Episode Title: I’ll be a Mummy’s Uncle
Original Airdate: February 29, 1968
This series, though known for its interpretation of several famous Batman villains from the comics, also created several new bad guys throughout its run. Without question, my favorite of all the crooks created for this series is King Tut, as portrayed by Victor Buono. We’re just a few episodes away from the end of the series, though, which brings us to the final appearance of the Yale professor who thinks he’s Egyptian royalty. Here he is in I’ll be a Mummy’s Uncle.
After escaping from his prison psychiatrist, King Tut heads for the Rosetta Stone Company and has his “Tutlings” steal $47,000, though $76,000 is available for the taking. It seems that Tut has a specific use for the money in mind. He’s actually after a large supply of the world’s strongest metal, nileanium. He’s located some that just so happens to buried under property adjacent to Stately Wayne Manor and owned by Bruce Wayne. It also just so happens that Bruce is selling a portion of his property to “help alleviate the property shortage.” Tut ends up going straight to the real estate broker Bruce has hired and makes the purchase. Luckily, Barbara Gordon is visiting the Broker at the time(her father is thinking of moving to the suburbs) and witnesses the transaction. She later calls Bruce as Batgirl to let him know what has happened.
Our heroes are now keen to Tut’s scheme, problem is he has already started drilling in an abandoned mine on the property he purchased. Batman soon realizes that the path being dug leads directly to the Batcave. In an effort to stop Tut, the three heroes all converge on the mine. Batman and Robin follow Tut down the shaft and instruct Batgirl to stand guard (they don’t want to risk her seeing the Batcave). Believe it or not Tut actually manages to make it into the Batcave….and thus figures out the secret identities of the Caped Crusaders. When the heroes arrive, a fight breaks out, making an absolute mess of the Batcave. As Tut tries to escape back up the shaft, Batman uses some Batnesia Spray on the minions so they will forget what they have learned. They soon run out, though, with Tut about to blab everything to Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, and Chief O’Hara. However, as he raises his voice to shout, “Batman and Robin are…” part of the ceiling comes loose and drops on Tut’s head. Batman later explains this happened due to the increased volume of Tut’s voice. This causes him to return to his normal personality and forget everything about Batman’s true identity.
Why can’t all the season three episodes be like this? With so many lackluster outings in this final season, this episode is a breath of fresh air. It has so many of the things I love about this series: a goofy scheme, an over-the-top villain, some weird gadgets, and so on. But what’s really great about this episode is that there are some real stakes! After all, a villain is about to discover the location of the Batcave! Not only that, he actually succeeds! What a great moment it is, too, when we see Tut start to put the pieces together. He parades around the Batcave hardly believing his own eyes. It may be one of the character’s best moments out of all his appearances.
Once again, what makes King Tut work so well is the wonderful performance of Victor Buono. It’s part megalomania, part W.C. Fields. King Tut is certainly not one of the most menacing of Gotham’s villains, but he is consistently one of the funniest. Tut also has a fun bunch of “tutlings” helping him out this time. His right-hand man is kind of a weird beatnik type who always wears sunglasses. Tut’s main squeeze, Florence of Arabia, is played by Victoria Vetri, who could almost pass for being the twin of Dawn Wells…Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island. One-time Tarzan Jock Mahoney also shows up as the miner hired by Tut, Joe E. Tata, future owner of 90210’s Peach Pit plays another one of Tut’s men, and comic Henny Youngman portrays the slightly crooked real estate man who sells Tut the land. It’s a fun cast, to say the least.
There are a few weak spots with the episode, chief among them being that Batgirl barely factors into things. During the episode’s best moments, she is stuck guarding the entrance to the mine shaft. All-in-all, though, I’m glad to say that this episode is a real standout here in the otherwise disappointing third season. Sadly, though, we must bid farewell to King Tut. In our next episode we will do the same with one of the most famous Batman villains. As the teaser at the end of this episode indicates we’re going to be dealing with a plot involving flying saucers concocted by none other than the Joker. Cesar Romero makes his final appearance on the show next time in The Joker’s Flying Saucer. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Holy Hardest Metal in the World
Holy Journey to the Center of the Earth
Holy Waste of Energy
Holy Razor’s Edge