Episode 118: Holy Cash!: November 27, 2023

Penguin's Clean Sweep
January 25, 1968
"The Penguin contaminates all the printed money with Lygerian Sleeping Sickness in order to claim them himself but is dangerously frustrated by Bruce Wayne's countermove."
44 minutes

RD WANTS A BAT SWATTER. He marvels at he and Vince doing a video progrem together covering such a television series as this, which is in its waning days.

Vince remembered watching the episode on first airing.

Narrator: "A peaceful day in Gotham City. But at the Gotham City branch of the Mint, the peace is about  to be shattered by a familiar feathered felon."
We know its the mint because it is a big black warehouse there is a giant penny on the wall, though sadly not that giant penny. RD considers making one of his own. Has he thought about making a coaster?
Penguin breaks in with his lady (Miss Clean) and his goons (Dustbag and Pushbroom). "Green ink and paper make a very interesting combination: wheelbarrows full of money," he notes. RD is reminded of Jim Cornette wanting to do that with title belts. 

Meanwhile at Stately Wayne Manor, Bruce is telling Barbara that he's been elected "chairman of the  Gotham City anti-littering campaign."

[Checks earpiece]

I'm sorry, I'm being told that it's in fact Barbara who's been elected "chairman of the  Gotham City anti-littering campaign," which for some reason necessitated her visiting in person to ask for his support.
RD: "He probably vacated that position, maybe that's why she was there."
Father Gordon is also there, having yet another flimsy excuse to get too close to his daughter. Again.
Barbara: "Daddy arranged for this meeting, Bruce."
Bruce (lustily): "I'm glad he did, Barbara."

Gordon then gets a call from O'Hara informing him on the robbery, so he tells him to call the Batphone. Cue O'Hara being dumbfounded by a phone with only one button. Alfred makes a quick cover on the water line being burst so Bruce can excuse himself to change.

After the titles, we see the Batmobile launch out of the Batcave to rush to the Office, a visual that hasn't been seen in a long while. (:10)
Before the Duo can take the elevator to go up Police HQ Pengy and his goons join them in it. "The Dynamic Do-gooders. You've been helping old ladies across the street, Batman?"
Robin: "We're going to help you into a jail cell, you beaked buffoon."
Penguin: "Leave my beak out of this, you baby barnacle."
Robin: "Let's get them, Batman!"
Penguin: "No, no! Stop this loutish violence, you teenage truant. It offends my cultured soul."
They all pile into the Office.
Penguin: "There's the blue-coated baboon and his boorish boss."
O'Hara: "Perfect witnesses, Pengy, when you bring suit for false arrest."
Pengy in fact didn't steal anything from the mint, so Batman reminds him he did break and enter it.
Penguin: "This is trickery. This is low, conniving trickery."
Batman: "The only trickery was on your part, Penguin. So for the present, you drop the lawsuit, we'll  drop the charges."
Somehow this is satisfactory, according to Chief Prosecutor Batman. They shoo out Penguin and company as Batgirl comes in, thinking they instead left something at the scene. She links this to seeing the mint employees all knocked out for far longer than with the usual gas. Batman decides to go and check the crime scene for himself. 

The employees are still knocked out as Batman investigates, and of course he does absolutely nothing for them. He's more focused on what he finds on some of the bills: some sort of pathogen. "Somnophilia lygeria to be exact. Lygerian Sleeping Sickness. They're normally carried by the Lygerian fruit fly. In this case, Penguin was able to plant a culture of the bacteria in the ink used in making this  money."
Unfortunately a stack of contaminated bills has already been sent to Gotham National Bank. Batgirl goes to check it while the Duo go to the General Hospital for the antidote B-6 vaccine.
Robin: "Holy hypodermics! We'd better get our hands on it fast!"

Narrator: "But at the Gotham General Hospital, a certain well-known bird is up to his usual well-known tricks."
Surprisingly the hospital is an actual set instead of a big black warehouse. In fact the doctor is played by John Beradino, who was then also Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital. (He was also a former baseballer, winning the '48 World Series with Cleveland.)
Penguin orders Dr. Hardy to jab his goons with the vaccine "before I do some jabbing myself! Before I demonstrate the famous Penguin technique of open-heart surgery!"
They then dump the rest of the liquid vaccine just as the Duo enter. Penguin releases three of the fruit flies - you'll have to take his word on it, we can only hear their buzzing.
Robin jumps up and down like he's had too much vaccine trying to catch them, to no effect. "What about the Insecticide Bat-bomb?"
Batman: "I left it in the Batmobile. But we dare not open that door until all three of these flies are dead. Fortunately I brought my All-Purpose Bat-Swatter."
Of course it's bat shaped even if very tiny, and he manages to get two of them. The third lands on Robin's nose, of course, causing a lot of cross eyes from the Boy Wonder. Thankfully it's nothing some Bat-Tweezers can't handle. Robin: "Holy Rip van Winkle." They put it in a Bat-bottle for later. 

Batman: "Doctor, has Penguin disposed of all that B-6 vaccine?"
Dr. Hardy: "I'm afraid so, and the only other supply is in Lygeria."
Batman: "Telephone Lygeria. Have them fly fruit fly vaccine here immediately."
Dr. Hardy: "All right, Batman, but "immediately" means 24 hours."

