Thursday, December 8, 2011

Episode 114: Penguin's Clean Sweep

Season 3 Episode 114
Original Airdate: 1/25/68
Special Guest Villain: Burgess Meredith as The Penguin
Guest Stars: Monique Van Vooren, Charles Dierkop
Written by: Stanford Sherman
Directed by: Oscar Rudolph

Synopsis: The Penguin's latest caper involves infecting bills being printed at the Gotham Mint with Lygerian Sleeping Sickness. This bird is smarter than he looks. He sits back and waits for all of Gotham's citizens to dump their money and then vacuums it up with his giant Hoovers.

PE: Did you see the jealousy in Bruce Wayne's eyes when he was informed that Barbara Gordon was Chairman of the Gotham City Anti-Littering Committee? And why would Gordon or his beautiful daughter think that millionaire Bruce Wayne would lift a finger to help with a busted water pipe? He must have a plumber standing by outside Wayne Manor for just such an emergency. I tell you, this show gets deeper and deeper into unrealistic fantasy as the season winds down.

JS: And Batman plays off his ignorance as if he's shrewd. Realizing the Penguin has no case, he makes a deal not to arrest him for breaking and entering in exchange for not filing a frivolous lawsuit. To clarify how obvious this was, even Gordon called him on it.

PE: Stanford Sherman and the other writers of Batman must have had a huge post-it note right above Burgess Meredith's picture at the donut shop they'd script these things at. The note read: "Penguin is either going 'legit' or he's filing a lawsuit." At least I don't have to throw in my usual "how many more times are they going to use this plotline" as this is the last Penguin episode. The next time he'd grace a screen, he was played by Danny DeVito.

JS: Another low point this time out was Penguin's annoying moll. Was there something wrong with her eyes? She always seems to be blinking.

PE: I thought I recognized those breasts. That's Monique Van Vooren, who was pushing fifty years old when she became an object of desire for those of us able to sneak into Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (aka Flesh for Frankenstein) back in the mid-70s. Here she's another generic bimbo moll. Actually she was a generic bimbo in the Frankenstein flick as well. I'm also embarrassed to admit I know who John "General Hospital" Beradino was in his cameo. Charles Dierkop (henchman Dustbag) is a veteran of dozens of TV shows and was Detective Pete Royster on Police Woman for four seasons.

JS: Biting fruit flies? I only wish we got to see Batman use his all purpose swatter to get the one on Robin's nose.

PE: When Bats tells Robin to take a look in the microscope and the Boy Wonder exclaims "It looks like a bunch of tadpoles, Batman," I got that uneasy "camping out with the big boys" feeling again but luckily Batgirl confirmed it was just bacteria on the bills.

JS: If you honestly thought there was some nasty disease on currency, would you really go out in the street and dump it? Wouldn't you at least incinerate it? If you were Penguin, out picking up all the money, wouldn't you think to launder it (literally) before trying to circulate it?

PE: Does Bruce think that talking loud to foreigners on the phone will help them understand his English?

JS: YES. YES HE DOES. We get a new tag-team Batgirl move in this episode's obligatory fight sequence. I like to call it the alley-oop (in layman's terms, the lift and kick).

PE: So, since this was the last Penguin appearance, we can gather that the criminal really did contract the Lygerian Sleeping Sickness and never recovered. If you're going to broadcast the next episode's villain, at least do it with some flair and imagination rather than the same old tired "look who's walking down the street" or "Commissioner, the phone is for you!" The greatest "tell" ever presented was the Joker card at the climax of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. But that's for another blog.''

JS: Yeah, we've come a long way since the integrated introductions (i.e. The Siren) we saw at the beginning of this season.

PE Rating:

JS Rating:

Next up... Shame! Same Bat time, same Bat URL!

1 comment:

  1. "The next time he'd grace a screen, he was played by Danny DeVito."

    NOT exactly. September 1968 saw Ted Knight supply the voice of The Penguin in "THE BATMAN-SUPERMAN HOUR" from Filmation!