June 14, 2017

A (Slightly Awkward) Tribute to Adam West

C2E2 - Batman On DisplayI have to admit that, in light of Adam West's passing, that I wasn't....always....the most faithful of fans. Oh, sure, I grew up with the 1960s Batman. Hell, I dressed up as Batman for Halloween. Several times.

But once I hit my twenties, something happened.

Maybe it was the Keaton movie...or the animated series...but for some reason, I found the 1960s Batman quite corny. Eye rolling.

In short, I was one of those "dark, gritty fanboys" that Bob Chip discusses in his Adam West tribute:

Perhaps I had gotten too "cool for school" - after all, I hadn't actually watched the show. (No markets in St. Louis carried the show, and YouTube hadn't been invented). But gradually, I realized something...

...it was supposed to be corny.

Read a 1960s-era Batman comic, and it's slightly goofy. Not as goofy as time-travelling, gimmicky Batman of the 1950s, but it goofy nonetheless. And the Batman television show reflected that goofiness.

However, Adam West actually took it somewhat more seriously....but giving it a slightly dry tone. In many ways, he was the Bruce Campbell of his time.

And quite honestly, if it weren't for his deadpan performance, the show would have not passed a single season.

Since moving back to Chicago, I've had the opportunity to catch reruns of Batman on MeTV. (In fact, MeTV is holding a day-long Adam West retrospective on June 17th). Although some of the humor is a bit cringe-worthy....the show still holds up, and Adam West never gives a bad performance.

Which is why I can say, without hipsterish irony, that Adam West will be missed.

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