Originally Posted by The Joker
In fact Burgess Meredith's Penguin was the show's most popular villain. So popular that they always had a script prepared for Meredith any time he might become available to do a show.
Indeed. The studio pretty much demanded that Penguin and Catwoman be the villains in Batman Returns because they just assumed they were his #2s and #3s, likely because of that show (it sure ain't the comics in Penguin's case). I bet giving Burton a character like Oswald to Burton-ize caused some headaches in retrospect. They just better be glad he never got to do Two-Face.
I think Penguin's stature has gone down. In terms of comics I would not even consider him in the top 10. He still has general awareness, but it seems writers have kind of abandoned the character over the last few decades.