Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Batscholar on Episode 104

By Joel Eisner

After the upswing with Pop Goes the Joker last season, this episode proves that Flop Goes the Joker. By far one of the worst Joker episodes and nor one of the best third season episodes. The Joker's Flyings Saucer was the best of his three appearance (he took a back seat to Eartha Kitt in the team-up), This episode is as much a duplicate to Louie the Lilac than any other. Instead of trying to control the flower children, Joker tries to take over the surfing kids. Sort of an enlarged version of his attempt to corrupt the kids when he went to school.

Cesar does his best under the circumstances with his best line being "I know more than he's forgotten". It did give Joker a chance to use the joker mobile one more time and to get outside to a real location set. (although the Hang 5 and other buildings are more limbo sets. It was a really ridiculous idea for Joker to go surfing in his full suit with baggies on top. The closeups of Adam and Cesar against the process screen looked real fake compared to the stuntmen doing the actual surfing. Of all the episodes he did, Cesar hated this one the most. I don't blame him.

The fake cliffhanger turning Batman and Robin into surfboards was unique but the thickness of the boards ruined the scene, They were too thin to have encased their bodies.

The surfing footage was borrowed from the film The Endless Summer.

It was nice to see Yvonne outside of her costume and Gordon and O'Hara trying to fit in but failing to be anything out of their element.

John Mitchum returns as Hot Dog Harrigan, (formally Rip Snorting, from the Shame episode), now that F Troop was cancelled he was looking for work. Sivi Aberg, formally of Liberace's girl gang, is his new moll with actor Skip Ward (Dozier's first choice for the Green Hornet) and monster actor Ron Burke (he played the alien fish monster in the film Destination Inner Space opposite Jonny Quest's Race Bannon, Mike Road).

Yvonne Craig: ‘The crew and I got along great; the cast— Burt and Adam—very well, although I understand they had had trouble with both of them before I joined the show. I didn’t join the show until the third season. By that time whatever trouble they had had with them about being prima donnas, as far as I could tell, certainly with Burt in particular, had vanished. He knew his lines always, he came prepared, and when he finished shooting he went to his dressing room and played chess with somebody. Other than that, he was delightful. All of them were.”

Johnny Green and his Green Men only proved they had better hairdressers than Cesar, his green wig looked yellow this time around. He had said that the wig was green but photographed everything but green.

Next Batman and Robin travel to Londinium (not London as in the Chad and Jeremy episode) where they meet a down on his luck singer (minus his raccoon coat) and Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins as a larcenous brother and sister and her school for criminal girls. And the second and last appearance of Aunt Harriet. Plus the Londinium Batcave complete with skeleton.


  1. Where did Romero express his distaste for this individual episode? Did he say which ones he liked?

  2. When I spoke with Cesar for the Batbook. I asked him about his favorite episodes. After the twenty years since he had done them (I spoke with him in 1985) they all sort of ran together and he couldn't remember one from another. I then specifically mentioned a few to sort of jog his memory and he expressed his dislike for the Surfing episode above all the others. Maybe it head something to do with him getting wet in full costume and makeup, After Pop Goes the Joker maybe it was just a big let down for him. Who knows for sure?

  3. Anyone notice a slip by Dick Grayson in this episode? In the Hang Five, Dick is standing right next to Batman when he tells the Joker that he's entering Batman in the surfing competition. He says, "Mr. Wayne is president of the Gotham Point Surfing Association and I can speak on his behalf". When he says the words "Mr. Wayne", he looks right at Batman for an instant. Ooops, a major slip!

  4. There were aspects of this episode for which one had to suspend disbelief, like the "human surfboards that were way too thin. And it seemed unrealistic that the Joker would surf in his red suit. That didn't hamper my enjoyment though. I especially liked it when Commisioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara went undercove as beach bums!