Episode 105: Holy Constitutional!: August 28, 2023

A Horse of Another Color
October 12, 1967
"The Penguin steals a priceless folio of famous parasols from the Gotham City Library. He plans to wager the $10,000 earned from its ransom on a rigged horse race. Aided by his partner-in-crime Lola Lasagne, he disguises the favored entry Parasol as the unknown "Bumbershoot," then enters a painted glue factory horse as "Parasol". With everyone betting their money on the fake horse, it looks like the Penguin will make a fortune when the real Parasol wins the race. But he wasn't counting on a last-minute entry of Bruce Wayne's, the horse Waynebeau, ridden by none other than Batgirl."
53 minutes

RD: Russo's Saddle Monkey. This makes Vince laugh, as it should.

Neither remember today's episode, despite its increased budget for some reason. RD fell asleep while watching the first half of things. Vince found it all ridiculous. They agreed that things picked up later on.
Vince: "This show had to come from one of the writers sitting around the table and having a vision come to him of the Penguin sitting on a horse. That's where this entire episode had to come from."
RD: "I think, honestly, that one of the writers probably had some type of gambling problem, and was at the racetrack and thought "you know what? We could make a Batman episode outta this. It would give me a good excuse to come lay down some money on the ponies.""

Instead of watching the episode on the airdate you could have instead watched the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the World Series. They were led by Hall of Famer Bob Gibson pitching his third complete game of the match-up for only three hits. The next season he would record an ERA of 1.12. 

Narrator: "Daybreak at Gotham City Library, where Penguin has just purloined a priceless folio of famous umbrellas." (:05)
Both Dynamic and Undynamic Duos appear just as he (and Lola) tries to leave, so he keeps them at bay with the sparkler in his umbrella.
Robin: "Holy diversionary tactic!"
Batman lets him go, partly to see where this unfolds, partly knowing how badly the police would fumble an arrest.
Barbara appears, now wearing a pretty green dress, to greet her father. "I guess I better phone Bruce Wayne. As head of the library's board of trustees, he'd be upset at the loss of a rare item."
RD wonders how many boards Bruce is on.
Batman says he will recover the book within an hour as the Duo return to the Batcave. Cue titles without any semblance of resolving the "cliffhanger" or making a good stinger. 

At the lair Penguin and Lola discuss hope no one will recognize their paint-disguised horse. Now they have to wonder what to do with the jockey (Wally Bootmaker, a parody of the famed Willie Shoemaker) who would quickly notice the deception.
Penguin: "That is the sharpest-looking horse of another color I've ever seen in my life. ... My two finks will take care of [Wally] when they get back."

He then gets a call for a placed bet, which he uses to tell them of Parasol "and a late entry by
the name of Bumbershoot".
Satisfied with that, he searches his newspaper's "Saturday review of folios" for a prospective buyer of his folio. One person, a Mr. A. L. Fredd, catches his eye, so he calls the Gotham West Hotel where he is at. "I'm sure that our 10 grand is gonna be in the feed bag, Lulu."
Lola: "It's not Lulu. It's Lola Lasagne."
Penguin: "Well, have it your way. Lasagne, macaroni, whatever."
RD liked Penguin's Popeye-style mumbling, ah gyuk gyuk gyuk gyuk. Vince once worked with the grandson of creator E.C. Segar, and was gifted some of his original artwork. 

Cut to later: Batman has already found the lair's location. To Robin: "I did a little extracurricular crime-detecting while Dick Grayson did his homework." Mr. Fredd (of Penny's Worth) has already got the tome ("a steal at $10,000"). He shows it to his colleagues in the study as Barbara calls.
Barbara: "Oh, Mr. Wayne, I'm glad I finally reached you. I've been trying for over an hour."
Bruce: "Dick and I were out taking our usual early constitutional. Apparently Alfred didn't hear the telephone."
Vince: "Does that not sound like they were taking a dump?"
RD: "They were not."
She tells him about the stolen book despite Batman and Gordon having told her not to since it would be sorted within the hour. "I'm afraid I'm still naive enough to believe the impossible can't be done. I guess I owe Batman an apology." She hangs up. 

Dick: "You're now out $10,000 to that pompous purloiner?"
Bruce: ""Patient men win the day," an apt quotation from Chaucer."
Dick: "Apt maybe, but I doubt if Chaucer had run into Penguin when he wrote it."

At the lair the goons show up late due to the traffic. (:18) Penguin is listening to the news on his little Penguin radio (delivered by voice actor Gary Owens, who did a similar announcer character on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) about Batman returning the folio to the library and "Bruce Wayne, chairman of the board of directors".
Penguin: "Quadruple faugh! She is gonna pay for this. Ms. Gordon, that's who. ... I smell a deep and dire plot in all this. But Ms. Gordon is going to smell something even worse!"
He has another penguin, but rather than it a radio it emits a deadly gas.
Lola: "We don't wanna kill anyone."
Penguin: "She spurned me, didn't she? Well, she's not gonna get a second chance."
He sends the goons with the penguin while he gives Lola some itching powder for the other horses, and another goon to deal with Wally. 

