Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Ventriloquist - "The Ventriloquist's No-no / Bat-Comedy-a-Go-Go" - R.A. Wonsowski

OK, couple notes about this script. One, a local TV station has been running episodes of the '60's Batman series. It's the one show all of us at home agree on and watch as a family. We love it. Now my boys read Jeff Parker's "Batman 66" on their tablet, and they think it's a hoot. So today, we'll explore that bygone era. I think you'll find my casting choice appropriate... Two, the following jokes are not mine. A college friend of mine whose name escapes me, that introduced me to the world of stand-up comedy, did this routine in an early version of his act. He was an amazing mimic, and did the voices perfectly - I still remember it word for word, if not my friend's name. Long overdue thanks to him. So, on with this week's thrilling Bat-chapter...

Panel 1- the stage of an underground comedy club. ADAM WEST BATMAN sits on a wooden barstool with a microphone on a stand in front of him. BURT WARD ROBIN sits on his lap, make-up lines from the corners of his mouth straight down to his jawline, giving his face the look of a ventriloquist's dummy. BATMAN is calm and cool as he launches into his routine, but ROBIN does not look as confident...

CAPTION: What's this? The Dynamic Duo doing vaudeville at Gotham's Ha-Ha-Hacienda?
BATMAN: Say, old chum, just the other day I saw the Penguin walking his prize cocker spaniel.

Panel 2- same as Panel 1, but ROBIN's expression is open-mouthed, wide-eyed surprise, as BATMAN continues his story...

ROBIN: Holy Hound Dogs, Batman!
BATMAN: I said, Stop! Penguin, where are you going with that dog?
BATMAN: He told me that it had been biting, and was going to have to be put to sleep.

Panel 3- same as Panel 1&2, this time ROBIN nervously smiling as BATMAN enthusiastically delivers the punchline...

BATMAN: I said, Great Scott, Penguin, is your dog mad?
BATMAN: He said, no, but he isn't happy about it either.

Panel 4- Foreground, left, we see THE VENTRILOQUIST (played by Edgar Bergen) holding SCARFACE (an appropriately dressed "Charlie McCarthy" dummy) as they laugh over the Caped Crusaders' plight. Background, BATMAN and ROBIN are facing the heckling audience of EGGHEAD (Vincent Price), MARSHA, QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (Carolyn Jones), KING TUT (Victor Buono), the SIREN (Joan Collins), and the BOOKWORM (Roddy McDowell). The JOKER (Cesar Romero) stands on his chair menacingly.

JOKER: Boo! Hiss! Your jokes stink!
CAPTION: Will Batman and Robin escape from this cackling cadre of killer critics? Tune in next time...
SCARFACE: Sane Gat-Tine, Sane Gat-Channel!


  1. Invoking Batman 66 is nearly always a win in my book, and this time is no exception.

    I'm very curious about how they got into this situation, too.

  2. The Ventriloquist would have been a perfect 60s Batman TV villain, and you really play it out perfectly here. I can just see West and Ward acting this out.


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