Sunday, June 11, 2017
The year would have been around 1966.
The story goes, he went out to get a new set and the showroom was playing Batman - in living colour. My father, being my father, had to have the newest technology. He came home with a colour tv.
Mind you, I'm 99% sure my father never saw Batman. I suppose it is possible he happened upon it while I watched it, but keep in mind, I was watching it in re-runs about 7-8 years later, but doubtful.
Growing-up, I loved Batman. I am not even sure until much later did I realize it originated in comic book form. I know it appealed to me in visual stimuli, bad jokes, bad acting, and probably on some level, a weird kind of man-on-man spectrum.
Is it odd I was more titillated by Batgirl then Batman or Robin? You don't have to answer that.
Even as a child, I recognized the absurdity of the show. I am guessing the comic books were more on the serious nature - at least comparatively.
Still, Adam West played his version of Batman flawlessly. His delivery was spot-on. He did his lines, probably tongue in cheek, but never LOL'd.
I've said it before, and will again, my absolute favourite moment had Batman and Robin at Catwoman's mercy: tied to spits that turned over an open flame, and they were to be basted in butter. ...and then the complete straight faces of all in the scene:
Robin: Holy Oleo, Batman
Catwoman: I didn't know you yodeled.
Where was a man like West to find work after that. While perhaps not typecast, you have to believe he was pigeonholed and the joke factor no one would hire him. I swear the next time I saw him, he played himself on the Simpsons at an autoshow with the Batmobile.
And of course, he's played himself on other series.
But his probable big break came on Family Guy. 17 years of work on that series alone. For that continual syndication, I'm hoping he made a pretty penny.
Good for West for doing the most absurd lines in tv ever. Whatever it takes to get paid. I loved that he was part of it.
It's sorry to see that he passed. It's not a surprise at 88, I suppose. But still, it's a part of my early childhood. I don't know what Seth McFarland will do with Mayor West next season.
Song by: Lucinda Williams