Monday, December 12, 2011

Episode 117: I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle

Season 3 Episode 117
Original Airdate: 2/22/68
Special Guest Villain: Victor Buono as King Tut
Guest Stars: Joey Tata, Henny Youngman
Written by: Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by: Sam Strangis

Synopsis: King Tut steals $47,000 and buys a chunk of real estate located next to Stately Wayne Manor in hopes of mining a rich lode of Nilanium, the hardest metal in the world. Only problem is, that lode is located right under the Batcave!

JS: I had high expectations after the last few Tut episodes, and I'm pleased to report that this one doesn't disappoint.

PE: Watch closely at the scene where Batman and Robin are in Commissioner Gordon's office speaking to the Commish, the Chief, and Barbara (who stopped in for a rare visit), When Bats suggests to Robin they hightail it, the perky Burt Ward hits Yvonne Craig in the face with his cape. Yvonne recovers nicely.

JS: After a bit of a drought, we get an undisputed Batbabe in the form of Playboy Playmate Angela Dorian (aka Victoria Vetri) as Florence of Arabia.

PE: Florence of Arabia Belly Dancing is "Closed due to Stomach Flu."

JS: I want to know what's with the disco lighting in King Tut's lair? 

PE: I'd love to see the original script for these Buono episodes to see what's written and what's ad-libbed. I'm assuming he's throwing out lines off the top of his head since they seem so natural:
"Ah, turkey legs, my favorite fruit." 
(To Florence, after she's sprayed wine on his face, in a very good W.C. Fields impersonation) "No matter, Flo. Your assets far outnumber your liabilities" 
"I know. And so would you if you knew what I know. And if I know you know that you know that I now know huh! Why waste my time with someone who knows. I gotta find someone who doesn't know. You know?"
JS: Buono is great, to be sure, but let's give Ross some credit. He delivered three great Tut episodes in which Buono really shines.

PE: It has got to be confusing at times with all these phones. Batgirl calls Batman from her own private line and from her pop's bat-phone (how is it that Bats had not invented Caller ID yet?). Bats answers the Bat-phone and his own private Bruce Wayne number but manages to keep his phone identities straight. Same with Batbabe. That right there makes them pretty smart in my book.

JS: Another deliberately amusing setup.

PE: LOL-dialogue from the Caped Crusaders:
Robin (with an Opie Taylor smile on his face): Maybe (Tut) just wants to settle down and build a house!
Batman: No, I think not, Robin. Tut doesn't impress me as the 'Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home' type of individual.
JS: My favorite exchange from this episode was between Batgirl and Batman:
Batgirl: Anything wrong?
Batman: Everything's wrong!
PE: I wanted to see the Subterranean Blue Grotto exit, but I was impressed with the mine shaft. It actually looked like a mine shaft, albeit the same stretch of track over and over.

JS: I too was impressed by what is without a doubt the most impressive set of the third season.

PE: Bats needs a compass to tell him that "North by northeast is in a general north-northeasternly direction."

JS: I hope this episode is a wake-up call for those of you considering selling a plot of land next to your mansion with access to your top secret underground lair.

PE: Umm, John, I hate to bring it up but I heard the line: "It's always darkest before the dawn." I'm beginning to think if we went back and re-watched all these shows we could find lots more similarities. Are you game?

JS: Hang on, I'm going to reserve before someone else grabs it.

PE: This would have made a perfect send-off episode, what with the secret identity reveal to the bad guys and the fact that the batcave is destroyed after their tussle.

JS: I liked the fact that they showed no more respect to their home base than they have every art gallery, museum, and public place they've destroyed in the name of a Bat brawl.

PE: Again, it's taken me a long time to warm up to Adam West in this series. At times I thought, "Camp nothing, this guy just sucks," but as the three years wore him down, I think he really got in touch with a strong comedic well deep inside of him and slowly brought it to the surface. Lately, his little smirks, nods, and pregnant... pauses are the best thing about this series. If it had gone into a fourth season, I've no doubt the stories would have gotten even worse but I'm convinced West (and Ward as well) would have gotten better. Witness the lengthy (and extremely amusing) monologue between the two brilliant crime-fighters at the climax after a rock falls on Tut's cranium in the shaft and their secret is safe:
Robin: Holy razor's edge. Was that a close shave.
Batman (sounding all the while like he's stuffed full with blueberry muffins but wants to impress the kid): A calculated risk, Robin. The shale held up by those sagging timbers has been shifting for decades. All we had to do was taunt Tut with our silence. This caused him to raise his voice three decibels above High C which caused the cave-in which, of course, returned... him... to... normalcy.
Robin (incredulously): But... how could you be so sure?
Batman: I... really couldn't, Robin. Earth movement is an inexact science at best. (excitedly) As a matter of fact, yodels have been known to cause... (shrugs) avalanches in the Alps. A mere sneeze was the cause of the 1923 Appalachian cave-in.
Robin: But supposing something went wrong? What if Tut didn't raise his voice? What then?
Batman (kinda exasperated): I prefer not to think of those things, Robin. They depress me.
JS: Wow. If you can warm up to Adam West, I think you're ready for a Shat a Day blog. The only question is whether we start with Star Trek or T.J. Hooker...

PE Rating:

JS Rating:

Next up... The Joker! Same Bat time, same Bat URL!


  1. Such a great episode, filled with great moments. (My favorites: "money goes to money" and "the Don Juan of Aswan" but I haven't seen it in a long time, so there are probably many more.)

    Interesting what you two said about West and Ward. I think Adam West was always good, providing a perfect contrast to the outré villains, but I completely agree about Burt Ward. In the earlier episodes, he is really a distraction but by the third season, he has gained presence and a little subtlety. He still isn't Cary Grant (or Adam West), but it's ironic as you point out, that when the shows got worse, he got better.

    1. One of the best episodes of all time. King Tut is my favorite villian

  2. It's also ironic that the most elaborate set built for an S3 episode would be a shaft.

  3. How often does this happen ... a show is dead and buried, and as a last gasp, throws out one of the best episodes of the entire series. Or, in the case of Batman, two of the best ... the final appearances of Shame and King Tut.

    Tut is unique in the series, in that we learn more about the character with each appearance, and we sympathize with his predicament. Actually, we couldn't care less about his personal problems, we're too busy laughing at Buono's over the top performance.

    I absolutely cracked up at his reaction to getting his hands on the Batman and Robin dummies. I'm guessing someone doubled for Buono when Tut jumped up and down on the dummy, and when he ran up the mineshaft.

  4. YEP. There's only 5 episodes I like at all this season: The Siren (which is almost like Season 1), Shame, and King Tut.

    And ALL 5 were written by Stanley Ralph Ross!

    Have you considered doing a WONDER WOMAN blog? The 1st season of that was fabulous.