Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

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LittleLouisGroovy
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Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by LittleLouisGroovy »

For as long as I can remember, I've been puzzled by Burgess Meredith's cameo on an episode of The Monkees, in which he appears as a very Penguin-like character. I get the "one pop cultural phenomenon referencing another" angle, but considering that the two shows were on different networks and produced by different studios, it strikes me as an odd and random bit of cross-promotion. Does anyone have any background info on how it came about?
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John Mack
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by John Mack »

This probably won't help answer your question as to how his appearance came about but how could Hogan's Heroes from CBS appear on Batman? I would say that old stock answer, "It was a different time" but those were the days that talk show hosts having guests from other networks would say, "Watch your listings for the show on another network." So, I'm with you. What IS the answer?Maybe because his suit was just enough different with the black hat instead of purple? Dozier just wanted the publicity? We all know the story about Burgess and the smoking, no?

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SprangFan
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by SprangFan »

The "Klink" cameo always bothered me greatly. How is Batman so unconcerned that a former Nazi officer is hanging out in Gotham? Wouldn't that be a bigger deal than whatever crook he's after? More disturbingly, he tells Klink to say "Hi" to Colonel Hogan for him. Suggesting...what? That Stalag 13 is still holding American POW's 20 years after the war? :shock:
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elmrgraham
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by elmrgraham »

Lighten up.To me,both appearances were just for fun and entertainment.Thank You.
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AndyFish
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by AndyFish »

A lot of times these cameos were done because actors had the same agent, or even the same hair dressers.
thebriankearney
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by thebriankearney »

SprangFan wrote:The "Klink" cameo always bothered me greatly. How is Batman so unconcerned that a former Nazi officer is hanging out in Gotham? Wouldn't that be a bigger deal than whatever crook he's after? More disturbingly, he tells Klink to say "Hi" to Colonel Hogan for him. Suggesting...what? That Stalag 13 is still holding American POW's 20 years after the war? :shock:
Klink had a strong reputation during WW2, which benefited him after the war. Remember, there had never been a successful escape from Stalag 13 under his watch. So, after the war, Klink used his reputation to secure a job with the American government during the cold war searching for "underground agents" with his then-buddy Colonel Hogan.

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Dr. Shimel
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by Dr. Shimel »

John Mack wrote: Dozier just wanted the publicity?

John
Not likely, considering the episode was first shown in early March 1968, long after Dozier had checked out and roughly six weeks after the show had been cancelled.
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bat-rss
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by bat-rss »

thebriankearney wrote:
SprangFan wrote:The "Klink" cameo always bothered me greatly. How is Batman so unconcerned that a former Nazi officer is hanging out in Gotham? Wouldn't that be a bigger deal than whatever crook he's after? More disturbingly, he tells Klink to say "Hi" to Colonel Hogan for him. Suggesting...what? That Stalag 13 is still holding American POW's 20 years after the war? :shock:
Klink had a strong reputation during WW2, which benefited him after the war. Remember, there had never been a successful escape from Stalag 13 under his watch. So, after the war, Klink used his reputation to secure a job with the American government during the cold war searching for "underground agents" with his then-buddy Colonel Hogan.

More here: http://holybrocastbatman.libsyn.com/ep- ... y-the-game
As they used to say in Marvel Comics, Brian, that answer -- explaining why it's not a mistake -- wins you a no-prize!
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TBolt
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by TBolt »

^^ That would have been a really good follow up to Hogan's Heroes.
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Progress Pigment
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by Progress Pigment »

The "really good follow up to Hogan's Heroes" was M*A*S*H!!! Hogan's Heroes ended in 1971, Mash began in 1972. They were actually strikingly similar. M*A*S*H was more depressing. Hogan's Heroes had more ... Nazis. Maybe it was more depressing.

http://www.mash4077tv.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=79

Father Mulcahy on Hogan's Heroes.

