When I was a kid, Adam West’s Batman (1966-1968) had officially been off the air for over 20 years. And yet there I sat, watching syndicated reruns of the colorful, campy show. That show was one of my first true tastes of Superheroes. More than that, it was my first taste into this over-the-top puritan or “good citizen” writing that shaped daytime writing thru the late 50’s and 60’s. Westerns were still strong on the airwaves with shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, and more; and they all had this moral duty to shape the minds of the viewers by showing rights and wrongs – and explaining why.
Adam West’s Batman and Bruce Wayne were both incredibly intelligent and even worldly, while retaining the humility of a contributing citizen of Gotham City. Here are some quotes to illustrate what I mean:
Robin: “Batman, look! What skinny macaroni!”
Batman: “No, it’s spaghetti, Robin. A variety of alimentary paste, larger than bernacelli but not as tubular as macaroni.”
Robin: “Ghoti is fish?”
Batman: “See here. English phonetics. GH becomes F, as in tough or laugh. O becomes I as in women. TI becomes SH as in ration or the word nation.”
Robin: “Let’s go!”
Batman: “Not you, Robin. They have strict licensing laws in this country. A boy of your age is not allowed in a drinking tavern.”
Batman: “What took you so long, Batgirl?”
Batgirl: “Rush hour traffic, plus all the lights were against me. And you wouldn’t want me to speed, would you?”
Robin: “Your good driving habits almost cost us our lives!”
Batman: “Rules are rules, Robin. But you do have a point.”
Of course, Adam was known for many other roles, both heel and hero over the years, but he frequently revisited the caped crusader role and always seemed to be thankful for the fans who continued to support his choice to do so. Nowadays, the younger generation know his fictional and far more ridiculous persona, Mayor Adam West from Family Guy. It will be interesting to see how Seth MacFarlane writes the Mayor from the show, but the creator did tweet out his tribute to the late icon which you can read below:
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 10, 2017
Adam West was truly loved and respected by millions of people. He touched us with his characters, regardless of how off-the-wall or campy they were.
The Bright Knight passed away Friday night, losing his final battle to the harsh villain, leukemia. He was 88 years old, and in this house, he will forever be missed.
While he's not reminiscing fondly over his ill-gotten acorn collection, you can also catch him pretending to know anything at all about audio while trying to produce this train wreck they call a podcast in his "studio," which is nothing more than an multidimensional pocket shimmed between the fabric of space-time. That's where sasquatches live, you know.