Remembering 2017, No 6
Playing Batman and the much Self Parodied Man Behind the Mask.
Recently, Adam West a much-loved actor of superhero stardom for many years passed away. West didn’t just play a superhero, his self-portrayal roles soared above the best of the rest..
In the lighter, more fun ages of D.C. superhero before the current dark ages of Zack Snyder, Adam West’s Batman encapsulated the more fun aspects of being a superhero. His Batman and other acting roles where he starred as a special guest star will be remembered here.
These roles will be accompanied some of his other more fun acting parts from this actor who will also be remembered as the man who played himself… and all the roles are unforgettable with that distinguished, iconic voice.
As Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman.
Batman Movie (1966) – trailer, BatEnciclopedia, http://www.youtube.com
Famous for being one of the better fun, more campy versions of Batman (and Bruce Wayne) in both the Batman TV Series (1966-68) and Batman The Movie (1966). And with that iconic theme tune. for Which every kid has emulated at least once. West was a superdude who every one of all ages will remember as Batman for many, many more years. Even my 9-year-old stepdude is a fan of West’s particular reincarnation which is happily part of Finnish terrestrial TV every year.
West’s was the fun Pow, Wham! ilk rather than the brooding, moody,
boring Ben Affleck, Batman. West was considered for a role as Bruce Wayne’s father in Tim Burton’s first Batman (1989) movie. Only sad that this didn’t happen, as West cast along with my favourite Joker, Jack Nicholson I think would have been fantastic to watch. As both actors were great in hamming up their respective superhero parts. West’s been almost constantly Batman over the decades since he joined the DC franchise, lending his voice to this superhero in cartoons up until this year. West also had the more fun gadgets of the series. And I discovered writing this, there is even a nice wee reference to West’s Batmobile in Animal House (1978).
As an All Star Guest.
Ricardo, Carol, and Adam, moreclipsplease, http://www.youtube.com
Like most eighties TV stars, and an ABC favourite Adam West starred as guest star with the almost obligatory performances in many an Aaron Spelling production. Eighties appearances included Murder She Wrote (1987), Hart to Hart (1983), The Love Boat (1983) and twice as different characters in Fantasy Island (1980-84),. In the nineties West popped up in episodes of Diagnosis Murder (in 1998) and Tales from the Crypt (in 1993). Full details of these series can be found by clicking on these titles.
I was ecstatic to discover one of his 80s appearances, playing a man with other Bat connection. But reading of all these appearances it’s now worth raking through your retro box sets to find these …
As a Fun Tongue in Cheek Version of Himself.
Batman Garage Sale With Adam West, Channel 4:20, www.youtube.com
Adam West always appeared to have a fun side, so I was happy to find that he had contributed to the Funny or Die site. In one sketch called Batman’s Garage Sale West kind of pokes fun, with a tongue in cheek take on the “serious actor” behind Batman persona that he obviously doesn’t share with other thesps.
He also contributes a fake advert for Eyehole Paintings which he advertises a mock home security gadget. This advert is presented and narrated by him. And that particular treat can be viewed HERE.
As an Animated Version of Himself and Catman.
Fairly OddParents | Cat Man | Nickelodeon UK, Nickelodeon UK , http://www.youtube.com
West also lent his voice to The Fairly OddParents (2003-08) and to Family Guy. And I remember him, especially from his time in Family Guy (2000-17) where he often had the more funnier story lines. This was as one of his more prolific and inspired appearances as himself, as the Family Guy‘s Mayor of Quahog Adam West. West is even immortalised as a playable character in my stepdudes Batman 3 play console game. And he can throw a Baterang.
However learning of his tongue in cheek part as Catman, a superhero obsessed with cats in a kind of The Fairly OddParents kind of way. And this sounded another fun part for West in a cartoon series. And watching clips of this cartoon, West hams up the masterful superhero voice we love so much.
A Live Action version of Himself.
American Teen Princess Pageant, Cam Williams, http://www.youtube.com
Adam West has been playing himself (or at least film’s impression of him) since 1978 where he starred in Hooper with Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. He also starred in the bizarrely titled The Size of Watermelons (1996) movie with Paul Rudd and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) with Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy and more.
TV performances as himself included 30 Rock (2009), The King of Queens (2005) and The Big Bang Theory (2016). And he had regular performances in Saturday Night Live. Which I’ll admit I hadn’t noticed on watching, but will now look out for.
So after seeing all these alter egos of West it’s only right that I do this man justice and check out more of his appearances where he flew in as a special guest star as himself or a character (especially that Fantasy Island episode). And I’ll go literally in the words of West’s title for his autobiography, Back to the Batcave… to see where it all began.