King Tut (comics)
The Curse of Tut (April 13, 1966)
Batman Confidential No. 26, (April 2009)
Earl Barret (writer)
Robert C. Dennis (writer)
Charles R. Rondeau (director)
Victor Buono (actor)
Christina Weir (writer)
Nunzio DeFilippis (writer)
José Luis García-López (artist)
William Omaha McElroy
King Tut is the name of different fictional characters in DC Comics. The first depiction of the character made his television debut in Batman: The Curse of Tut (April 13, 1966). He was created by Earl Barret, Robert C. Dennis and Charles R. Rondeau, and portrayed by Victor Buono. In his memoir Back to the Batcave, Adam West describes him as the only villain created for the TV series to be a real success.
Fictional character biography
Batman (TV series)
King Tut began as Professor William Omaha McElroy (portrayed by Victor Buono), an Egyptologist at Yale University. After a blow to the head during a student riot, the Professor developed amnesia and thereafter believed he was a reincarnation of King Tut. He sought to take over Gotham City and defeat Batman and Robin. He was defeated by another blow to the head, returning him to his normal state.
The pattern would follow for subsequent appearances—he would suffer a blow to the head, believe himself to be King Tut, fight Batman and Robin for control of Gotham City, only to suffer another blow to the head, which would return him to his real self. As such, he would be the only villain not to be jailed for his actions (the insanity defense would apply here). Completely cognizant of what happens during his states of amnesia, Professor McElroy tried to prevent the personality switching by wearing a reinforced hat to prevent unwanted blows, but without success.
King Tut attempted to release a handful of ancient scarab beetles on Gotham City in the second season of the series. With the beetles in his possession, Tut would have the ability to create a terrible ancient potion called abu raubu simbu tu, which can be used to subdue the human will. Tut planned on concocting 95,000 gallons of the drug, more than enough to put all of Gotham under his power. His first victim was the head of the Gotham City Police, Chief O'Hara, who Tut commanded to perform acrobatics on the ledge of a building. King Tut nearly succeeded in his sinister plot, having tricked Batman into taking the drug as well. However, Batman protected himself from the drug's hypnotic power by coating his stomach with buttermilk. While trying to escape, Tut accidentally swallowed the drug himself and became Batman's slave, which allowed Batman and Robin to safely take King Tut to Commissioner Gordon's office where he reverted to his normal self.
In the episodes "King Tut's Coup" and "Batman's Waterloo," Professor McElroy is approached by two Yale students who ask him about his King Tut side. He tells them about it while he mentions that he had to wear a reinforced hat to prevent unwanted blows. The moment he shows off his hat, three flower pots hit the three of them on the head. While Professor McElroy became King Tut again, the two students develop the personalities of King Tut's Royal Jester and Lord Chancellor. Together with a female moll named Neila, they plotted to capture Lisa Carson. With help from Neila, Batman and Robin were able to get King Tut hit on the head again regressing him back to Professor McElroy.
In "The Unkindliest Tut of All," it was mentioned by Commissioner Gordon to Batman that Professor McElroy was hit on the head by a brick while at a love-in. King Tut sets himself up as a crime predictor and even claims that Bruce Wayne is Batman. While claiming that there will be a raid on Gotham State Penitentiary to free all of its arch-criminals, King Tut targets a scroll that will take him to the statue of a god. With help from Batgirl, Batman and Robin defeat King Tut and his henchmen. While at the Gotham City Police Department, King Tut still claims that Batman is Bruce Wayne when Commissioner Gordon gets a call from a beat cop that Louie the Lilac was sighted.
In his final appearance in the series titled "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle," King Tut gets out of his therapy lesson and buys a plot of land adjacent to Wayne Manor as part of a plan to obtain a rare mineral. The villain tunneled beneath the manor and accidentally discovered the subterranean Batcave. He realized that Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person. Batman and Robin then battled Tut and his henchmen in the Batcave. The Dynamic Duo administered a drug spray to the henchmen that would erase their recent memory. Tut, however, fled to the surface via the tunnel after all the spray ran out from the can. Once at the top of the tunnel, Tut was about to reveal his discovery of the Batcave—and Batman's true identity of Bruce Wayne—to Commissioner Gordon, when Batman provoked Tut to raise his voice, thereby causing a rock to fall on his head, knocking him out. When Tut regained consciousness, he was once again Prof. McElroy, with no memories of Batman's secret identity. Seeing that he is late for his class, Professor McElroy runs off with Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara still asking who Batman is.
King Tut later popped up in "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra" yet a body double was portraying King Tut at the time. He alongside Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, and Egghead were freed from Gotham State Penitentiary by Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft and Cabala. When explaining her plans to rule Gotham City, she gives King Tut the job to rob the museums. The villains were defeated by Batman, Robin, and Batgirl.
Tut's hideouts sometimes included an "apothecary", the only one in Gotham, in the "Pyramid" building.
The comic book version of King Tut is shown to be Victor Goodman, a criminal Egyptologist who targets and murders wealthy citizens, and leaves Egyptian-themed riddles, similar to the Riddle of the Sphinx. Batman teams up with the Riddler, who does not appreciate his modus operandi being stolen, and agrees to help to stop Goodman. They managed to defeat King Tut who is sent to prison until he is transferred to Arkham Asylum.
His alter-ego is an homage to actor Victor Buono.
In other media
King Tut appears on Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by John DiMaggio. Due to copyright issues with FOX, King Tut is referred to in the synopsis as "Pharaoh". In "Day of the Dark Knight!", he is shown as a convict trying to escape Iron Heights Penitentiary, but was foiled by Batman and Green Arrow. The other convicts that Tut escapes with are either common criminals, the show's supervillains, or other villains from the Adam West series (including Egghead, The Bookworm, Archer, Louie The Lilac and Shame who are recognized both by face features and their trademark hats). Tut makes another jailbreak cameo at Blackgate Penitentiary in "Night of the Huntress!". In "Battle of the Superheroes!", Batman and Robin wear special mummified suits in order to fight Pharaoh when he uses a special staff to turn people into zombies that obey his every command (The wrappings are coated in buttermilk, another reference to the live-action Batman series). With some pictures taken by Vicki Vale, Batman and Robin managed to defeat Pharaoh and freed his victims.
- The William McElroy version of King Tut appears in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. He is among the villains that Robin and Catwoman recruited to help fight an evilized Batman after the two of them sprung King Tut and the villains from Gotham State Penitentiary.
- The William McElroy version of King Tut appears in The Lego Batman Movie. He is among the villains that assist Joker in his attacks on Gotham City.
- As seen in Batman Confidential #26–28, (April–June 2009)