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The Joker Is Wild is the fifth episode of Season 1 and the fifth episode of the series itself.

It aired on the ABC television network on January 26, 1966.

It marked the debut of special guest villain: The Joker.


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 out 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 Pagliacci is being performed. While at theopera, 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...

Cliffhanger Text










Concept art


  • The name tags on the Batpoles are once again on the same level. This will vary throught the series.
    • In one shot of this episode, the name tags are at the same level. In the next shot moments later, they are unequal.
  • This episode is based on "The Joker's Utility Belt", a 1952 comic story published in Batman #73.
  • The Joker's henchwoman Queenie originated in the comic books in the 1940s. In that story, as the Joker's cohort, she learned Bruce Wayne was Batman but was killed, taking the information with her.
  • Writer Robert Dozier is the son of Batman executive producer William Dozier.
  • Both Jose Ferrer and Gig Young were considered for the role of the Joker. After Romero was cast, Frank Sinatra expressed interest in playing the role.
  • Cesar Romero refused to shave his mustache which gave him his career, so they had to cover it with makeup as well.
  • The aliases of The Joker's henchmen are named after legendary (and deceased) comedians: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, W.C. Fields, and Ernie Kovacs.
  • During the fight scene near the middle of this episode, the typical fight scene music does not play as it usually does.
  • Batman's chest emblem is inconsistent in the episode. When the Dynamic Duo are at the museum early in the episode, the logo is printed directly on the suit as it is most early episodes, is somewhat faded and shows creases in some shots. It also sits higher than usual on his chest in most indoor shots, closer to its appearance in the comics. In the rest of the episode, the emblem is brighter, glossier and is a separate piece onto his costume seemingly covering the logo that is printed on the fabric. This logo would be seen in episodes produced after this two-parter (several episodes aired after this one were shot earlier as indicated by their production codes).
  • A closeup shot of the bookcase opening to reveal the Batpoles is reused from the pilot episode and the wooden trim that was added around the bookcase is missing in that shot.
  • The mask worn by Heath Ledger's Joker in the opening scene of The Dark Knight is almost identical to the one worn by the Joker during his performance in Pagliacci.
  • The Joker appears hugely excited about unmasking Batman in the theatre scene, and yet shows no subsequent interest in unmasking the duo during the whole series.[1]

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Batman Episodes

Season 1: Hi Diddle RiddleSmack In The MiddleFine Feathered FinksThe Penguin's a JinxThe Joker Is WildBatman Is RiledInstant FreezeRats Like CheeseZelda the GreatA Death Worse Than FateA Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler AwayWhen the Rat's Away the Mice Will PlayThe Thirteenth HatBatman Stands PatThe Joker Goes to SchoolHe Meets His Match, The Grisly GhoulTrue or False FaceHoly Rat RaceThe Purr-Fect CrimeBetter Luck Next TimeThe Penguin Goes StraightNot Yet, He Ain'tThe Ring of WaxGive 'Em the AxeThe Joker Trumps An AceBatman Sets the PaceThe Curse of TutThe Pharaoh's in a RutThe Bookworm TurnsWhile Gotham City BurnsDeath In Slow MotionThe Riddler's False NotionFine Finny FiendsBatman Makes the Scenes

Season 2: Shoot A Crooked ArrowWalk the Straight and NarrowHot Off the GriddleThe Cat and the FiddleThe Minstrel's ShakedownBarbecued Batman?The Spell of TutTut's Case is ShutThe Greatest Mother of Them AllMa ParkerThe Clock King's Crazy CrimesThe Clock King Gets CrownedAn Egg Grows In GothamThe Yegg Foes In GothamThe Devil's FingersThe Dead RingersHizzonner the PenguinDizzoner the PenguinGreen IceDeep FreezeThe Impractical JokerThe Joker's ProvokersMarsha, Queen Of DiamondsMarsha's Scheme of DiamondsCome Back, ShameIt's How You Play the GameThe Penguin's NestThe Bird's Last JestThe Cat's MeowThe Bat's Kow TowThe Puzzles Are ComingThe Duo is SlummingThe Sandman ComethThe Catwoman Goeth (A Stitch in Time)The Contaminated CowlThe Mad Hatter Runs AfoulThe Zodiac CrimesThe Joker's Hard TimesThe Penguin DeclinesThat Darn CatwomanScat! Darn CatwomanPenguin is a Girl's Best FriendPenguin Sets A TrendPenguin's Disastrous EndBatman's AnniversaryA Riddling ControversyThe Joker's Last LaughThe Joker's EpitaphCatwoman Goes to CollegeBatman Displays His KnowledgeA Piece of the ActionBatman's SatisfactionKing Tut's CoupBatman's WaterlooBlack Widow Strikes AgainCaught In The Spider's DenPop Goes the JokerFlop Goes the JokerIce SpyThe Duo Defy

Season 3: Enter Batgirl, Exit PenguinRing Around the RiddlerThe Wail of the SirenThe Sport of PenguinsA Horse of Another ColorThe Unkindest Tut Of AllLouie, the LilacThe Ogg and IHow To Hatch A DinosaurSurf's Up! Joker's Under!The Londinium LarceniesThe Foggiest NotionThe Bloody TowerCatwoman's Dressed to KillThe Ogg CoupleThe Funny Feline FeloniesThe Joke's on CatwomanLouie's Lethal Lilac TimeNora Clavicle And The Ladies' Crime ClubPenguin's Clean SweepThe Great EscapeThe Great Train RobberyI'll Be a Mummy's UncleThe Joker's Flying SaucerThe Entrancing Dr. CassandraMinerva, Mayhem And Millionaires

Other/Tie-In Media: Batman: The MovieBatman '66Batman: Return of the Caped CrusadersBatman vs. Two-Face

  1. Batman at 45: A Milestone Tribute to Pow, Bam and Zap! (2011) Gould, Chris,