Daniel had a moment of fear with this episode. I wondered whether he remembered the third episode of H.R. Pufnstuf, which had a scene that really alarmed him. Then, Witchiepoo threatened to drop the helpless Freddie the Flute into boiling oil, and he didn’t like that at all. This time, King Tut started making threats to do the same. “What is he going to do?!” cried Daniel, and clutched his security blanket for help.
Then Tut scalded his hand on the side of the vat and Daniel chortled. I paused the episode and reminded him that while some of Batman’s enemies, like the Riddler and Egghead, are very intelligent and so smart that they’re dangerous, King Tut is a big dummy. And a minute later, Tut touched the vat and burned his hand again, proving me right. Of course, his grandiose stupidity is what makes King Tut such a hilarious and wonderful foe. A little of him goes a long way, but he is such an amazing bonehead, and so very entertaining.
Around the time that this story was filmed, Victor Buono also made a pilot for producer William Dozier, which I mentioned last week. He played the villain Mr. Memory in the failed Dick Tracy pilot, which you can watch on Dailymotion. It’s not especially good, but Buono is by far the best thing about it. Well, that and the revelation that, had it gone to series, it would have starred Eve Plumb, making her unavailable to play Jan on The Brady Bunch.
Anyway, King Tut bumbles and shouts and, in what might be a unique moment, the Batfight at the climax starts with Tut getting clobbered and taken out of action. His four hoods fight on without him for some fool reason, while the damsels in distress, played by Lee Meriwether and Grace Lee Whitney, look on helplessly. Meriwether gets a downright amazing scene at the end, where she invites Bruce Wayne in for milk and cookies after a date, and Adam West actually breaks the fourth wall to remind viewers that, after 43 or so very chaste stories where this so-called millionaire playboy never once acted like the playboy he’s purported to be, man cannot live by crimefighting alone.
There’s also a downright amazing scene in which Commissioner Gordon phones Batman because all these shenanigans on colleges with professors getting hit in the head has him worried about his daughter named Barbara because his daughter named Barbara is at college and his daughter named Barbara is going to graduate soon, and did he mention that he has a daughter, and that her name is Barbara? It’s almost as though they’re trying to tell us something.