Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Batscholar on Episodes 74 & 75

By Joel Eisner

Of all the second season Catwoman episodes this one is rather unique. Besides giving Catwoman a sidekick named Pussycat, it also had a very heavy drug related theme. Just about everyone in this show is getting drugged, there is so much drug usage, that many stations including Channel 5 in NY (before it became a Fox station) refused to run it. Other channels chose to edit the drug scenes causing the plot to become hard to follow. While I have copies of every episode, I haven't seen or watched this one in years. What I do remember is both of Leslie Gore's songs (one of which is always cut for time in reruns). The part of Pussycat was written especially for her, and in fact the two songs were written into the script. Leslie Gore (aka Leslie Sue Goldstein) was producer Howie Horwitz's niece, so it helped to have relatives in the business.

Catwoman's gang were made up of two stuntmen actors and actor/producer Jock Gaynor (he produced the 1979 Buck Rogers tv series under the name of John Gaynor. His wife Grace was Chickadee in the Penguin's Nest episodes).

This episode also features comedic actors Steven Franken (from the Fox series Dobie Gillis and J. Pat O'Malley) was Pat Pending and Rudy, his Valet (another Rudy Vallee joke from Stan Ross, first the raccoon pelt coat in Egghead and now this). Also Alan Jenkins (aka officer Dibble from Top Cat) as Little Al, the retired gangster,

Stanley Ralph Ross recalled ”I had used some obscure dirty words in the scripts—obscure in other languages. And they got some flack. They got some letters from people who thought it was funny that I used these obscure dirty words. But the network warned me not to do that again, and I said I wouldn’t. Then I was doing a show where they had this sheik that had to be weighed. I called him the Missentiff of Furderber. Furderber is a friend of mine, Skip Furderber, and Missentiff I got from W. C Fields. Well the network said that sounds dirty, said it sounded like furburger, so I changed it to Sheik Ibn Kereb which in Arabic means ‘son of a bitch.’ They never caught it.”

Ross also told me that Burt Ward was complaining about all the dialogue he was putting in the script. So Ross, had Robin drugged throughout most of the episode, which kept him sleeping most of the time, giving him less screen time. He never complained again.

There is a long drawn out chase scene along the roof of the Fox studio offices before Catwoman falls to her death(?) again in the water below. She later returned to go to College.

Next Penguin opens a movie studio and together with the Queen of Diamonds, try to rob the gold bars at the Mint. Along the way they meet up with Fred Flintstone.


  1. Just how young are you guys?

    I was born in 1950, and even as a kid I was an old movie buff,thanks to TV. By the time BATMAN came along, I prided myself on being able to recognize veteran character players on prime-time TV shows and tie them to the old movies I saw on the Early and Late Shows every day.

    As I said a couple of threads back, Bill Dozier and his BATMAN production team were Old Hollywood all the way, and they filled their casts with as many old faces as they could get.
    So when a part came up for a resident of the Old Gangsters Home, who better to get than Allen Jenkins, from just about every Warner Bros. mob movie made from the '30s onward?

    My father didn't much care for BATMAN, but he kept watching it with us because he knew he'd see an old movie face turn up now and then.
    This is why I watch the reruns on MEtv these days.

    Thus far in this otherwise admirable enterprise of yours, I've seen so many missed opportunities for proper tribute to be paid to the great character faces who managed to survive into the '60s.
    Blame it on your comparative youth, I guess; this just makes me all the more grateful for having had a classical education.

  2. Hey Mike -

    Please don't hesitate to use the comments as an opportunity to highlight any oversights we make, and put that classical education to good use! As you'll find repeated throughout our prior blogs, we strongly believe that the long term value in what we're doing is not in what we say each day, but the communal commentary that is generated. Whether it's agreeing with, countering or supplementing what we're posting, anything you've got to add is welcomed!

    John ('70)

  3. Allen Jenkins was Warren Williams' sidekick in the 1st PERRY MASON movie, and George Sanders' sidekick in the first 3 FALCON movies.

    I just don't get that NOBODY here mentioned the major-league continuity screw-up caused by running the last 2 Julie Newmar stories in REVERSE order. But maybe it's just not apparent until you see the NEXT-TO-LAST one run LAST.

  4. The Catwoman continuity is just fine, even with Sandman, so long as you save Pussycat for last. Allan Jenkins: "Criminals just ain't genteel anymore!"