Episode 115: Holy Ace Attorney!: November 6, 2023

The Joke's on Catwoman
January 4, 1968
"Following a tip from Batgirl, the Dynamic Trio meet up at the Grimalkin Novelty Company, hideout of the Joker and Catwoman. There, they overhear the arch-criminals' plot and secretly trail them to a stash of hidden gunpowder. A careless mistake spoils the villains' evil plan, however, and they are captured and brought before the Gotham City judge. But when the jury seems less than interested in justice, courtroom mayhem ensues."
45 minutes

RD Is In Kitt's Corner. Is that the follow-up podcast to The Joker's Mustache? He wears his Catwoman shirt for her final show appearance.

Vince is old enough to remember The Ring magazine, now in digital form. He does not like extreme combat sports where people could get extremely injured. He does not ever want to see Sid Vicious' broken leg. RD was actually there to see it in person. Vince actually spoke for Sid in his ensuing lawsuit. Both prefer him now as a current happy grandfather on social media. 

Narrator: "What's this? An ambush outside the home of millionaire Karnaby Katz? Where Catwoman, the Joker, and their evil cohorts lie wickedly in wait for Batgirl and the Caped Crusaders." (:05)

Leaving their last cliffhanger of...arriving too late to a crime scene, the Dynamic Duo just...drive off without any hindrance. Apparently doing the gentlemanly thing of waiting for Batgirl to also leave is not in their agenda, because she finds her Batcycle's spark plug has been taken by Catwoman. The villains quickly tie her up and leave her on the ground. 

Catwoman (to Joker): "Those Cat's Whiskers, a fiendish invention of mine, they automatically contract  when placed in close contact with the heat of the body. So in seconds, Batgirl will be strangled to death, thereby ridding Gotham City of one-third of the Terrific Trio. You see, when I do a job, I do it right."
RD was easily amused by Kitt's rolling delivery as "she's giving herself a paw."

Now why wasn't this the cliffhanger?

After the titles, Batgirl sees a sprinkler control with two big buttons, which she manages to reach over to and turn on with her nose. This cools the rope, causing it to loosen and slacken, but more importantly gives the rather impressionable audience the visual of Yvonne Craig in a wet t-shirt (while her theme plays on a theremin). 

Meanwhile in the Batcave, Batman declines Alfred's offer of a snack. "You know I never mix crime-fighting with eating." Robin still reaches for one anyway.
Gordon calls on the Batphone: "Batgirl just called me, Batman. She wants you to meet her at the  intersection of Cattail Lane and Ninelives Alley. That's behind the novelty manufacturing center of Gotham City."
Batman: "The Grimalkin Novelty Company is on that corner."
Robin: "Grimalkin? What kind of a name is that?"
Batman: "An obscure, but nevertheless acceptable, synonym for "cat," Robin."

At the big black warehouse novelty company, the villains consult a map of Phony Island (to the south of the city) which was on the stolen nightshirt. The crib has the starting location in backwards French, which Catwoman has to read to a knowledgable Joker as they technobabble the destination.
Joker: "Ooh. That's the first time I ever heard a cat purr in French."
Catwoman: "Skip the flattery, Joker."

The Trio are already laying in wait watching the villains leave their lair.
Robin: "How about rushing the place, Batman?"
Batman: "I think not, Robin. All they've done so far is stolen a few items, attempted to kill you, me and  Batgirl. No, I think they plan something really big."
For some reason Batman asks Batgirl to sit with them in the Batmobile. Normally it's supposed to be quicker that way. But of course, the way he has such the look as she thinks it will be "cozy" speaks for itself.

RD as Batman: "Why don't you sit on the Batlap and let's talk about the first thing that pops up?"

The villains arrive at the big black warehouse Phony Island lighthouse where they look for the buried gunpowder. They are joined by the inhabitants, named Mr. and Mrs. Keeper, and their antics confused RD to no end, particularly the Mrs' desire to vacuum the upstairs bedroom. Vince kept seeing makeup on Mrs. Keeper's turtleneck in high definition. He actually knew who they were based on some of their work of the time (Louis Quinn and Christine Nelson, also a couple in real life).

The Trio finally appear as Joker complains they were supposed to be "kaput, finis, defunct." This would have originally been referencing the cliffhanger when it was supposed to be an actual cliffhanger of a deadly trap like of old, instead of what we got with them walking into a room.
Batman: "We're very much not defunct, Joker. Neither is Batgirl."
Catwoman: "This is some sort of perfidious trick. I'll bet it's done with mirrors."
Batman: "The mirror is broken, Catwoman. The last cat has crossed our path. From now on, all the luck is with us."

