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Wild Wild West

"Night of the Eccentrics," #6601

Alerted by a fellow agent to a group of assassins plotting to kill President Juarez of Mexico, West and Gordon arrive in a deserted warehouse to find their informer dead with a knife in his back, holding in place a flyer for Echo Amusement Park.
West investigates and encounters the Eccentrics' leader, the infamous Count Manzeppi -- adventurer, poet and master of the malignant. He and his carnival lackeys are behind the plot to murder Juarez. What follows is one of the most macabre and fascinating Wild Wild West episodes, in which our agents run a gauntlet of treacherous traps and Manzeppi goons.

Actually the sixth episode in the shooting schedule, The Night of the Eccentrics was chosen as the opener for the second season because it was the most colorful and introduced a promising new villain -- Count Manzeppi. This episode also highlights newly enhanced sets, new costumes and the fully developed bizarre fantasy approach the producers had been pushing for in storylines (many involved with Wild Wild West had come from the previous season's Twilight Zone series). And don't miss Richard Pryor as Villar.

A favorite villain on the series, Victor Buono appeared as Wing Fat in the pilot episode, "The Night of the Inferno" and as Count Manzeppi in two episodes, "The Night of the Eccentrics" and the sequel Night of the Feathered Fury. He was born in 1938 in San Diego and worked in stock theatre and television (The Untouchables and the 1960s Batman TV-series are among his credits) before making his sensational screen debut in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962), opposite Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Due to his immense size and weight (over 300 pounds), he was mostly cast as a heavy in a variety of American and international productions like The Strangler, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Mad Butcher and a Matt Helm movie (as a Chinese villain stealing U.S. missle technology).

Directed by Robert Sparr
Written by Charles Bennett
Guest Cast:
Count Manzeppi: Victor Buono
Villar: Richard Pryor
Deadeye: Anthony Eisley
Miranda: LeGrand Mellon
Tony: Paul Wallace
Armstrong: Harry Ellerbe
Markham: Roy Jenson
Titan: Mike Masters
Nurse: Andi Garrett
Juarez: Frank Sorello
* The above information was compiled from The Wild Wild West: The Series by Susan E. Kesler (Arnett Press), "Michael Garrison's Wild Wild West," an article by Robert Alan Crick in Epi-Log Journal #11 and other sources.

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