Adam West dies at 88.
Posted: Posted June 10th by Jet Presto
Sad news as 1960s Batman star Adam West has passed away at the age of 88 from leukemia. After becoming a staple of many people's childhood from the campy children's Batman series, he became a popular figure as the Mayor on Family Guy, playing an exaggerated version of himself.
It's easy to knock the corniness of ABC's 1966 take on the Caped Crusader, but that show actually still stands up as a piece of entertaining kids' program. Granted, it could be the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia that color my view of it having had it as a part of my childhood, but even watching it today, I'm impressed with the earnestness at which almost every actor on it embraces their role. It's campy and silly, but everyone appears to take their role shockingly seriously. West as the straight-laced Batman was a key component to why it works, to go along with just how much everyone runs with their roles as villains, from Cesar Romero's Joker to Frank Gorshin's Riddler to Lee Meriwhether, Julie Newmar, and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
Either way, whether one agrees that it "stands up" as kids' fare makes no difference from the larger perspective, which is that they made a show that has endured and is still iconic in the history of both television and the Batman character. Usually, these types of camp-periods are things people want to forget about as a series or franchise continues, and certainly DC did a lot over the past few decades to grow the character. Batman: The Animated Series was another great program for kids that was a lot more serious (than even a lot of its comics counterparts of the time), and that show has endured as well. It is funny, and telling, that the 1966 Batman show, camp and all, has largely been embraced and beloved by Batman fans.
And I think that is in large part because of Adam West, who played the Dark Knight in a very entertaining way, but also approached his life trying to be the Bright Knight (as his family referred to it). West was always so friendly to fans and a positive person.
RIP, Adam West. See you in the big Bat Cave in the sky...
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