An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

Post Reply
User avatar
Batfanman
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:03 pm

An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Batfanman » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:45 am

Here are my words & thoughts from the past week that have taken 50 years to articulate:

An Appreciation of Batman & Adam West

“To the Batmobile…” • “Atomic Batteries to Power, Turbines To Speed!” • “Roger, Ready to Move Out!” • “Tune In Tomorrow… Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!”

Week after week, children of the mid-1960s held their collective breaths on Wednesday nights, anticipating those words and that “the worst is yet to come!” But that anxiety soon slipped into slumber and then on to school - where Recess played out Bat-fight re-enactments and afternoon bells Bat-signaled an imaginary race to the Batmobile, the Batcave and home to “Wayne Manor.”

There, parental guidance and suppertime sustenance couldn’t make way fast enough for that moment when we could finally tune ourselves back in front of our sometimes blurry window to the world and collectively exhale in a burst of relief, as the Dynamic Duo would escape our previous nightmare and save the day that we just dreaded. Deep inside, we knew they would. They had to. After all, they’re Batman & Robin (& Batgirl, too!)

There were many, many talented and creative people ultimately involved with bringing Bob Kane & Bill Finger’s creations to life in the form of the 1966 Batman TV series. The ingredients were in abundance. There was the catchy music, spectacular vehicles and gadgets, colorful costumes, flashing graphics, outlandish plots, outstanding actors playing outstanding heroes & villains, deceptively clever humor and most importantly, engrained lessons in morality - and occasional grammar. (You’re welcome.) And the primary teacher of those lessons was the actor who wore the cape & cowl of the titular character: Mr. Adam West.

Many other actors have played The Batman since and before 1966. Yet, in the annals of American pop culture, none have made quite the same impact (POW!) nor have created the same, lasting endurance, as did Adam West and his portrayal of the Caped Crusader. This is not to say that others’ interpretations of the Dark Knight aren’t worthy of note – they are. But what makes the assertion ring true is that Adam West became the focal point of a unique cultural explosion that embraced his version of Batman and for which, unlike his successors, he fully embraced as an actor, albeit to subsequent detriment (and eventual salvation.) All of this happened at a very tumultuous estuary in our nation’s history and all other Batmen who followed still hear the echoes of it. Batman 101: Without West, there’d be no “the rest.”

Adam West undoubtedly paid a high price, career-wise by playing a character like Batman. Indeed, following the cancellation of the series, he couldn’t escape the Bat-traps of real life that faced him, no matter what tools were in his utility belt. He was hopelessly typecast and it wouldn’t be until the coming of age & power of the generation that idolized him, that he would finally gain the true recognition and re-employment for which the Hollywood of his hey-day had cruelly denied. He could also finally re-embrace, with pride, the legend of the Bright Knight.

Imagination fueling fascination, igniting aspiration. That is just a part of the summary effect that Batman has had on so many of us and for it to mean so much as to be writing about it 50 years later, speaks volumes that go beyond the bookcase in the study at Wayne Manor.

Adam West’s Batman went on to become a citizen of the world who still teaches those lessons of morality (and grammar) to this day. In a way, that may seem “campy” to some. But if you peel back those thin layers, the essence of who Batman is and what he represents is right there and best reflected by an actor from Walla Walla, Washington who left us last week with an enduring legacy - which is this:

Batman isn’t Bruce Wayne. Batman is Adam West!

Rest In Peace, Adam West.
Long Live Batman.
We Need Him Now!
Every Day Is BATMAN DAY!
Visit & Like - https://www.facebook.com/batfanman66

User avatar
Batman65
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:09 am

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Batman65 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:41 am

This is very well written sir. I believe what you have said echos each and every one of our thoughts here.

elmrgraham
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 am

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by elmrgraham » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:49 am

Holy Excellent.

Gorshin Romero
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Gorshin Romero » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:08 pm

That was very touching.

User avatar
Ben Bentley
Moderator
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:31 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Ben Bentley » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:10 pm

Thanks for taking the time to so articulately express your thoughts. I feel they're echoed by many here.

User avatar
Mark Racop
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:51 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Mark Racop » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:06 pm

Nicely done. And a perfect tribute. Thanks for sharing your thoughts at this difficult time.

User avatar
Jimmy L. 66
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:45 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Jimmy L. 66 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:50 pm

Thanks, for sharing your memories

User avatar
Golddragon71
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Golddragon71 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:17 pm

I'm not usually one to say this but....

Amen!





(Bagora!)
"Someone might be able to substitute for Batman, for a very short time, but no one could ever replace him!"

User avatar
Space Ghost
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:36 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Space Ghost » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:55 pm

Good read, thanks!
You're Never Too Old to have a Happy Childhood

Jthree
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Jthree » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:01 pm

I have never seen anything like this, not even when Leonard Nimoy passed away. I've been astonished with all the love for Mr. West that has come out since his passing. And I don't recall very few tv or movie stars when the pass, getting anything like a real life city putting out the Bat Signal for him.

God bless all of you who gave your comments on the internet. From Wally to others, it's just been incredible reading all this. Don't see too many modern tv or movie stars who would get this kind of attention.

---jthree

User avatar
Golddragon71
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by Golddragon71 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:39 am

I feel that's largely because Adam was so completely underappreciated after Batman was off the air. his work prospects dried up because of typecasting, he spent much of his time doing bit parts (if that) or living on "Batman" appearances
(It doesn't help that the Frank Miller Batman really made West's version "uncool" for many people and those few of us who loved the show had to put up with the negativity of those who just didn't "get it")
"Someone might be able to substitute for Batman, for a very short time, but no one could ever replace him!"

User avatar
K.G. Bird
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:45 am

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by K.G. Bird » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:40 am

I totally agree with Batfanman. There are so many things to love about this show but I love how he portrayed the character. I grew up with this Batman and as a kid I watched the 1968 Filmation cartoons. I never could get into the Dark Knight characterization. For me personally, the morality portrayed by Adam West was so unique. I know it was meant to be funny but what came across was this incredible man whether as Batman or Bruce Wayne, who always had such certain morality and values. He calls all of us to be better citizens and even to use better grammar. This is the main thing that made Adam West's Batman so special. He may not have superpowers but he had super virtue and that was more important. It is also the main distiction between a superhero and a supervillian. Not super powers.
"Really Dick! I fear some recent romantic interlude has fevered your imagination. Aunt Harriet is..utterly..beyond..reproach".

User avatar
dell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Re: An appreciation of Batman & Adam West

Post by dell » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:20 am

Wow, lots of great things being said about Adam in this thread. Just getting to this today as I can only read a few things at a time. Partly to savor them and partly because it is so difficult. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And thank you Adam West.
dell

Post Reply