Episode Title: Hot Off the Griddle
Original Airdate: September 14, 1966
In the first season of Batman, most of the iconic villains made several appearances. Joker, Riddler, and Penguin all got multiple storylines. Catwoman, however, only showed up in one story. She appeared in the feature film which was released between seasons one and two, though played by a different actress (Lee Meriwether). Our episode today, though, marks the official return of Julie Newmar’s version of the character to the series in Hot Off the Griddle.
Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara become aware that Catwoman is back in town after a series of bizarre robberies. There is the theft of a catalog from Lacy’s department store, a catamaran from the Gotham City Nautical Society, and three mittens from a local apartment. All are cat related. The Caped Crusaders decide that they need to try and lure Catwoman with something she will want to steal. They decide to plant a story that a rare canary is on display in a Gotham museum. The reporter they contact to plant the story is gossip columnist Jack O’Shea. The only problem is, he’s in league with Catwoman and alerts her to the trap. This allows Catwoman and her men to get the jump on the Dynamic Duo at the museum. After the obligatory fight, her goons toss our heroes out the window. Luckily, our heroes had already placed a large net outside (borrowed from Captain Ahab of the White Whaling Company) to catch the rare bird in case the bad guys tossed it out the window. It ends up saving them instead.
Catwoman and her gang end up getting away, but luckily our heroes have a lead. They spot Aunt Harriet doing the latest dance craze to hit Gotham…the Cat-toosie. She explains that it started at a club called The Pink Sandbox. Our heroes head there to investigate. While seated at a booth and looking over the menu, the table spins into the wall trapping Batman and Robin in sealed chamber. Catwoman has her men flip a switch which causes the floor to heat up and then uses knock-out gas on our heroes. Next thing we know, Batman and Robin are on the roof, strapped to giant barbecue grills and under giant magnifying glasses. The sunlight will burn them to a crisp. Cue the cliffhanger narration…
Is their goose really cooked?
Will Batman and Robin stew in their own juice??
Are all their plans and dreams to go up in smoke??
The answer to these and other burning questions tomorrow!
Same cat-time, same cat-channel!
First of all, it’s nice to have Julie Newmar back as Catwoman. If there is any guest villain that went underused in the first season, it is her. Each of the actresses that played Catwoman in this incarnation of Batman brought something special to the character, but Newmar is just insanely sexy in the role. It’s fun to see her just lean against a giant stuffed elephant and watch her men attempt to fight Batman and Robin. After all, she knows Batman would never punch a woman, so she just waits for the right moment to pull out her dart guns and take care of our heroes without any effort at all.
This episode is also a great example of how this series is getting crazier and crazier as it progresses. We get a strange moment where Alfred prepares a snack for our heroes which they must take as a sack lunch so they can scurry off to set the trap for Catwoman. Nutrition is important even for superheroes, after all. This episode also toys with our expectations, giving us two crazy incidents that seem like they are going to become the cliffhanger but don’t. The first is when the Dynamic Duo get tossed out a high window while unconscious. That they just so happened to have already put a large net in place is just so wonderfully loopy that I completely buy it. Then we have the scene where Catwoman starts to give our heroes the hot foot courtesy of a high-temperature floor. Our heroes start dancing around in the most ridiculous fashion. Catwoman even cracks and egg and drops it on the floor to prove how hot the floor is. Last season this would’ve been the cliffhanger…but this still isn’t enough. She straps them to grills, has them greased with margarine, and decides to fry them with massive magnifying glasses. She calls this “Bat on a Hot Tin Roof.” It’s completely nuts…and I love it!
But the question still remains, how will they get out of it? You’ll have to wait until next week to find out in part two of our story…The Cat and the Fiddle. Same cat-time, same cat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used: