When compiling a list of roles that Adam West has done, it is all too easy to just put a few different versions of Batman at the top. Now, around here, we do not do “easy.” Everyone knows that Adam West played Batman. A lot of other people know that Adam West voiced Batman in cartoons. So there it is. Adam West played Batman.
This list, meanwhile, is a look at the rest of West (which sometimes involves others playing Batman.)
10. Night Gallery: Dr. Jekyll
In a short segment in Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (a 1970’s follow-up to The Twilight Zone) , West plays Dr. Henry Jekyll undergoing the transformation to Mr. Hyde. After the transformation, Hyde tells his assistant (played by Jack Laird, who also wrote the spot,) “if I told you once, I told you a hundred times! Go easy on the vermouth!”
9. Boondocks: R. Kelly’s Lawyer
TEN MINUTES IN
In this episode of The Boondocks from 2005, Adam West lends his voice to the character of “R. Kelly’s Lawyer.” The Lawyer is not named in the episode. West’s defense attorney plays the race card hilariously at every turn. He commends R. Kelly for only exposing himself to “sistas,” as opposed to the opposing attorney, who has married a white woman. West’s lawyer rests his case by playing R. Kelly’s music. West delivers the lines with a seriousness usually reserved for declaring that you are bringing down the Commandments from the mountain.
8. Return to the Batcave: Himself
In this and a few other vehicles (both live action and animated), “Adam West” becomes less a man and more a fictional character. That character is best played by none other than…Adam West. In this silly, yet delightful, made-for-TV movie, Adam West stars as himself, with old partner-in-crime Burt Ward, to investigate why a Batmobile is stolen. West is not actually Bruce Wayne or Batman in the film. The “mystery” leads Adam and Burt to get contact with several former cast members, before retrieving the 1960s’ era Batmobile. This is also notable in that it was the last time West was on screen with the legendary Frank Gorshin, before Gorshin’s death.
7. Spongebob Squarepants: Young Mermaid Man
In the 2010 Spongebob Squarepants episode “Back To The Past,” Spongebob and Patrick get into Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s time machine to visit Young Mermaid Man and Young Barnacle Boy. The younger versions of the heroes are memorably voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward. Hopefully, there will be more collaborations going forward but, as of now, this was the last time that Burt and Adam have worked together.
6. The Outer Limits: Major Charles Merritt
Before donning the cowl, Adam West played Major Charles “Chuck” Merritt, who lead an expedition to Mars. This all takes place in the “futuristic” year of 2021. Based on the story by Jerry Sohl, astronauts come up missing on Merritt’s watch, while working on the Red Planet’s surface. There is no enemy seen…because the Martian monsters live underground. “The Invisible Enemy” gives an argument that West may have done well in another classic 1960’s series, namely as Captain of the USS Enterprise.
5. Drop Dead Gorgeous: Himself
In the wonderfully dark comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, Adam West parodies not only himself, but also the role of a “celebrity judge.” West again plays a version of himself. The role mocks the use of a celebrity status for whatever reason, as a currency to keep getting paid well after your glory years. West brings an inspired fakeness when he is in his “official” capacity as celebrity judge, as well as a knowing realness when he is not in that capacity.
4. The Simpsons: Himself
In 1992, Adam West again spoofed himself in The Simpsons episode, “Mr. Plow,” in one of the best cameos of one of the greatest individual episodes of one of the most iconic series of all time. As with Drop Dead Gorgeous, West is spoofing celebrity appearances, in this case autograph signings. West is completely oblivious that the Simpson children have no clue who he is, or that he might merely be creeping them out. West’s most memorable line is that he did not need plastic molding to be Batman. It was all “100-percent pure West.”
Embedding this video is impossible (unless you’re into grainy footage of somebody else’s TV, entirely done in Spanish,) but it can be found in all its glory here.
3. The Fairly Odd Parents: Catman
In Nickelodeon’s Fairly Odd Parents, Adam West plays Adam West, again. However, in this universe, Adam West once starred in a TV show called Catman, that was “cancelled thirty years ago.” West’s character is always in his Catman costume, and has a blurred line between fantasy and reality. The reality is often further blurred by the fact that he is friends with a child who has fairy godparents. There is a wonderful irony of a child, who has control of magical fairies, continuing to push an aging actor back to reality.
2. Batman The Animated Series: The Gray Ghost
In “Beware the Gray Ghost,” Adam West lends his voice to Simon Trent, who starred in a superhero series called The Gray Ghost. Trent has reached the end of his line financially, and has to sell all of his memorabilia in a world that seemingly no longer cares about him. When crimes start happening exactly like from the show, Trent attracts the attention of The Batman. West gives a heartfelt performance, as the series gives a nod to those who came before.
1. Family Guy: Mayor Adam West
Mayor Adam West is the mayor of the fictional Quahog, Rhode Island, where The Griffins live. It appears that West is enjoying a late-life foray into local politics, a la Sonny Bono or Clint Eastwood. He’s also frequently shown to have gone completely insane. Highlights include spending thousands of dollars to figure out where water goes when it drains, as well as marrying his own…hand.