWE Hall of Fame.


  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [8] (Burgess Meredith) [8]
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess:  Marsha [2] (Carolyn Jones) [2]
  • SPEAKING OFs: 3. Burgess, anniversaries, writers and editors and stuff
  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1.  Spare tires

Episode 81: Holy Clanking Crusaders!: March 5, 2023

Penguin Sets a Trend
February 1, 1967
"In order to keep a close eye on the Penguin (and hopefully locate the stolen chain mail armor), Batman and Robin rejoin Penguin's movie efforts. The next part of his film is to take place in medieval times. Therefore, Penguin has the Dynamic Duo dress in armor suits, but only to trap them with a giant magnet while he snatches top-secret papers from the Hexagon. Batman and Robin free themselves and follow the villain, but after a losing battle with him, the Penguin has them hauled off as scrap metal to be crushed."
63 minutes

RD Won't Resort to Mendacity. Vince has a subtitle of his own, being 30 Days to Opening Day. He always feels tired after recording the progrem at 4 pm. Now he knows how I feel after trying to summarize it.

Narrator: "When last we saw the Dynamic Duo they were in the Penguin's catapult about to be launched over Gotham City and land like a pair of squashed tomatoes with Penguin's cameras set to record their horrible death! ... We'll be back in 60 seconds with the smashing climax."

Vince wonders if there would ever be a Batman who would become terrified in whatever situation he ends up in. RD wonders how Penguin's snuff film would be successful.

Robin: "Holy cliffhangers, Batman!"

Calm and collected Batman takes the time to calculate the cube root of pi and determine where they will land, ideally straight into a remote controlled Batmobile. RD thinks they should have figured out how to get out of their trap rather than guess if they will survive direct impact.
Vince: "How did he figure that out?"
RD: "Because he's Batman."

The catapult fires two dummies ten feet straight into the clouds, giving Batman literal air to remote control his vehicle. Also its raining below them, and the Batmobile has to stop on the road for some children to move. Vince wondered what would have happened if it ran them over. RD knows what the Penguin would add to his film. But of course the Batmobile gets to the Duo in time, deploying a net to catch them. They then walk over the chassis to get in to drive to the Office.
Robin: "Remind me to give the Batmobile an extra quart of oil next time we change it."
Batman: "And now we have to get our hands on a certain oily bird."
RD has to warn not to do such a stupid idea like that in real life.

Vince bought a John Wick rug for his grandchild who was a fan of "Canoe Reeves". His wife did not approve. 

O'Hara: "The nerve of that vulture! We'll catapult him right behind bars where he belongs!" (:17)
Vince is sure Penguin would beat up the Chief every time. RD would bet on the Chief since he has experience with drunken brawls.
The Duos can't just go straight for the villain for fear of losing the stolen armor, so they have to go back to his film shoot.
O'Hara: "Sure and he'll be suspicious, Batman."
Batman: "I hope he is, Chief O'Hara. Suspicion often provides surprises."

Penguin: "And so my Caped Canaries, you have survived your little flight through space, and now you would like to rejoin my film company? QUACK! What do you take me for, a fool? You don't fool me,
Dynamic Double-Talker! There's some hideously honest motive behind all this. You're trying to trick
me, huh? QUACK! Out of my office, quick. Out! Out! Keep moving, you Cupcake Crusaders! You Dynamic Dingbats!" 

Vince: "Do you know exactly what a dingbat is?"
RD: "I do not know what a dingbat is, but I think I'm talking to one."
Vince aims to forget looking up the term for next time.

The Duo walk into the adjoining office where Batman notices the intercom is on and connected to Penguin's. So he takes the opportunity to melodramatically plead to get back to acting. "I'm afraid I've got it bad, Robin baby."

All of a sudden Penguin is listening while carrying a poodle named Mac, and puts it on his desk. (:24) RD reminisces about his old poodles Raleigh and Piper. Both remember their dealings with Piper. The man, not the poodle. Vince out when appearing on Piper's podcast that their heat came from Piper thinking Vince sent Ed Ferrara to meet him first in some sort of power dynamic rather than a misunderstood chance encounter. 

Anyway Penguin takes the bait and invites the Duo back to his movie. "I was once a struggling young actor myself."

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in an isolated section of Gotham Central Park, Marsha and her aunt Hilda are looking for elderly toads for Aunt Hilda's evil potion."
Marsha: "How long are we going to have to wait?"
Hilda: "Last time I waited two weeks."

Thus concludes Marsha's (and Hilda's) lone scene on today's episode.

Robin (back in the Batcave): "Great acting job, Batman. You could run for senator. Or governor."
Batman: "Thank you, Robin. Who knows, perhaps I do have a little touch of show business in my blood."
Robin (checking the script): "Holy history. Penguin's gone from Rome to the Middle Ages. The second part of his script is set in medieval England."
Batman: "It doesn't surprise me, Robin. The criminal mind is characteristically erratic and unstable."
Robin: "And gullible. He fell for that act of yours hook, line and sinker."
Batman: "Needless to say, old chum, I don't like having to resort to such mendacity. But considering the
circumstances, I think it was justified."