Unfortunately by the time the Duo meet Batgirl at the Bank, $13,000 of the money has already been withdrawn. Batman calls Gordon to emergency broadcast to the City not to handle the money. How they can make sure to not mix it up with actual money they don't say, but knowing Gordon he will find some obscure way to fuck it up. The Duo then take their leave of Batgirl.

The emergency message is heard on a tiny transistor radio. (RD had to explain one to his wife.) (:23) Everyone in the city immediately dumps all their money away without even checking it first. The money is all left for Penguin with Miss Clean to suck it up with an actual industrial vacuum.
Goon: "I never thought I'd like being a trash collector, boss."
Penguin: "It's different when there's gold in the garbage, huh? (He sees Batgirl pull up.) There's trash of another color on the horizon. Bat-Trash."

The last time Batgirl tried taking on a crowd of people before getting knocked out it took five seconds.
This time it only needs two.
They leave her out cold on the road to continue their pickup. Pengy even sings a little ditty as he does so.

Meanwhile at Stately Wayne Manor Bruce calls all his peers and colleagues around the globe warning them of the situation. Though why he has to do it personally one by one rather than have his Wayne Corporation help out in some capacity I have no idea. Personal touch, perhaps?

Narrator: "And in a (big black) warehouse near the outskirts of the city..."
The villains are all giddy with their gains in the millions. Miss Clean wants a house in the country. Pengy then calls for the "World League of Nations." "You said you wanted a house in the country, I gotta buy you a country to put the house in."

Unfortunately, after declining one country because he's allergic to vodka, he finds that no one is willing to accept his money. Somehow, Bruce managed to tell everyone worldwide in the space of a few hours. Let's see Superman try and do that one day.

Robin: "Thanks to your calls, Batman, there's probably no one in the world who will accept Penguin's  money. A brilliant idea."
Batman: "Merely common sense, old chum. If you can't spend it, money is just a lot of worthless paper,  isn't it? And that's exactly what Penguin has, a pile of worthless green paper."
They still need to deal with the fruit flies though. He asks Alfred to check the Bat-Weather instruments ("I make it clear and cool, sir. Temperature approximately, 45 degrees") before Pengy calls Bruce on the regular phone.
He demands Bruce fix the situation or he will release all the flies. Of course he won't.
Penguin: "All right, Wayne. You have just doomed Gotham City to 1000 years of very sound sleep."
He decides to just steal all the precious metals and jewelry if he can't get the money.

Somehow Batgirl got to the Office as Gordon wonders where Batman is, right before the Batphone rings. The Dark Knight asks them to meet him at the Bank.

Cut to the Bank where everyone is asleep due to Penguin unleashing his flies. He doesn't find it odd that Batman is smiling and resting his head on his hands though.
Penguin: "The flies really did their work. They're all sleeping like babies. Even this mutton-headed Police Chief. Of course he looks like he's sleeping even when he's awake."
He finds a watch and goes to pick it up - immediately awakening everyone.
Miss Clean: "That's what happens, Pengy-poo, when you send out a fly to do a man's job."
Robin: "That's right, Pengy-poo. We're just sleepwalking."
Batgirl: "What do you say to a little sleep-fighting, Robin?"

During the fight Batgirl is lifted in the air, allowing her to smiling kick and jump off a magazine rack. For some reason West's stunt double suddenly has stubble. This is made even more silly by Meredith actually doing his own work instead of using a double. Vince was too distracted by his makeup and prosthetic nose slipping. RD already misses Joker's double. Penguin gets tossed into a trashcan.

Penguin: "You used a foul trick to murder those innocent fruit flies."
Batman: "You murdered them, Penguin, when you let them out. My recent research on Lygerian fruit  flies has proved conclusively that Gotham City's 45-degree temperatures caused an inversion of air  layers."
Batgirl: "Which in turn, raised the atmospheric pressure and crushed the flies to death."
Robin: "You tricked yourself, Penguin. Just as you did when you had that doctor give you a double dose of B-6 vaccine. So large a dose, you'll probably contract Lygerian Sleeping Sickness yourself."

And thus the Penguin exits the series by falling asleep.  

Batman: "I consulted a very reliable weather forecaster who predicted that today would be clear and  cool."
Gordon: "Well, he was certainly right about it being cool but those clouds up there don't look very clear."
Cut to Alfred with an umbrella in a totally different location as it rains.
Alfred (to the camera): "After all, even the best of weathermen is entitled to an occasional miss."

As a bookend, this time Bruce visits Barbara and Gordon at her Apartment, just to ask her for some coffee (and to show off her lovely red dress).
Bonnie calls Gordon to patch through Warden Crichton to tell him that two women named Calamity Jan and Frontier Fanny are constantly visiting Shame in prison. 

Narrator: "But little does Commissioner Gordon know what he's about to see or what trouble that  double-dealing desperado Shame is hatching right now with Calamity Jan and Frontier Fanny in the  prison visiting room and which will explode before everyone's eyes...on our next episode!"

Miss Clean's averageness has made Vince completely forget all about her. He gives her 5 Batpoles and guesses 32 years. RD is more generous and gives 6 even though he wrote "TON OF MAKEUP". 41 year old Belge-American Monique van Vooren was most active on screens in the 50s and 60s. She was more known for her dancing, including advising one of her act colleagues named Ronnie Walken change his name to Christopher.

RD will write about A Rich Little Christmas Carol for his Christmas inducting. He first has to figure out how to write about Truman Capote.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [11] (Burgess Meredith) [11]


  • Window Celebrity: 1. John Beradino
  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Gimmick

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