Batman 2.26 – It’s How You Play the Game

One of the weirdest cameos during a Batclimb happens this week. A few episodes back, we saw how the show found room to give a little gentle synergy to a pair of other 20th Century Fox productions on ABC: The Green Hornet and Felony Squad. This week, however, Werner Klemperer, in character as Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes, sticks his head out the window.

I find this very odd, because not only was Hogan’s Heroes produced somewhere else, the show was airing on CBS. That network’s Friday night lineup of The Wild Wild West and Hogan’s was kicking the tar out of ABC’s Green Hornet and The Time Tunnel, both of which would be canceled. I just find it very strange that ABC would allow them to promote a rival program that was trouncing their own programming!

The highlight of this episode comes in a scene where Shame gets some bad news and goes nuts. But this isn’t a frightening loss of temper and control like we saw with the Riddler or the Bookworm in season one, where the actors were letting us know their characters were dangerously unhinged. Cliff Robertson plays Shame like a petulant child having a tantrum. It really works for his character: he’s a dimwit who takes himself far, far too seriously.

It’s a very funny episode, and it’s also another one that really goes overboard on Batman’s hopelessly square good guy-ism. There’s this little kid who’s been wandering through the proceedings whining “Come back, Shame, come back,” because Shame has stolen his transistor radio. The kid finally whines and cajoles his way into Commissioner Gordon’s office to get his radio, and Batman gives him this hopelessly hammy speech about being a good citizen. Shame just cannot believe that he’s been bested by a square turkey like this and, unable to hear any more of Batman’s po-faced homilies, ends the episode with a weary “Good grief!”


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