Joker accidentally hits another button, which just so happens to open a secret room revealing all the gunpowder. So he goes to inspect it.

By lighting a match. 

Batman: "Put that match out, you fool! It's going to explode!"

For once Joker listens to his archenemy.

By throwing the match inside. 

(Also the match is clearly shown to have been blown out after he throws it.) 

So the obvious happens. There is an explosion and everyone is unscathed.
Robin: "Holy return from oblivion! We're still alive!"
Batman: "Yes, Robin. Still alive. In the split second before the actual detonation of the gunpowder I was able to infuse this one room with Anti-Blast Batpowder."
Mrs. Keeper: "But what about the upstairs bedroom? I just vacuumed it."
Batman: "The city will make it up to you. They'll take the cost of your home out of Catwoman and  Joker's prison pay for making license plates."

Catwoman requests to make her one phone call to "Lucky Pierre, the world's greatest and luckiest criminal attorney. He's never lost a case." Batman gives her a dime for it.

Thankfully for her Pierre is his big black warehouse office to receive the call (as Louie the Lilac's theme plays). "Now, be still and don't utter a meow. I'll see you in court. And if all goes well, knock on  wood, I'll have you sprung before pussy-willow time."

As colorful as it may be, it is not as colorful as the actual actor. Well, 'actor' since he went uncredited. And he wasn't even an actor at all. Pierre Salinger was a journalist (initially known as Lucky Pierre), press secretary for Kennedy and Johnson, senator for California (for all of three months), and inadvertent conspiracy theorist about believing everything on the Internet (concerning TWA800).

Also he has a sight gag photo of his desk of Nixon.

One only knows how he would be a good fit for such an extended cameo, but needless to say he wouldn't be the first of his ilk in such a role. I guess even now not much has changed in that aspect.

So we immediately go to the big black courthouse (:24) as Pierre informs his clients that District Attorney Harvey Dent is taking his turn to choose the jury.

[Checks earpiece]

I'm sorry, I'm being told that Dent didn't actually appear in the Silver Age at all. That would be in the Bronze Age three years later. So he's not appearing here either.

So instead the attorney is...any guesses?

Yes, it is of course Batman "because of his familiarity with the case", despite his officer deputizing not covering prosecution in a court of law. Perhaps he put in a good word to millionaire Bruce Wayne, chairman of the Gotham City District Attorney's Office.

RD: "I have only been to court once, and it was because I was there for jury duty. Gotham City sounds like it has the worst judicial system ever. OK, Batman caught these alleged supposed crooks. Now he's going to be the DA or whatever for this? And then he also gets to choose the jury? What kind of kangaroo court is this?"

The totally unbiased and partial jury arrive with Batman, and West takes the opportunity to rehash the time he guest starred on Perry Mason with some extreme overacting.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. (He pauses, suddenly seeing that he did not choose any women for his jury.) Uh, gentlemen of the jury, we are gathered here today to prove that Catwoman, Joker, and  their men, are guilty of several major offenses. To wit: robbery, attempted murder, assault and battery,  mayhem, and overtime parking."

He calls Little Louie Groovy to the stand (full name Little Louie Groovy) to state that he was robbed "on the night of July 22nd of this year" by "those cats over there, the chick with the swinging outfit, the  creep with the green hair, and those four clowns."
Batman: "For the record, witness is pointing to the defendants."
Batgirl: "He's so authoritative. So confident."
Robin: "The more you work with Batman, the more amazing he seems."

Despite this...descriptive statement, Pierre doesn't ask for a cross-examination. In fact he doesn't do any for each witness, as we fade to the last of them of the Keepers, somehow both being questioned together in tandem.
Batman: "And that's your statement, Mr. Keeper."
Mrs. Keeper: "That's his statement, not mine. I had just vacuumed the upstairs bedroom. And now  there's no bedroom upstairs anymore."
There is no cross-examination here either, save just to keep this random joke thread going to pad out the runtime. Both Batman and Joker wonder what his game as he sits holding a (lucky) wishbone.

Batman: "Gentlemen of the jury, you've heard the evidence of 14 separate witnesses including Robin the Boy Wonder, and Batgirl. Each one of them corroborating the other's story that those defendants are guilty of all the crimes with which they are charged. In the interests of law, order, justice, good fellowship, and the flag, [emphasis mine] you must convict them to keep our streets safe from evil persons. Thank you."

