What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

User avatar
BatBomba
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:30 pm

What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by BatBomba »

Why did they focuse on him so much? It was a pretty uninteresting and silly character. He wasn't the Joker, the Riddler, False Face, Bookworm or even King Tut. His gimmick was lame. Don't get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY loved Meredith's performance, he was an ace. But the character itself was bland IMHO.

User avatar
dell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by dell »

I agree that the Penguin is one of the oddest characters in the Batman show. And that says something as all the villains were odd. He is a penguin and he quacks like a duck??? However, like you said, the performances are great. I think this is another case of just enjoy the show and don't try to analyze it too much.
dell

User avatar
SprangFan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:34 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by SprangFan »

He's pretty much what he was in the comics: an eccentric oddball. Penguin was never what you'd call a physical threat to a guy like Batman (that is to say, anything close to a match in a fight) but he was something of a mastermind, depending on who wrote him. I think aside from Two-Face, he's the bat-villain that was most heavily inspired by Dick Tracy's rogue's gallery. That group had any number of weird-looking nutjobs primarily distinguishable by their appearance. A guy who looks like a Penguin is a natural progression

As for why he figured in the show so much, I always assumed it was because Meredith was the most cooperative, avalilable and willing guest star. We know Gorshin ran hot and cold with the show, and Catwoman had to be recast, so probably it was just a case of "why write scripts for an established villain unless we can count on the actor to return?" And Meredith was the safest bet.
Image

User avatar
John Mack
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by John Mack »

Indeed, the Penguin appeared more times than any other villain. I too, would have liked to see more of the other villains, but hindsight is 20/20. When I was a kid watching the show, I never realized he appeared so much. Then again, I never saw Cesar's moustache under the make up until I heard an interview with him YEARS later.

The Penguin episodes were spaced out enough for the TV scheduling, but I think once we have them all in nice, neat DVDs, we may tend to see just how often he appears.

John
Music. BAT! Music.

User avatar
clavierankh
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by clavierankh »

Obviously Penguin, Riddler, Joker, and Catwoman are very popular with the audience. They were probably also easier to write than other villains. They were generalists. Each time he would have a different gimmick.

Where as some villains would still only clocks or books or diamonds which limited the number of different plots.

I often thought sometimes plots for Joker for example could've been written for specialized for. I think The Zodiac Crimes was originally written for a villain called the Astrologer and The Impractical Jokers could've been written for a of villain who could've been called The Locksmith.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by elmrgraham »

A Scuba Diving Villianess called The Sea Hag would have also been excellent.She could have had her own two part Batman Adventure.The Sea Hag could have plundered Cash and Priceless Jewels and Gems.Thank You.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by elmrgraham »

The Astrologer and The Locksmith would have also been excellent Batman Villains.

User avatar
High C
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:01 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

This response is without anger or rancor. I simply am telling it like it is. In a perfect world, a scuba-diving Bat-villainess might have been interesting and fun. In the real Greenway Productions world of small budgets and tight shooting schedules, it simply wasn't feasible. Here are a few reasons why:

1. To portray villainesses, William Dozier wanted women who were or had been stars. For a scuba-diving villainess, his choices would be extremely limited because most mainstream actresses either physically couldn’t do it or wouldn’t want to. That would leave him with choices such as little-known Zale Parry or Wende Wagner, who was given little to do on Green Hornet and thus wasn’t trusted by Dozier.

And as a friend of mine noted, Dozier's not going to get the only famous swimming movie star--Esther Williams--to come out of retirement because she was by this point over 45 and obviously too old for the part. Plus, she never played villainesses anyway.

2. He’s also going to need scuba-diving doubles for Adam and Burt, unless usual stuntmen Hubie Kerns and Victor Paul could have done it. I have no idea if they could or couldn't. If they can't, that's more money Dozier must spend.

3. Filming of the underwater fight scenes and the underwater getaway scenes after she robs ships and boats would have been way too expensive, even if done, as one would expect, in a tank. Dozier wasn’t willing to spend money on other things, why would he do it for this? Remember, the John Astin Riddler scene of the underwater bank robbery was all special effects, and poor ones at that. And whom would he get to direct? Probably a Sea Hunt director, certainly not one of his ‘regulars.’

