Tuesday, October 11, 2011

41 & 42: The Spell of Tut/Tut's Case is Shut

Season 2 Episodes 41 & 42
Original Air Dates: 9/28/66, 9/29/66
Special Guest Villain: Victor Buono as King Tut
Guest stars: Marianna Hill, Sid Haig
Written by: Robert C. Dennis and Earl Barret
Directed by: Larry Peerce

Synopsis: King Tut is back in town, and planning to use scarabs trapped in amber to create a potion that will paralyze all human will throughout Gotham City. 

PE: Tut's crocodiles seem to be of a unique variety as we clearly see the mad pharaoh tossing them something that appears to be bird feed.

JS: I thought that Batman was loaning Commissioner Gordon leftover pills from his utility belt, but it turns out that his normal secretary Bonnie was out on leave. I guess she always medicated him between scenes. I have to wonder if she dispenses them with half the grace of Miss Patrick—Miss Cleo Patrick ("she seems... eager to please"-Batman).

PE: That Commissioner Gordon always seems to have the babes hanging out at his place. Must have been what distracted Gordon and O'Hara from doing the simple tasks around the office, such as phoning Yale to find out if the menace at large might be King Tut. When Batman suggests the idea, the two dopes light up: "What a marvelous idea!" Batman's call to Dean Gerber is a hoot, by the way. "B-A-T-M-A-N."

JS: Was this episode running long? We don't even see the Commissioner go to the Batphone! There were several nice touches, such as the continuity in rolling out the Sphinx prop from the first season episode.

PE: It ran about forty minutes too long for me. I'm thinking that, given the professor's propensity for falls, would it not be to Yale's (and perhaps the world's) advantage to lay down some foam rubber around the campus? How is it that Buono never made it to the silver screen as Baby Huey?

JS: The Green Hornet and Kato make a cameo appearance during Batman and Robin's wall crawl. I'm looking forward to their meeting again.

PE: Best giggle of the show when Robin asks: "Gosh, Batman, what are they dressed like that for?"

JS: I love the fact that Batman can say just about anything, and it would not be inappropriate for the boy wonder to say (as he does in this episode), "Does that suggest something, Batman?"

JS: Looks like someone's been playing with the dynamic duo's Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker again!

PE: Those bugs seemed to multiply right before our very eyes!

JS: Abu Rabu Zimbu Two! Sounds like a cool potion... but wouldn't it have been more impressive if they extracted dinosaur DNA from the bugs in amber and clone them to take out Batman and Robin?

PE: But! "Think of it! An insect extinct for centuries let loose on Gotham! " Never mind King Tut, imagine what a few of these scarabs could do to the mink coats of Gotham's housewives.

JS: Sid Haig, my man! It's great to see him looking so svelte—while he was still in his Spider Baby/"Ralph" phase—before he bulked up for the majority of his 70s TV appearances.

PE: From Batman to Spider Baby? Seems this TV show was quite the starmaker.
JS: We learn that Batman snuck radioactive pellets in Robin's utility belt. Once he gets past the gratitude for being saved from the world's least articulated animatronic alligators, don't you think he'll be the slightest bit upset about that?

PE: Especially since he could have dropped the pellets in the pit and taken care of the crocs. Of course, Robin is the Boy Blunder (remember he dropped his Bat-Com in the sphinx) so he may have missed the pit! The highly effective crocs reminded me of the drawbridge of the castle at Hole #12 at Golfland. A seasoned golfer knows that patience pays off. Much like my well-timed putt, all Robin would have had to do was synchronize his fall to the opening and closing of King Croc's maw.

JS: If we thought we had seen Stafford Repp sleepwalking through his role as Chief O'Hara, we really get to see that in this episode. Of course once he gets to dangle from a flag pole, you almost appreciate his additional screen time (and his new svelte figure-PE).

PE: I think Robin sums it up best when he sees the dunderheaded cop swinging from the pole several floors above: "Chief O'Hara should know better."

PE: So, let me get this straight: Commissioner Gordon has to take the ball and chain to lunch for their anniversary (as if I'm going to believe that--he's off with one of those swimsuit models from the Bookworm episode) and leaves O'Hara in charge of the office? Did he leave him keys to the washroom? Judging by the look on O'Hara's face when Cleo saunters in, the Keystone Kop has more than "To Serve and Protect" on his mind.

