What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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dell
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by dell »

clavierankh wrote: After all is it reasonable in a three year period Penguin could have been paroled so many times?
I think the show even started to make fun of this by touting Warden Crichton's great reform policies. The recidivism rate for the arch criminal parolees was 100%. Not exactly a record anyone could be proud of.
dell
WayneGrayson
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by WayneGrayson »

It definitely calls for suspension of disbelief. Then again, who's to say how much time has elipsed from Pengy ep to Pengy ep? Catwoman, on the other hand, requires a little more suspension of disbelief because she's presumed dead in the first episode, goes up the river for 7-and-a-half years according to Robin in the second episode, falls off the roof bringing Batman to tears at the end of the "Robin Goes Bad" story arc, THEN shrinks 6 inches in height and starts talking with an accent, having perfected her "PURRRR" later on in the series. To all the posters I've read before, relax and have fun with it - the actors certainly did.
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High C
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

clavierankh wrote: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?
Terrific points by both posters. I personally can't stand the Penguin runs for mayor episode. I think it's too absurd even for Batman. Even in an unrealistic series, there needs to be a modicum of logic.

That said, my favorite Penguin ep is Fine Finny Fiends, in which he brainwashes Alfred. It was the only story written by Sheldon Stark, and judging by it, I wish he had done more. Penguin's scheme is very elaborate and has an end-game that makes sense, plus the ep features an underrated performance by Julie Gregg as the henchmoll. She was playing against type because she didn't portray the ditzy blonde in her other roles.

I'm not as big a fan of the first Penguin ep, because the kidnapping of Dawn Robbins seems like a tacked-on goal, like, 'oh, we need a pretty female in this ep.'
'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
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High C
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

The other problem with the 'goes straight' plots, and this applies to both Pengy and CW in 'Catwoman Goes to College,' is this: if they truly are turning over a new leaf, how come they still have the same costume and the same persona?

Penguin's going straight would make more sense if it were Burgess out of costume in civilian clothes. Same with Julie's CW, and don't get me started on the absurdity of all the males in the class not ogling Julie in costume AT ALL. Yeah, because college-age males are known for their restraint and good manners in the presence of a sexy woman. :?
'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
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clavierankh
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by clavierankh »

Episodes like Penguin running for mayor would have worked better with a new character. Batman was based on repeat characters. By my count of the 120 episodes 60 featured one or more of Joker, Riddler, Catwoman or Penguin.
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Riddlersgurl
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by Riddlersgurl »

Did they even try the going straight angle with Riddler? Out of the entire bunch, anything he would have cooked up might have had a chance of success, until the Caped Crusaders got involved.

It's like a Pavlovian dog response in a way. He has a scheme, it goes along perfectly, Batman and Robin get involved, plan goes kerplooey, he goes to jail.
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High C
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

clavierankh wrote:Episodes like Penguin running for mayor would have worked better with a new character. Batman was based on repeat characters. By my count of the 120 episodes 60 featured one or more of Joker, Riddler, Catwoman or Penguin.
Terrific point. I totally agree that a new villain running for mayor would've been better, as would the Astrologer being behind the zodiac crimes.
'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
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SprangFan
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by SprangFan »

Episodes like Penguin running for mayor would have worked better with a new character. Batman was based on repeat characters. By my count of the 120 episodes 60 featured one or more of Joker, Riddler, Catwoman or Penguin.
As a kid, I wished it had been a lot more than 60. So many of the "made for TV" villains were so unspeakably lame, I was always thrilled when one of the "A- list" showed up.

I must say the passage of time hasn't changed my opinion much.
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Riddlersgurl
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by Riddlersgurl »

The only one that wasn't lame was the Bookworm in my opinion. He was one of the more inventive and dangerous of the Rogue's Gallery.

Tut was too much of a scenery chewer, Archer too depressed and old; Minstrel was too....much. Marsha was just....meh. Egghead too egotistical and smarmy. Ma Barker and her kids were too....stupid. Shame and Calamity Jan? Waaaaay too out of the ballpark.

Olga showed some real spunk, as did Zelda. I just couldn't care that much about the 'Z' listers with their lame plots.
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High C
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

SprangFan wrote:
Episodes like Penguin running for mayor would have worked better with a new character. Batman was based on repeat characters. By my count of the 120 episodes 60 featured one or more of Joker, Riddler, Catwoman or Penguin.
As a kid, I wished it had been a lot more than 60. So many of the "made for TV" villains were so unspeakably lame, I was always thrilled when one of the "A- list" showed up.

I must say the passage of time hasn't changed my opinion much.
I understand where you're coming from, but I felt the Big 4's plots got a little stale after awhile.

The problem with the 'made for TV' baddies was they catered to the performer and not the concept, which led to lame villains and/or poor casting. They needed more King Tuts and Bookworms and fewer Black Widows and Archers.
'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
robinboyblunderer
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by robinboyblunderer »

A couple points.

Although Burgess Meredith's depiction of the Penguin was excellent, he's of my least favorite villains on the show. I just didn't care for the majority of the Penguin stories.

While I think they went the Penguin goes straight route too often, the episodes when he runs for mayor, are excellent in my opinion and are all time classics from the whole run.

I think this was a very entertaining satire of politics and a very witty episode, particularly when they focused on the campaign. Gordon waking O'Hara during Batman's speech makes me laugh. A perfect example of Adam's comedic timing is when he looks down at his speech for a moment before continuing. It's brief but perfect. I love when he breaks the fourth wall at one point lecturing about politics.

I think Aunt Harriet is used very effectively too and it's a touching moment when Batman reassures her that he does remember her. The show mocked political races and had an interesting death trap; definitely one of the best episodes.

cheers
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Mr. Deathtrap
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by Mr. Deathtrap »

Citizens,

Hi C makes a good point about 'going straight' plots coming up frequently in the show. I am, however, not convinced the device didn't work well in some of the more absurd plots.

If a new villain had run for mayor, would Batman have known, likely, he was a villain? Would Mayor Linseed have paniced and persuaded Batman to run against him?

Batman never believed the Penguin COULD go straight, which would have been a problem if the Warden's efforts at reforming him ever began to succeed.

In contrast, Catwoman's supposed efforts to reform were always belived by Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Batman Wayne. That's amazing!

Penguin's charades of respectability were typically integrel to clever criminal schemes, which, together with Merredith's performances, made the Penguin come off as an overconfident criminal genius.

Mr. Deathtrap
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Edward Nigma
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by Edward Nigma »

BatBomba wrote: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.
Much of it probably had nothing to do with the character and everything to do with Burgess Meredith. As other posters have noted, the production staff clearly liked him personally. He also loved doing the show and made it clear that he was always available to do more episodes. Also, on a show like Batman, with its complicated shooting schedule, having a pro like Meredith on the set made things easier for everyone and helped with how many hours everyone had to work. I've never heard stories about him that he was difficult or troubled or in ill-health on the set (unlike some other guests.) So, having Meredith back again and again was a win-win for the show because he could fall into the production schedule with ease and deliver an expert performance every time.
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High C
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by High C »

Edward Nigma wrote:
BatBomba wrote: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.
Much of it probably had nothing to do with the character and everything to do with Burgess Meredith. As other posters have noted, the production staff clearly liked him personally. He also loved doing the show and made it clear that he was always available to do more episodes. Also, on a show like Batman, with its complicated shooting schedule, having a pro like Meredith on the set made things easier for everyone and helped with how many hours everyone had to work. I've never heard stories about him that he was difficult or troubled or in ill-health on the set (unlike some other guests.) So, having Meredith back again and again was a win-win for the show because he could fall into the production schedule with ease and deliver an expert performance every time.
Well-said. Makes a lot of sense.

BTW, no offense to the OP, but the thread title sounds like a bit from Jerry Seinfeld's early standup days.

What is the deal with this Penguin guy? He waddles like a penguin but quacks like a duck. I mean, are we supposed to be afraid of this guy??? :)
'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
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TheoriginalBat-James
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Re: What's the deal with 1966 Penguin?

Post by TheoriginalBat-James »

I often wondered what were those songs he was singing.

"Sweep brother, sweep with care, much of mola everywhere!"

And all those other songs.
Holy Batpoles. And my legs are tried.
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