No offense, Elmr. I'm just being honest here. I admire your persistence and it might have been a great character. But it simply wasn't feasible for many reasons.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by AndyFish »

I think Penguin's frequent appearances was absolutely tied to the friendship Meredith had developed with the producer's. I know he mentioned somewhere that he had a standing offer to appear on the show whenever he was in town and had time, they'd have a script waiting for him. Plus I think he liked doing to show. Same goes for Cesar.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by elmrgraham »

High C,that just my opinion.Thank You.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by elmrgraham »

Besides,The Sea Hag would have been a blonde Scuba Diving Villainess based on the 1966 Batman Topps Cards Series.Also,like I said before,The Astrologer and The Locksmith would have also made excellent Batman Villains.

User avatar
High C
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:01 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

I realize that's your opinion, Elmr, and I respect it. But because message boards are places for reasonable discussions, I'm giving you my opinion, backed up with facts, that a scuba-diving villainess could never have happened on the show.

I wish you would address my points, because it would make for a much more interesting and intelligent give-and-take, but I can't force you to do so, nor should I be able to. Freedom of speech allows you to champion Sea Hag as much as you want, and that's why America is a great country.

I wish they had made a spinoff series starring Joan Collins as the Siren. But I know that wasn't going to happen, nor could it have.

I won't respond further--I know you'll again say it's your belief that the Sea Hag could have worked.

Thus, I have no chance to convince you otherwise.

I just wanted to get off my chest once and for all why your idea wasn't feasible. I can't make you believe it, because your mind apparently is already made up.

I also apologize to the mods for derailing this thread from its stated subject, that of the PENGUIN, not the Sea Hag, but I wasn't the first person to take it off the track. But as for my contribution to hijacking it, I plead guilty and I am truly sorry.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

User avatar
High C
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:01 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

As for the Penguin, I was OK with the character and thought Burgess Meredith was the most consistently good actor among all the villains, but I got sick of the 'has Penguin gone straight' plotlines. His capers were very repetitive.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

Jaws63
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:47 am

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by Jaws63 »

Apart of me almost feels the writers wavered a little bit with Riddler and Joker's gimmick, Some Riddler plots seemed Joker like, some Joker plots seemed Riddler like. In the first Joker episode Robin asks batman if the clown doll is worth searching for secret writing(which was Riddler's forte in the pilot), where Batman replies by saying that's not the way Joker works(OK I'll buy into that). I read some where that "The impractical Joker/The Joker's provokers" was originally suppose to be meant as a Riddler episode, but as early as "Joker trumps an ace" Joker leaves B&R two riddles to solve...strange.

The problem with the Penguin was that there wasn't a whole lot of diversity in the plots, from his second appearance all the way to season 3 he is forever convincing everyone he's going straight. BTW there are three Penguin eps in the first season. The first half of the second season seemed to be highly Penguin emphasized, I think that was because "Penguins nest/The birds last jest" was what our local channel played as the season two opener, plus the added observation of the absence of Frank Gorshin's(Riddler)...not to mention we go through a whole ten villains before we reach the first Joker episode.

User avatar
clavierankh
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by clavierankh »

JAWS63 good point about Joker and Riddler.Thinking about it, the Impractical Jokers/Joker's Provoker's could have been Riddler episodes.

As for Penguin, most of his schemes seemed to involve cons and elaborate covers. Penguin Goes Straight worked alright. After his plan was uncovered though, who would consider voting for him for mayor, or assume he might o straight again and open a restaurant or be a movie producer?

In my mind I get around this by taking each episode individually as if no other episode occurred (unless specifically referred to.) After all is it reasonable in a three year period Penguin could have been paroled so many times?

I think this rule applies to all TV shows, even the most straight forward. Another series I'm a huge fan of is Perry Mason. Is it reasonable he could try thirty or more murder cases a year.

Even the most realistic shows require a certain suspension of disbelief.

Post Reply