JS: O'Hara as a zombie was nothing compared to Batman as a zombie. And I'm not talking about the arms-outstretched Batman—I'm talking about the six glasses of buttermilk Batman. Damn.

PE: With a lemonade chaser, don't forget!

PE: Inspirational Bat-dialogue of the episode comes when Batman consoles an apologetic Boy Wonder for being such a butterfingers with the Bat-com. Rather than put the Boy over his knee (there were no cabanas available), Bats soothingly intones: "Experience teaches slowly, Robin, and at a cost of many mistakes."

JS: Marianna Hill, who made quite an impression in The Outer Limits "I, Robot," decorates the scenery here as the latest moll to fall for the caped crusader. And in one of the strangest final scenes yet, Commissioner Gordon turns to face the camera, and speaks right to all us kids at home... which kinda freaked me out.

PE: Didja see that wicked smile on his face? Anniversary lunch, my ass.

PE Rating: 

JS Rating: 

Next up... Ma Parker! Same Bat Time, Same Bat URL!


  1. My favorite guest star. For me, Victor Buono as Tut captures the ideal tone for the show. And, as with all the best villains, he plays so beautifully opposite Adam West. West's performance is critical to the humor of the show because he is as dead straight as can be, allowing the guest stars to be infinitely colorful. Buono in particular takes advantage of the contrast, making Tut feel simultaneously superior to and annoyed by the squareness of his sworn adversary. As our hosts mentioned, Buono was a little more subdued in his first appearance. Not anymore.

  2. Buono was a scream, as always. And Marianna Hill became the latest sexy-but-childlike henchbabe to gasp at Batman's imminent demise (I believe director Peerce gives Marianna a full close-up for her adorable emotional outburst - such drama!).

  3. If anybody cares to see a lot more of Marianna Hill I advise you to seek out an old Jim Brown and Lee Van Cleef western called El Condor. She has a most impressive nude scene near the end of the movie.

  4. Just a minor correction. from Batman to Spider Baby. Spider Baby was made in 1962 and not released for four years. Spider Baby came first.

  5. The show produced three regular villains whose motivations were well defined.

    The Riddler was a career criminal whose personality flaw compelled him to tell Batman about the crimes he was about to commit.

    Catwoman was a, well, cat-burglar, with a fatal attraction to Batman. She figured she had to get rid Batman before he got rid of her.

    King Tut was totally deranged, and nothing he did had to make any sense. This worked out well for Victor Buono, who could overplay the character for all it was worth, and rise above any script deficiencies. It was nice to see Sid Haig follow Buono's lead and join in as an over the top henchmen.

    Glenn :)

    P.S. I'm assuming Peter and John added half a Bat Signal apiece for Marianna Hill. :)

  6. As much as I prefer S1's shining, flickering moments, I'll say it loud and proud: Here we have S2 goofiness near the peak of perfection. This may be the episodic moment when mere Carol Burnett spoofery is blown apart, and we're deep into Daffy Duck. I'd have to be one sour puss to refuse this baby, and I won't. I'm in complete agreement with LJS: AW's deadest pan works best when serving the inspired, succulent ham of Vic Buono. Has any character actor ever chewed more scenery to shreds with such unbridled glee as this? Hail the conquering Victor!

  7. I haven't seen it in a long while so this always bothers me - what is the line that Commissioner Gordon says when he breaks the fourth wall at the end?

  8. Awesome website. Thank you! I was having trouble sleeping because for some reason I kept thinking of those damn glasses of buttermilk, and couldn't remember if Batman drank 8 or 6 (either way, that's a LOT of buttermilk - good think no one punched him in the stomach!). You answered the question. Now maybe I can sleep.

  9. Great site. Thanks for all the comments and info. Did you catch King Tut saying "Pinch my Sphinx". Also enjoyed one of the henchmen reading at 3rd grade level.

  10. Great site. Thanks for all the comments and info. Did you catch King Tut saying "Pinch my Sphinx". Also enjoyed one of the henchmen reading at 3rd grade level.

  11. Marianna Hill was still doing nude scenes in 1980, in SCHIZOID bedding down with Klaus Kinski! Of course, Angela Dorian topped that by appearing nude in Playboy BEFORE doing BATMAN's "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle."