Monday, December 5, 2011

Episodes 110 & 111: The Funny Feline Felonies/The Joke's on Catwoman

Season 3 Episodes 110 & 111
Original Airdates: 12/28/67 & 1/4/68
Special Guest Villain: Cesar Romero as The Joker
Extra Special Guest Villainess: Eartha Kitt as The Catwoman
Guest Stars: Sandy Kevin, Pierre Salinger
Written by: Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by: Oscar Rudolph

Synopsis: Fresh from being paroled, it seems as though The Joker has been kidnapped by The Catwoman. But we know better and, before you know it, the Dynamic Duo will as well. Turns out the two villains are teaming up to try to locate one million pounds in hidden gunpowder. Once the booty is unearthed, they'll use the TNT to blow a hole in the Federal Depository. 

PE: I'd been wondering what they did with that beautiful green couch in the Wayne Study. After we lost all those Wayne Manor interiors this season, I naturally assumed they'd donated that gorgeous hunk of furniture to the Smithsonian, then Catwoman rolls up in her new Catmobile and I can see pieces of the couch all over that auto.

JS: Yeah, it's certainly lacking the George Barris touch. Catwoman's Kitty Car was the work of Gene Winfield.

PE: Not to harp on the little similarities we keep seeing pop up between this show and the films decades later but watching Joker walk down the street just out of the pen reminded me of Heath Ledger's walk outside of the hospital in The Dark Knight. I'd love to know if he studied either of the former Jokers' moves before jumping into the role.

JS: Okay—I'm calling it. It took you 110 episodes to officially overdose on Batman. Of course it was fun to see the Joker in a suit that wasn't purple for a change. 

PE: Does Barbara Gordon do any work at the library anymore? She's always at her dad's office, looking for a free lunch. I do like that (as Batgirl at least) she's getting sexier and sexier and when she's required to mouth risque dialogue (well, risque for a 1968 kids' show, at least) like in Act Two when Batman suggests the three of them ride together in the Batmobile and Batgirl gets a gleam in her eye and a sultry tone in her voice when she says "Mmm. Cozy!"

JS: I thought the look on his face after that was priceless!

PE: That Bat-creep could not have been very comfortable for Adam West. Hopefully, he didn't have any big dates the night he filmed that. I'm assuming some rug burn at the very least. It did afford the boys a little man-time down on the floor. I desperately wanted to see Barbara do the same crawl. Damn those FCC rules.

JS: Are you kidding? You've never been on a creeper before? I'll go on record today saying not only is the Bat-Creeper the coolest gadget of the season—it's my favorite for the series!

PE: LOL-dialogue comes when Robin notices that the lone scrap of evidence, "just a slip of paper," goes missing when Batbabe leaves The Sleazy Hotel:
Robin: That scrap of paper, Batman, it's gone!
Batman: Yes, Batgirl slipped it into her belt when she thought I wasn't looking.
Robin: You think she's trying to double-cross us.
Batman: No, but she's a woman, Robin, with a woman's inborn desire to outsmart men.
JS: I was disappointed that we were asked to believe that Catwoman's thugs could immobilize Batgirl with fishing wire, until we viewers saw how much she appeared to enjoy it.

PE: How can a babe who cavorts in a purple bondage suit while on the job dress like her grandmother in her off hours? Seriously, did Dough-zier give his wardrobe department twenty bucks and send them  to Goodwill in downtown L.A. for  Barbara Gordon clothing or just raid Phyllis Diller's closet?

JS: It's a disguise, Peter. If she wore a slinky black catsuit (or batsuit), you'd take one look at her and say, "Damn, Barbara Gordon's got Batgirl's hot bod." Despite her carrying them around, one thing that we don't need are Batgirl Antidote Pills...


PE: These sets get worse and worse. Little Louie's bedroom has no architecture to it whatsoever. It resembles a warehouse with a bed in the middle of it. There's no ceiling nor doors, no angles at all. The "exterior" of the lighthouse looks like Louie's bedroom with boulders. There's no background (not even a fake-looking background like we saw on the submarine in the feature film). Look closely from one scene of the exterior to the next scene of the "interior" of the lighthouse and the backgrounds have the exact same colors! In the courtroom scene, it seems the art department had lots of colored construction paper left over from the Fox daycare center.

JS: You're always pointing out those things influenced by the show, so I can't believe you didn't bring up Joker's creation of Yoda-Speak:
Joker: Found us you have, and get you we will. 
PE: These third season multi-parters have no sense of timing in their first act finales. We've already discussed that the cliffhangers have been jettisoned but now the story just seems to end in the middle of a scene. How is that any better than finishing with some excitement to carry us over until next week? Instead we get the Caped Crusaders escaping a peril a few minutes before the end of Act One and then Batgirl doing the same a few minutes into Act Two. Neither one of these "deathtraps," incidentally, measure up to even the weakest cliffhanger in the first two seasons.

JS: During the obligatory fight scene, Robin gets up on a desk to practice trying out for the Rockettes with Batgirl. I think we can all agree who will be getting the callback.

PE: The courtroom scene is a groaner, padded out to twice the length it should be.

JS: The problems in the second part of this story started well before they got to the courtroom. The Keepers' in the lighthouse (another non-set) were another example of 'silly' that doesn't work.

PE: TV actor Joe E. Ross has a blink-and-you'll-miss-him cameo as Louie Groovy's agent. Ross was a big hit on TV as Ritzik on The Phil Silvers Show (aka Sgt. Bilko) (1956-59), then went on to even greater fame as Fred Gwynne's partner on Car 54, Where Are You? (1961-63)His last gasp on TV was in the short-lived but fondly-remembered (by me, at least) caveman comedy It's About Time (1966-67). After Batman, it was all uphill for Ross as he co-starred in such big screen blockbusters as Judy's Little No-No (1969), The Godmothers (1973), Frasier the Sensuous Lion (1973), and Linda Lovelace for President (1975) in which he portrayed the pivotal part of Dirty Guy #2. Former White House press secretary Pierre Salinger plays Lucky Pierre, the lawyer defending Catwoman and The Joker in the courtroom. As an actor, Salinger makes a great press secretary. With his funny little hat, scowl and grunted delivery, I assume he stole his acting chops from Lou Costello.

PE Rating:









JS Rating:










Next up... Louie The Lilac! Same Bat time, same Bat URL!

5 comments:

  1. You guys missed the critical point in this episode, which is that Kitt's Catwoman actually gets into the fight (kind of), and Chief O'Hara performs a useful police act by putting her into a full nelson. Not that, um, I really noticed this too much. No, no sirree...

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  2. You're not the only one who's fond of It's About Time. I made a point of finding it on YouTube.

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  3. I saw this one today, for the first time in a long while (like most of them). In spite of some of the criticisms, I can't help liking Eartha Kitt's Catwoman a lot. If anything wears A LITTLE thin for me, it's all those rolling R's! But it's one of the trademarks of her version of the character, so I can't exactly expect it to be something she'd only do OCCASIONALLY.

    Speaking of "a woman's inborn desire to outsmart men," I was surprised at JUST HOW MUCH Catwoman enjoys "emasculating" Joker verbally in a couple of the scenes.

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  4. I noticed the same thing DMtShooter did. I'm sure Stafford Repp didn't regret showing up for work that particular day.

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  5. "Watching Joker walk down the street just out of the pen" reminded me of the similar scene of Linda Page's uncle, Martin Warren, and his abduction in episode 1 of the 1943 Batman serial.

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