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dell
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by dell »

There was nothing to suggest that Colonel Klink was a Nazi. He was a Colonel in the Luftwaffe and many Germans in the military were just soldiers and not Nazis. Actually, Werner Klemperer was of Jewish descent and had it written into his contract that Colonel Klink could never get ahead in an episode. I seriously doubt that he would have let the show have Klink be a Nazi.

On the other hand, I worked for a Nazi when I was in the U.S. Air Force. Seriously, a real (former) Nazi. He was several levels above me in the chain of command (he was a civilian), but he was one of the guys smuggled into the U.S. by the OSI (now the CIA) after World War II by having his background scrubbed to get around President Truman's ban on former Nazis. I only spoke to him once, or rather he only spoke to me once as I didn't get to say a word, and that interaction left little doubt as to where he came from!
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Progress Pigment
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by Progress Pigment »

Every actor who played Germans in Hogan's Heroes were Jewish. I guess it made it more acceptable. Interesting story. Was he involved in rocket propulsion, like Wernher von Braun?!! Not sure if he was a Nazi or not. Probably.

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dell
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by dell »

His specialties were electrical engineering and acoustics.
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

LittleLouisGroovy wrote:For as long as I can remember, I've been puzzled by Burgess Meredith's cameo on an episode of The Monkees, in which he appears as a very Penguin-like character. I get the "one pop cultural phenomenon referencing another" angle, but considering that the two shows were on different networks and produced by different studios, it strikes me as an odd and random bit of cross-promotion. Does anyone have any background info on how it came about?
I seriously doubt it was cross promotion, considering that the episode of The Monkees in question ("The Monkees Blow Their Minds") originally aired on March 11, 1968--only three days before Batman's final first run episode ("Minerva, Mayhem & Millionaires"). Cross promotion normally works for shows that are still able to benefit from it, and with Batman's cancellation well known by March of that year, Meredith on The Monkees would not help Batman's ratings *(or the syndication package), which we can assume was no longer a concern for ABC at that point in time.

Additionally, although The Monkees made several Batman references over the course of its two season run, one cannot conclude that any audience size worth catering to also watched Batman, to a degree that would help their series.

By the way, The Monkees' final episode ("The Frodis Caper") originally aired March 25, 1968, so as in the reverse, there was nothing to be gained--in a promotion sense--from Meredith making his cameo. Furthermore, you will note Meredith is not really THE Penguin, but a satirical version of him, as the actor's natural hair color is clearly seen, and he's not wearing the famous nose appliance.

The Monkees was well known for endless cultural references, and it seems that Meredith was just another in a long list of clever, unexpected cultural / cameos.
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Burgess Meredith as "The Penguin" on The Monkees?

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

John Mack wrote:This probably won't help answer your question as to how his appearance came about but how could Hogan's Heroes from CBS appear on Batman? I would say that old stock answer, "It was a different time" but those were the days that talk show hosts having guests from other networks would say, "Watch your listings for the show on another network." So, I'm with you. What IS the answer?Maybe because his suit was just enough different with the black hat instead of purple? Dozier just wanted the publicity? We all know the story about Burgess and the smoking, no?

John
In the case of Klink, that was simply the series breaking the 4th wall during a Bat-climb (clearly, since Klink lived in the 1940s), as the guest certainly had no in-series, recognized position, anymore than The Addams Family's Lurch did.

Another 4th wall breaker was the window cameo of The Green Hornet and Kato; over the years, some have argued it was a continuity failing to have the Dynamic Duo see GH & K as "heroes" in the window, but think of them as full-on criminals in the crossover. What they are forgetting is that the window cameo happened early in ABC's 1966-67 season (September 28, 1966 to be exact), and was strictly advertising The Green Hornet series, where the audience consider them heroes--just as Batman & Robin do in that 4th wall breaker.

Once that "netherworld" of promotion was over, the next time GH & K physically appear, they are occupying Batman & Robin's universe in the same way seen on their own series--as criminals.

So, a good number of the odd or seemingly continuity-busting errors seen in the window cameos can be placed in the "breaking the 4th wall" category.
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