Episode Title: The Cat’s Meow
Original Airdate: December 14, 1966
It’s been awhile since Gotham’s favorite feline purred her way through an episode. Other than a brief cameo in one of the Ma Parker episodes, we haven’t seen Julie Newmar’s Catwoman since episodes 3 and 4 of this season. Well, she’s up to her old tricks this week. Here she comes in The Cat’s Meow.
We begin on a local morning show TV broadcast where Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are guests; there to discuss some of the efforts of the Wayne Foundation. However, when the host pauses for a commercial, for Stay-Dry Umbrellas, something strange happens. First, he’s buzzed by an electric shock in the handle before losing his voice. When he opens the umbrella, papers with riddles on them fall out. Commissioner Gordon quickly calls our heroes into action, but all are confused about which villain is responsible. Umbrellas usually mean Penguin, the shocker seems like Joker, and the riddles point to the Riddler. No matter…Batman and Robin will get to the bottom of it. Strangely, though, right after our heroes leave Gordon is paid a visit by none other than Catwoman…who has recently been released and is going straight with a new musical act. In fact, they are scheduled to perform at the upcoming Police Benevolence Society Ball. None of this is known to Batman.
Later, at Catwoman’s lair inside a dance studio, we learn that she has actually stolen the voice of the TV announcer. She has it in a little black box. She next has in mind a bigger target. British singing act Chad and Jeremy are arriving in Gotham and she plans to steal their voices. Catwoman manages to get Commissioner Gordon to reveal that the duo is staying at the home of Bruce Wayne (where else) before stealing his voice over the phone with her little electronic device. Next thing we know, Catwoman has shown up at Wayne Manor in the guise of a nerdy dance instructor there to give Dick a dance lesson. Luckily, the dogwood flowers that Aunt Harriet has in the house causes Catwoman to sneeze her disguise off. She then gasses everyone before making a quick getaway.
At least now our heroes know who they are up against. Meanwhile, Chad and Jeremy safely arrive in Gotham. It’s up to Aunt Harriet to entertain them since Bruce and Dick head off to the dance studio as Batman and Robin to nab Catwoman. Though our heroes easily take care of Catwoman’s henchmen, she requests that she be allowed to powder her nose before they arrest her. Of course, the powder is a drug which she uses to knock our heroes out. Next thing we know, they are trapped inside a giant echo chamber. It will magnify every sound 10 million times. After a short time, a simple drip of water will cause their brains to turn to mush…turning Batman into Catwoman’s love slave. Cue the cliffhanger narration…
Will Batman be reduced to a handsome robot, fit only to serve Catwoman?
Is Robin to become little more than a cuddly teddy bear for Eenie?
The answer to these and other ear shattering questions tomorrow!!
This is a very interesting episode…especially from a, well, sexual standpoint. Even casual superhero fans know that there is often an element of romantic tension portrayed between Batman and Catwoman. That’s really only been hinted at so far on this series. Well, that’s all out the window this time around. There are scenes where both Batman and Catwoman express a bit of an attraction toward the other. Batman essentially stumbles his way through talking to Robin about how attractive and alluring Catwoman is. He eventually resorts to just telling Robin he’ll understand when he’s older. Much less subtle, though, is Newmar’s Catwoman who is almost orgasmic in a few scenes where she reflects on what a fine specimen Batman is. Not to mention that the cliffhanger is designed to turn Batman into her love slave. Even as she regrets turning his brain to sludge, she says, “With a built like yours who cares,” and she clearly takes a glance down at his crotch. She does so again when she says, “After all, one can’t have one’s cake and, uh, eat it to.” Man, did I miss a lot watching this when I was ten.
Julie Newmar is fantastic in this episode. She’s as slinky and sultry as Catwoman should be. It’s no wonder Commissioner Gordon is so easily suckered into believing she’s gone straight. Newmar is nothing short of hypnotic in this episode. Heck, she spends one scene floating back and forth across the room on a golden swing! Another scene has her on her back, legs in the air peddling as if on a bicycle. The woman should be on the US Olympic Gymnastics Team! But, she also shows off some great comedic chops, especially in the scene where she poses as the awkward, but strangely sexy, dance instructor, Miss Klutz.
We also get a few fun cameos in this episode, starting with Chad and Jeremy. For those of you not up on 60’s British Invasion groups…yep, these guys were a real musical act. I’m spinning their Greatest Hits album on Spotify right now, in fact. Their scenes are clearly modeled after the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. They even hold an airport press conference where they toss out jokey responses to the reporters’ questions. Even better, though, is when they have tea with Aunt Harriet and explain that they both plan on going back to school someday. One of them, not sure if it’s Chad or Jeremy, says, “Just think of it, every record our fans buy brings me another notch closer to becoming a brain surgeon.” We also get a brief cameo from actor Joe Flynn as the man who runs the dance studio Catwoman is hiding out in. Flynn appeared in tons of those not-so-memorable Disney live action films in the 60’s and 70’s. You may recognize his voice as Mr. Snoops from Disney’s The Rescuers. Here he even gets involved in the fist fight with the Caped Crusaders…well, his stuntman does, anyway.
Speaking of the Caped Crusaders, things don’t look good for them. Their eardrums are about to burst! You’ll have to wait until next week to find out what happens in our next episode, The Bat’s Kow Tow. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Universal Drug Anditode
Holy Rip Van Winkle