Batman 2.21 – The Impractical Joker

One-third of the way into season two and things are very uneven. This is a very dull and uninspired episode, with very little of note. One thing is that they found a familiar costume for the babe of the week. Kathy Kersh, as Cornelia, is wearing the same outfit that Linda Gaye Scott wore as Moth in season one.

Another thing is that, following their meeting with the Green Hornet and Kato during a Batclimb earlier in the season, Bruce and Dick sit down to watch The Green Hornet on television. As the ratings for both shows started edging downhill, and sharply, it was nice to imagine that somebody was watching that program Friday nights, even if it was only the fictional millionaires in imaginary cities.

I did not recognize the Batclimb cameo in this episode. It’s Howard Duff, the star of Felony Squad, a cop show that began on ABC that fall and continued for three seasons, in his role as Detective Sam Stone. Like Batman and Hornet, Felony Squad was also made by 20th Century Fox, so corporate synergy is very hard at work in this episode. Unless I’m in for a surprise, Duff might be the only actor to show up for a Batclimb cameo and later appear as a Batvillain.

But no, this really is a dull episode. Marie was so bored that she pulled out her tablet to confirm that the producers did not bother to obtain the correct tartan pattern for a character named Ferguson. Daniel was very restless and couldn’t sit still. The grisly cliffhanger, in which the Joker has obtained a Human Key Duplicator – it has a “patent pending” notation, which is lovely – did send him behind the couch. Carving the notches of a key into a human body really is pretty sick. You have to wonder what in the world the US Patent Office was thinking.

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