Monday, November 7, 2011

The Batscholar on Episodes 81 & 82

By Joel Eisner

The Joker having spent some undisclosed time in prison (since the Zodiac Crimes) returns with three all powerful androids (Boff, Yock, and Mr Glee) (he calls them robots) which he built in the prison machine shop. If he could control time (see earlier episode) and create super powered androids, why is still commiting crimes, he could take over the world. Using Mr Glee (played by Lawrence Montaigne, last seen as Stonn, Spock's rival in the episode Amok Time), as a substitute bank teller, he introduces couterfeit money created by the printing machines at his comic book publishing office.

While not a gem, it is a fun episode. The story has some comic book overtones, with the robots, fake batcave, the jokermobile, Alfred in his batsuit climbing up the wall, and the anti lunatic squad of the Gotham Police force and the German Dr Floyd.

This episode was the last of the intelligent Joker episodes, his next appearance Pop Goes the Joker marked the complete dumbing down of the Joker, which got worse in the third season. Don't get me wrong, with the Joker becoming more of a comical clown and less menacing villain, Cesar was able to add more of his comical abilities to the part.

As Cesar pointed out, "The Joker was the kind of a part where you could let go, let loose, and not be yourself and all—just howl and have a lot of fun. That is what I did with the character.”

As for the gang, the three robots were played by Lawrence Montaigne, who besides Star Trek, also appeared on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as the Man Beast.

Boff was played by Clint Richie who besides acting owned a horse ranch, which supplied motion pictures with, what else, horses.

Ed Deemer was another bit player who appeared on numerous shows during the 60's and 70's.

Now, Phyllis Douglas aka Phyllis Callow was the daughter of motion picture Assistant Director Ridgeway Callow. Back in 1939, Callow was one of the assistant directors on Gone with the Wind, which enabled him to get his then toddler daughter (she was born in 1936) a part in the film as the two year old Bonnie Blue Butler. When she died in 2010 at the age of 73 she was one of the last surviving members of the cast of GWTW. She also appeared in bit parts over the years but she did appear on two Star Trek episodes. She was the only female member of the Galileo Seven shuttlecraft crew and she was one of the hippie girls in The Way to Eden. She was actually one of the more intelligent and funny molls, Joker ever had. The costume she wore was reused for Dr Cassandra next season.

This episode and the next the character of Bruce Wayne is given more to do, and allowed Adam West to fight without the confines of the costume. Burt on the other hand was stuck in the costume and in this one he gets caught up in his cape, while in the next one he loses his mask on camera to a tray of doughy clay.

Alan Napier had a funny incident with Burt as he recalled, “I understand why they cast Burt Ward. He was already twenty-one but sounded like fifteen. I do remember one time we were doing some soundtrack dubbing, and he had to do it over several times, and he was complaining that he was losing his voice. So, I said, ‘Look, Burt, after all this nonsense is over, if you like, I will teach you to talk and perhaps even to act.’ He said, ‘Gee, am I that awful?’ But he was a nice boy, really.”

Next Catwoman Goes back to school


  1. Bonnie Blue Butler! That's my trivia tidbit for the week.

    "So, I said, ‘Look, Burt, after all this nonsense is over, if you like, I will teach you to talk and perhaps even to act.’ He said, ‘Gee, am I that awful?’ But he was a nice boy, really.” God bless Alan Napier.

  2. "Out of sight, out of mind ... "

    Clint Ritchie's twenty-some-odd years on ONE LIFE TO LIVE don't even rate a mention here?
    Even with his long-running off-and-on on-screen 'marriage' on OLTL to Erika Slezak (daughter of Clock King Walter)?
    Even with Fox Movie Channel running his one chance at big-screen stardom - as Machine Gun Jack McGurn in THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE - at least once a week?
    (This movie and the BATMAN shot are all that remains in memory from Ritchie's stint as a 20th Century Fox contract player in the '60s; those in the system called the studio "Penitentiary-Fox", not without affection.)

    And no mention at all of Oscar Beregi, with two memorable TWILIGHT ZONEs to his credit?
    (OK, three TZs total, but the third one wasn't all that memorable.)
    And here (in BATMAN) he got to play a funny good guy.

    I guess you really need me, after all.

  3. I love this episode due to the distinctive nature and names of the three androids, Boff,
    Yock & Glee!

  4. When Josie puts her arms around Bruce Wayne she proclaims that she'll be faithful to him forever, "in my fashion!" I noticed he never tried to get away!

  5. When Bruce Wayne suggests to quack doctor Oscar Beregi that Batman's brain patterns wouldn't be much different from his own, Chief O'Hara figures he's having a relapse ("get the smellin' salts!"), which makes even the stone faced Neil Hamilton burst out laughing.