Returned to the shooting set, the Duo are now wearing large suits of "quite ordinary armor". (:36) As they lumber onto their spots, some goons sneak up behind them and pin them with a two-ton electromagnet.
Robin: "You underhanded weasel!"
Penguin: "Thanks for the compliment, Boy Bigmouth."
They are hoisted up into the air. Penguin will deal with them later after "a little appointment with General MacGruder at the Pentagon Hexagon. It seems the good general also has a yen to be a movie actor." He order his also armored (with the stolen gear) "Von Pengy's Blitzkrieg" to march behind him as they leave.
Vince keeps seeing his smoking ashes all over his suit.

Robin: "Holy catastrophes, Batman! I'd sooner see the Russians in the Hexagon than Penguin!"
Batman: "We must stop him, Robin. The Generals at the Hexagon are capable men, but they're trained in open warfare, not the devious kind that Penguin practices. I don't know why they can't just make a deal to send him to Vietnam to help our boys out."

Of course MacGruder is more than happy to work with the Penguin. What, the US military working with Hollywood? Get out of here!
MacGruder: "You, uh, did say that there might be a little part in the picture for me, huh?"
Penguin: "A little part, sir? For a man of your acting ability, there is a colossal part. It is two lines longer than Hamlet, sir."
Shakespeare's longest play of 4,000 lines could take more than four hours to run through, even today. That is unless Penguin meant a shortened radio version, of which Meredith would have had some experience at.)
MacGruder: "Then you do think I have some acting ability, huh?"
Penguin: "Oh, I think all generals do, sir. I think it's part of their equipment, like, uh...like gills on a fish."
He offers the General "an exclusive five-year contract" when he retires.

Major Beasley then enters, so Penguin offers him "an exclusive five-year contract". (He quickly revises his contract for the General to 10 years.) He asks Beasley about Room X, which connects to Room Y, which connects to Room Z. He orders his finks crew there to steal its contents.

MacGruder: "They're heading for Room Z. Beasley, call the cavalry."
Beasley: "Sir, we haven't had any cavalry since 1910."
MacGruder: "Oh. Well, call the army."
Beasley: "Yes sir...sir, we are the army!"

(Of note: Bob Hastings as the Major was parodying his role as Lt. Carpenter on McHale's Navy. He would also do very well in voice acting including...Commissioner Gordon (from The Animated Series until his death). He probably learned from General Alan Reed who among many roles in his storied career was the original Fred Flintstone.)

They somehow muster some men, perhaps remembering that the US Army does still have cavalry (where do they think their tanks and armored vehicles are?).
MacGruder (to himself): "Remember the Alamo, MacGruder. Remember Custer...No, no, let's forget Custer. Remember Grant and Lee, and Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill. That's it. Remember Teddy Roosevelt."
He has his men fix bayonets before charging in, only to find the armor impervious to their bullets.
During the 'skirmish', among the contents the goons rummage through are "Corn Cob Pipes", of the kind General MacArthur sometimes enjoyed, and "Pearl Handled Revolvers", of the kind General Patton was reported to have handled. 

Meanwhile the Duo are still stuck. (:45) Batman has another idea. He throws something at a nearby lamp to short circuit it, cutting off all the power, including to the magnet. They have no time to get out of their armor as they rush to the Hexagon. 

The villains escape in a blue van despite the soldiers trying to shoot at the tires.
MacGruder: "We have no choice, Beasley. Call the Air Force."
Beasley (noticing the Batmobile): "Sir, I think we may have something better than the Air Force."
Cue car chase with the Duo still in their armor. All the better to hide their stunt doubles, I'm sure.

Batman predicts the blue van can not support the weight of the Knights of the Round Table and their footwork impeccable, and sure enough the next turn flattens one of the tires, causing everyone to run into the nearby alleyway. 

Penguin orders his goons to fall back to their (only a model) lair: "I'll hold off the Clanking Crusaders." He then picks up and rolls barrels at them ala Donkey Kong, bowling the armored Duo down, then gasses them just to be sure. "Now you're in the trash heap where you belong, Dynamic Dodos."
At that moment, a dump truck for Jolly Jim's Scrap Metal Yard pulls up. Penguin offers the crew $10 for some "Scrapped Crusaders". 

And so the Duo are dropped straight into a trash compactor about to be smashed into a cube. And without any protocol droids around to help stop the machinery!

Narrator: "The Dynamic Duo a pair of paper weights? This time the pressure is really on them! Tune in tomorrow for the crushing finale! Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!"

While he was not in this story, RD received a clip of Cesar Romero in the Joker makeup promoting the Movie. (:54)

RD wrote about an early Ultimate Warrior "match" where even then he was not sure what to do. Bobby Heenan would remember how bad his bouts were even with Andre the Giant. Vince remembered how Warrior would satiate his sugar fix by crushing Mrs. Field cookies and inhaling their scent.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [8] (Burgess Meredith) [8]
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess:  Marsha [2] (Carolyn Jones) [2]
  • Window Celebrity: 2. Alan Reed, Bob Hastings
  • Blue Van: 1
  • Screen Shares: 1. Vince