Monday, September 19, 2011

The Batscholar on Episodes 15 & 16

by Joel Eisner

The Joker returns in another Lorenzo Semple, Jr story. The show has a few good moments but it reduced the Joker to a small time gambler and blackmailer. The crimes including the stickup at the lounge was way beneath him. I liked way Joker popped into the principal's office to find the one small hole in the screen to spray his powder through. How he entered the room without anyone noticing is hard enough to believe, but Burt Ward's acting throughout the entire episode is totally unbelievable, and in fact his worst performance yet.

Death by electric chairs was better executed in the Ma Parker episode (and even that was not the cliffhanger). The only reason the duo escaped was because of the frequent blackouts in Gotham City and a pair of passing cops. There is no mention of how Joker recruited Susie, and his current gang of Nick and Two Bits (aka the Bad Penny gang, were a step down from his previous episode. When used his existing funds to buy the One Armed Novelty Company, he ran out of money for Joker Henchmen costumes. The two thirty-ish guys had to settle for a pair of gangster style suit and ties.

Actor/comedian Kip King (a.k.a. Jerome Kattan) was the father of Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Kattan, had a mixed career as an actor and as a comedian appearing in both comedy and drama roles. He was one of the founding members of the Groundlings Comedy troupe. King who passed away a little over a year ago at the age of 72, recalled his experiences working on the show, “Cesar didn’t really relate to the other people on the set, in between takes he was aloof and tired. He hated the makeup. It was the biggest show in TV when I did it. I had worked with Adam before on a series called ‘The Detectives’ with Robert Taylor. Adam was always very funny. Good with turning words around. During the fight scene at the end of the episode, we did have stuntman who stepped in to take our place, but I did take a couple of blows. I didn’t get hit, it was well choreographed and it worked.”

"Donna Loren was a one hit wonder.Remember the saying “Every things alright, Uptight and outta sight.” She thought Uptight was a good thing. She said “its wonderful, everybody’s having a great time. Everybody is uptight and everybody is outta sight. I said uptight is bad term. But we got along very well.”

“The best thing I remember about working on Batman was that I was going out with this woman, who had a son that was about nine years old at the time. I gave him a real Batman insignia that they used on the set. She had passed away a few years ago, so I hadn’t seen him for at least twenty-five or thirty years. He contacted me when she died and told me that he was getting beat up at school all the time, and that Batman insignia saved his life, they all started to respect him as if he was the best thing around. He said his whole life changed because of that.”

“The show still holds up. The show was on the same day the Michael Keaton Batman movie came out. I went to see the movie and bumped into my old friend Phil Hartman, who was sitting there waiting to get into the show, but we both agreed after we saw the movie that the TV show seemed to be better. The TV show was a wonderful thing; you could do satire and be a little bigger than life.”

Actress Linda Harrison a short time away from her role as Nova in the Planet of the Apes, and wife of Fox President Richard Zanuck appears as one of the cheerleaders. Donna Loren, has been running an internet clothing company (where she also sells autographed photos from Batman) from her home in Hawaii for the last several years. British actor Greg Benedict who played Two Bits hasn't been seen since his last performance in the 1968 film Boston Strangler. Like many Fox contract players, he many guest appearances mostly on Fox shows and then dropped out of sight.

Director Murray Golden, also directed the Penguin's Nest and the Minstral episodes for the 2nd season. He is better known for producing and directing most of the hour episodes of the Twilight Zone series. He later worked on the Saturday Morning Series Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

The Joker returned one more time this season with the far better Joker Trumps an Ace. An episode so full of plot holes and goofups, it is one of those so bad its good stories. But that will have to wait for another time.

Next FalseFace!


  1. So was Donna Loren dating a woman in '66, or is that Kip King's quote? Just curious. Glad the kid got his insignia!

  2. Full trivia for your information:

    The distinguished gentleman who aska Bruce Wayne to run for Mayor of Gotham City in the teaser is Sydney Smith, who was radio's longest-running Ellery Queen. For a Brief time in the early '60s, Smith was also part of the regular rotation of judges on PERRY MASON.

    I think the next episode has an appearance by the most frequent MASON judge, S. John Launer.

    If Donna Loren really looks like that when she's two years older than I am ...

    ... oh, forget it.

  3. Wow. What a difference some quotation marks make! Didn't mean to be snarky guys, but I really was a tad confused...

  4. Carl William AndersonFebruary 19, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Was one of the basketball players a young, uncredited Dan Lauria?