Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Batscholar on Episode 100

By Joel Eisner

Victor Buono returns for the first of two single part stories, which was originally written as a two parter. Stan Ross split the two stories and changed his queen and henchman but the stories are connected through the Bat Dummies.

The Professor gets hit on the head by a brick at a love in and turns back to Tut. Claiming he is retired he begins to predict crimes that have yet to have happened. Of course, he is behind them. He then claims Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same person and demands they show up together. Using the Bat Dummy, and ventriloquism Bruce tricks Tut into beliving the Bat dummy is Batman. During the next Tut story, he breaks into the Batcave and finds the Bat Dummy closet and realizing he was fooled by the dummy in Batman clothing beats up the rubber Batman, but more on that later. Of the two the next part is the better one.

Buono proves that no matter how bad the series got, he still managed to save the show single handed. My favorite line is when Batgirl shows up in Tut's tent and everyone mentions her name and he responds, that there must be a delayed echo in here. Buono was in a world of his own while on the series, but so was Tut and it worked. He pulled the same routine as Mr Schubert on the Man from Atlantis tv series and it worked again, of course in both cases it couldn't save the shows from cancellation but then he wasn't trying to. Buono was a talent taken before his time. He worked one other time for Dozier as the villain Mr Memory in the unsold Dick Tracy pilot film. It was so bad even he couldn't do much with it. What I would like to see is the unsold Fox pilot film for the Mr Belevedere tv series, starring Buono in the title role. Made in 1966, it never made it to the air, and the idea for the series did not surface again until Christopher Hewitt took over the role for the tv series many years later.

Writer Stanley Ralph Ross “Most of all, I loved writing for Victor Buono. Victor could take an ordinary line and impart three different kinds of meaning to it with his interpretation.

Actor Victor Buono: “Batman allowed me to do what actors are taught never to do, Overact.!” Buono loved playing Tut so much he used to refer to himself as the Fatman from Batman.

Actress Patti Gilbert as Shirley of Arabia (who died in Jan 2011 at the age of 79)was older then Buono at the time of filming, provided numerous cartoon and movie voiceovers, but had a very limited acting career on camera. His henchmen consisted of Larry Duran a bit player and stuntman and James Gammon an established player in westerns and cops shows he later turned up on an episode The Monster Squad as a henchmen. More on Monster Squad when we reach the end of the series.

Next up Milton Berle works off his ABC contract as Louie the Lilac.

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