|"The Joker Is Wild"|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Don Weis|
|Written by||Robert Dozier|
|Production code||8709-Pt. 1|
|Original air date||January 26, 1966 (ABC)|
Cesar Romero as The Joker
"The Joker Is Wild" is an episode of the Batman television series in its first season, most notable for being Cesar Romero's debut as the Joker. It was first telecast as the fifth episode on ABC January 26, 1966 and was rerun May 25, 1966 and May 24, 1967.
The story begins with the Joker in prison pitching in (and enjoying) a ballgame. After a few pitches, the catcher switches the ball with one he has stashed in his padding, and tells the Joker "This is the one". As the batter hits the ball, a smoke cloud appears and before anyone had known what happened, the Joker magically escaped using a spring-loaded device that propelled him over the prison wall. The only thing the Joker left behind was a statue of his face and bust that was concealed under the spring contraption. Batman and Robin go to the museum to check everything out—they were suspicious the Joker would strike there in revenge because he had not been entered into The Comedy Hall of Fame. When arriving, they found out the Joker's statue was indeed there and decided he must be somewhere else. After everything's locked up, they realize that no one can break in, but that doesn't mean someone who isn't already in the building couldn't break out, which means the Joker's gang is likely already inside to begin with. Reentering the museum, they find the Joker trying to steal the valuable jewels inside, with henchmen named after comedy stars, who were hidden inside the busts.
While the fight ensues, Batman is knocked unconscious from a falling antique sword that had been hanging on the wall. As they are carrying Robin and him away, he uses a gas pellet from his utility belt. The Joker escapes out a trap door while his henchmen are gathered up. After being defeated once again by Batman's utility belt, a fed-up Joker decides to make his own. While in his hideout, the Joker comes up with an idea to steal the S.S. Gotham (from his henchwoman). He plans to eliminate Batman so he can take the ship. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson arrive at the commissioners office for talk on the S.S. Gotham. While there, a clown doll is thrown through the window. Bruce Wayne asks to take it for a souvenir and back at the Batcave Batman and Robin try to figure out what the Joker is up to. They come up with the idea that the Joker will be at The Gotham City Opera Company, where the Pagliacci aria "Vesti la giubba" is being performed. While at the opera, Batman and Robin are caught when the Joker throws sneezing powder in their face and his henchmen grab our heroes. A horrified audience then watches the Joker make a move to unmask Batman and Robin...
COULD THIS MEAN CURTAINS??
WILL THE IDENTITIES OF OUR DYNAMIC DUO BE REVEALED TO THE WHOLE WORLD??
IS THIS THE END OF THEIR CAREER AS CRIMEFIGHTERS??
CAN THEY AVERT DISASTER??
ANSWERS... TOMORROW NIGHT! SAME TIME, SAME CHANNEL!
This is the first episode that has the narrator read the line "Answers tomorrow! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!"