Shapely brunette Grace Gaynor as Chickadee was one of my favorite Batman molls because she was just so mean and committed vile acts without a second thought.  Clad in a sexy red cigarette girl costume the entire two episodes, she abetted the Penguin in “The Penguin’s Nest” and “The Bird’s Last Jest,” which aired originally on Dec. 7 & 8, 1966. How despicable was Chickadee? She threatened to kill both Chief O’Hara and Aunt Harriet! This was one chickadee who was no bird brain.

In this crime caper, the Penguin opens a fancy restaurant for rich people only and has his diners write down their orders on a card. This is a ruse for him to accumulate their signatures so he can get into prison to give to the ultimate forger Ballpoint Baxter to write blank checks. A paroled Chickadee is introduced by Penguin as his “hat chick and cigarette girl,” but adds Commissioner Gordon, “not to mention notorious bootlegger of untaxed cigars.” Penguin’s attempts to get himself imprisoned, including pilfering Aunt Harriet’s diamond bracelet, finally gets him arrested but he winds up in the city jail, not the state pen, as Batman has figured out the felonious bird’s plan.  Chickadee and Penguin’s henchmen break him out just as the Dynamic Duo arrives. Holding a guard’s gun, she takes a shot at the crime fighters and misses as Batman says “you deluded murderous girl.”  A fight begins and Penguin’s crew is losing until Chief O’Hara arrives only to be tripped by Chickadee who points her gun at him and exclaims in a sing-song voice, “Dynamic Duo look.” The felons escape with the Chief as hostage.

Chief O’Hara is then locked in a trunk and is pushed down a water slide by a gleeful Chickadee into an electrified pool of water but lucky for him Batman is able to reverse the current foiling Penguin’s vicious scheme. He and his gang of rascally raconteurs are then sent to court for arraignment with Batman stepping in for the District Attorney. To his amazement and the Penguin’s disappointment, the judge dismisses all charges. Trying to trap the Penguin, Batman sends Alfred to impersonate Quill Pen Quarch “the most brilliant criminal pen man who ever lived” but Penguin recognizes him as Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler and has his chef bake him in a pie that is delivered to Wayne Manor where he demands $1 million.  The Dynamic Duo arrives and a fight with Penguin and his cohorts begin. Seeing her team is losing, Chickadee holding an umbrella gun on Aunt Harriet threatens “stop Batman or I blow the ladies’ brains out!” However, Alfred pops out of the pie distracting her as a quick thinking Aunt Harriet grabs a vase and cracks it over Chickadee’s head (Bonck!).  Happy that he and his crooked birds are finally going to the state pen, Penguin is foiled again as Bruce Wayne announces that Ballpoint Baxter has been paroled and will be teaching penmanship to underprivileged children.

Grace Gaynor really is quite good as Chickadee. It is fun to watch a moll who is as vicious as the boys and who doesn’t moon over Batman or Robin. Surprisingly, Gaynor’s career didn’t go farther. Her lone film role during the sixties was as Katherine Houghton’s best friend in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). After Batman, TV viewers could watch her on episodes of Occasional Wife, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, and The FBI.  She made the occasional TV guest appearance during the seventies and then surprisingly turned up playing Mrs. Underhill in the Chevy Chase comedies Fletch (1985) and Fletch Lives (1989).

Next bat time, next bat channel: Julie Gregg as Finella


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  • John Black

    How dumb was I? When I watched the Batman series first-run, I didn’t notice any of the suppoting babes. Haven’t seen the show since, but the molls would be my main reason to watch it again. Ditto THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

    • Totally true. Femme Fatales

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