Of course Robin is standing up and cheering for this 'immense' effort. Batman has to tell him to sit down. He says this mind you; the judge, who normally should be the one to say so, just sits there with a rather ridiculous puff of white hair that makes him look more villain than law person.

The totally not villainous judge calls on Pierre to give his closing argument...which he doesn't. So he orders the jury to go and deliberate.
Foreman: "No need for that, Your Honor. We have already made up our minds. ... We find the defendants, Catwoman, Joker, Giggler, Laughter, Smiley and Gus...not guilty of any of the charges."
Then the jury all laughs.
Catwoman: "There's something very cat-fishy about this whole thing, Batman."
Batman: "Every man is entitled to his day in court. We must abide by the jury's decision."
Judge: "Normally, after any case, I never make any statement to the jury. However, today I cannot resist. Never in my thirty years on the Gotham City bench have I seen a more callous disregard for the facts in a case. You are all to be chastised for making a travesty out of the judicial process."
Foreman: "Aw, stow it, Judge!"

He shouts this with such furor that his mustache drops, revealing that he is in fact someone named "Marvin the Moose" who had worked with Catwoman before, sitting next to a "Dave the Dummy" who had also worked with Catwoman before.
Batman: "Your Honor, I move for a new trial."
Judge: "On which of several grounds?"
Batman: "On the grounds of a prejudicial jury."
Catwoman: "You don't know how prejudicial, Batman!"
Why, it's almost as if Batman didn't do full due diligence when choosing his totally nonpartisan jury!

Marvin then pulls out a gun, leading up to our episode's fight. Thankfully this is a good one, once again featuring Joker's stunt double. RD will be sad to miss him after the show's end. Batgirl's smiling kicks on top of a table almost cause it to fall down. Catwoman swings on a chandelier, which every courtroom has. The judge provides his assistance by hitting Joker on the head with his gavel. 

Batman: "Will you never learn that you cannot outwit the law?"
Catwoman: "Maybe one day I will, Batman, perhaps."
Batman: "You'll never succeed in circumventing justice, Catwoman."
Robin: "Not as long as honest and dedicated law enforcers have a breath left."
Joker: "Oh, forget the morals! Just get us back to jail, so we don't have to listen to these corny jokes!"
Batman (to the camera): "But morals are the stuff men are made of. And until criminals learn that, our  job will not be done. However, if and when they do, we'll be only too ready to hang up our capes and  cowls."

At Gordon's Office, Robin remarks on the characters they met.
Batman: "Don't forget Lucky Pierre. If he hadn't gone so wrong, he might have had to find career in  politics. Won a gubernatorial race, or the White House even."
Hopefully the tenure would be longer than three months.
Gordon decides to call Barbara at the Library to check up on her.

Unfortunately once again a criminal is visiting the Library, in this case Louie the Lilac.
Barbara: "What are you doing with that boutonniere? I remember the time you stunned my friend  Princess Primrose with an invisible knockout spray."
Louie: "This is not an invisible knockout spray, Miss Gordon. It is essence of lilacs. A scent which I  intend to corner the perfume market of Gotham City. I thought that the police commissioner's daughter should be my first recipient."

So of course he immediately leaves.

RD: "Looks like he will be just as uninteresting as the last time."

Narrator: "Louie the Lilac is in indeed back in Gotham City and planning much more than just  cornering the perfume market...as you'll see in our next episode!"

Eartha Kitt gets an immediate increase to her rating because she was still looking and acting stellar at the age of 40. Despite the Bros usually judging on appearances, they also note on when characterizations work, like hers. For this RD gives her 7.5 Batpoles, Vince gives 8. RD wishes Kitt was playing another character instead to make all her own rather than just succeed Julie Newmar, which would have made her appearance much greater and better known. Still, they admired her work. 

Unfortunately for Kitt, two weeks after this episode aired (ironically on an episode parodying the womens' movement) she was at a White House luncheon with Lady Bird Johnson where she made quite a few remarks, including on civil rights and against the Vietnam War including Lady Bird Johnson. For this she was blacklisted in America for a decade (until Carter personally invited her back). She did quite a lot of voice acting in her later years, most notably Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove.

RD hates Santa Baby. Vince has to think on his worst before the season rolls around. 

Santa is training to beat all the children at the Arcade on December 16th. 

RD has to think on what to write about for Christmas.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Joker [10] (Cesar Romero) [10]
  • Extra Special Guest Villainess: Catwoman [9] (Eartha Kitt) [2]


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