Sure enough, the racing secretary (played by Herbert Anderson, who also played Henry Mitchell, father of [American] Dennis the Menace [Mitchell]), calls Bruce to tell him almost all of the horses have been scratched - due to the itching powder. RD did not see that gag coming at all. There's just Parasol and late entry Bumbershoot, and the latter's jockey of the Penguin is just standing there registering himself.
Bruce: "What does he look like?"
Secretary: "Confidentially, he's a bit of a bird."
Penguin: (Neighs)

Bruce decides to let him race on Bumbershoot and he will get another jockey for Parasol. (To Dick:) "Just as I thought. Penguin has not only overplayed his hand, he's tipped his mitt." He decides to add a third horse, from his own stable, named Waynebeau (after rainbow, get it).
Dick: "Bruce, let me ride Waynebeau. I'm light enough."
Bruce: "No, Dick, I couldn't allow my own ward to ride my own thoroughbred. People might think it was funny. But you can ride the fake Parasol and try to win it."
He wants Batgirl as the third jockey, and he's so giddy at the thought. He has to find her though, which is left to Alfred who gives his boss such a look. Vince was disappointed it wasn't Aunt Harriet. RD has to break it to him she will not be appearing much going forward. Vince promises to rate her the next and final time she appears. 

Meanwhile the toy penguin gasses...the other librarian there (named Myrtle). Whoops. Barbara manages to save her colleague before Alfred shows up asking to speak to Barbara in private. 

Back at the racetrack, the secretary is bewildered and livid at the starting lineup, and demands Bruce to cancel it. "If Batman, for instance, told me that this race must be run for a particular reason, that might be different."
Bruce: "And suppose Batman did tell you that the race must be run?"
Secretary: "I would have to hear it from him in person."

So Bruce puts on the cowl. "A very capable man, the racing secretary. Remind me to give him a bonus, Alfred," he requests his returning butler before he departs. 

Meanwhile Lola meets her "Spanish-speaking" horse's jockey, who is in fact Dick trying to speak Spanish. As a reminder, Parasol was her one asset from her Brazilian husband, who would have spoken Portuguese. She goes to bet on Bumbleshoot.

Penguin (looking through his monocle through his racing googles): "That jockey, you know who he looks like? Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's ward."
Goon: "What would Dick Grayson be doing as a saddle monkey, boss?"
Penguin: "One thing he'll be doing soon is eating my dust!"

At last Batgirl makes her appearance on Waynebeau next to the other two horses.
Secretary: "Why, this is getting more farcical by the moment."
The Undynamic Duo move next to him, being informed by Batman to be there. 

The race is of course mostly stock footage. The actual horses and their stunt double jockeys have to deal with some really haphazard editing and positioning. Craig actually wanted to ride in person, but seeing her mount had someone else stand in for her this one time. (:35)

Anyway obviously Waynebeau wins by several lengths. Bumbleshoot is second, and Parasol is third. Batgirl then charges after a fleeing Penguin.
Secretary: "You may have a good-sized riot on your hands, Mr. Wayne. Almost everyone bet on Parasol. Batman better have a good explanation too. It's a very dark day for racing in Gotham City, Mr. Wayne."

Penguin: "I'll change, then we better make tracks."
Lola: "Why? We haven't done anything wrong."
Penguin: "We haven't done anything right. We just lost 10 grand. And the paint is running faster than the horse did."

Batgirl follows Pengy to the men's locker room so the Trio and goons can prepare for their fight. 
Batgirl: "No need to change clothes, Penguin. They'll issue you a nice striped wardrobe where you're going."
Penguin: "Faugh! Armband, Visor, bridle that filly!"
Batman: "No bother to return the many favors you've done for us, Batgirl."
RD: "Batman now is basically taking on the role of Commissioner. Batgirl to Batman is basically what Batman is to Commissioner Gordon."
The fight is again not a bad one, even if Batgirl can't stop smiling during it. 

Gordon: "Well Penguin, looks like your perfidious prank is up."
Penguin: "Perfidious? Faugh, I admit I fixed the race, but I fixed it so the best horse won. Regardless of that, I'm sure that the results of the Handicap will be declared permanently unofficial."
O'Hara: "And you'll be declared permanently incarcerated."
Batman: "Batgirl, she's gone again. Like spray. Like a cloud. Like lightning."
Robin: "We should try to find her and thank her."
Batman: "Mere thanks are empty words, Robin. Whoever she is, wherever she goes, whatever she's  after, I think we'll be seeing more of her."

Back at the Library, Gordon visits his daughter dusting in the Egyptology section. Before he can take her for dinner they turn to see King Tut just standing there.
Barbara: "You mean a real arch-criminal has turned up here in the library?"
RD: "Sister, EARLIER IN THE DAY THE PENGUIN WAS IN THE LIBRARY! This library may be the most popular place for criminals in the entire city."
Barbara: "He sounds fascinating!"
Gordon: "No, darling, not fascinating. He is fiendishly evil, the most dangerous kind of fraud. I better get word to the Dynamic Duo."

Narrator: "So, King Tut has returned, but for what evil purpose? With what nefarious scheme? And what is he doing in this library? Watch the next episode for the awesome answer!"

Of course Vince is familiar with Ethel Merman and her long line of work - she would have been 59 in filming here. He gives her 5 Batpoles at least for that. RD takes her age "into consideration" in giving her 2.5. He takes issue with Vince's spin on age. He counters that it would be for if they tried playing younger roles. 

The "Council of Ruperts" is still determining what games to use for the King of Arcade. RD is certain Q*bert is one of them.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [10] (Burgess Meredith) [10]
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess: Lola "Lulu Schultz" Lasagne (Ethel Merman) 


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  • Window Celebrity: 1. Gary Owens

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