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Thom Price
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 1  

Despite having no particular interest in or fondness for the 60s BATMAN, I really liked Adam West.  Most performers who resort to self-parody to sustain their careers end up looking pitiable.  West did it with such grace and panache, he elevated it to an artform.

RIP
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 2  

I rewatched the original Gray Ghost episode of B:TAS and cried like a baby.RIP
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Rich Marzullo
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 3  

Always struck as a genuinely kind hearted and warm man. 

RIP
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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 4  

Last year, Mr. West's friend and neighbor Van "The Green Hornet"
Williams passed away. Now this. Childhood icons leaving us.

RIP, sir.
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James Best
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 5  

Rest In Peace, old chum... 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 5:59pm | IP Logged | 6  

I was really sad to hear this. I was a huge Batman fan in the late 80s (and still am), but spent a lot my time back then railing against the legacy of Adam West's version of the character, which -- I felt -- was like a lead weight around the character's neck in terms of how he was viewed in the wider public consciousness. 

That said, as a very young child, Adam West's Batman was the height of excitement. He and Burt Ward and the various member's of the rogue's gallery truly looked like the comics come to life.

There is something incredibly memorable about Adam West's particular pattern of speech and I'm so deeply sorry to hear of his passing.


Edited by Peter Martin on 10 June 2017 at 5:59pm
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 7:30pm | IP Logged | 7  


For me, still the best ever...
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 8:48pm | IP Logged | 8  

was really sad to hear this. I was a huge Batman fan in the late 80s (and still am), but spent a lot my time back then railing against the legacy of Adam West's version of the character, which -- I felt -- was like a lead weight around the character's neck in terms of how he was viewed in the wider public consciousness. 
++++++++

This is a perfectly valid concern for we comic book fans, of course. I love the show, but I also have those pesky mixed feelings, what with the parody of it all, and the long-term impact the show had on the character and the genre.

That all being said, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Batman and the various elements of his universe would probably not be the household names they are today without that show. A huge chunk of Batman's popularity and pop culture-recognition-factor traces back to the TV show. 

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 9:43pm | IP Logged | 9  

Sad to hear. 
Like many ,he was one of the first heroes of my childhood and being 7 I didn't get "camp" I just enjoyed the good guys vs the bad guys.

RIP 

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Andrew W. Farago
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 11:51pm | IP Logged | 10  

Batman first aired about ten years before I was born, but I discovered the show in syndication when I was about four and absolutely loved it. That and annual airings of Superman and Superman II on television made me a fan for life.

Got to meet Mr. West at a convention about ten years ago, and I was a little kid again. Spent tonight watching Batman with my two-year-old, Robin, who's just as excited about the show as I was thirty-something years ago. 

That's staying power.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 12:31am | IP Logged | 11  

My first Batman. My favorite hero ever since and probably forever. 

RIP 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 12:39am | IP Logged | 12  

Say what you will about the series, the performance or the show in general, but what you can't deny is it's legacy. That can be construed in a bad way, but in the best of ways it led many of us to comic books that otherwise may never have found them.  BATMAN made comic books cool. The show made us seek out his origins.  It made us comic book fans for the long haul.  In short, the series left an indelible mark on generations and they have gone on, in turn, to venerate the series in their own work.  

Adam West is a huge part of that and, for that reason, I'm eternally grateful. 
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 12:58am | IP Logged | 13  

RIP.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 1:53am | IP Logged | 14  

I just now finished watching the 1966 movie on Netflix. The line "Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!" epitomizes West's Batman.

And tip of the hat to West for his cartoon voice work. I'll have to seek out that 'Grey Ghost' episode mentioned above. His work on 'Family Guy' was often the highlight of the episode.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 4:27am | IP Logged | 15  

More and more of the actors responsible for my fondest television
memories are fading away, and I'm not happy about it.

RIP, Mr. West.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:20am | IP Logged | 16  

More and more of the actors responsible for my fondest television memories are fading away…

••

Too true. And I am older than you, Wallace, so I have been experiencing this even longer.

The first time was George Reeves. I was eight years old, and my father really did have to explain to me that Superman had not died.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 17  

I was really sad to hear this. I was a huge Batman fan in the late 80s (and still am), but spent a lot my time back then railing against the legacy of Adam West's version of the character, which -- I felt -- was like a lead weight around the character's neck in terms of how he was viewed in the wider public consciousness.

++++++++

This is a perfectly valid concern for we comic book fans, of course. I love the show, but I also have those pesky mixed feelings, what with the parody of it all, and the long-term impact the show had on the character and the genre.

That all being said, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Batman and the various elements of his universe would probably not be the household names they are today without that show. A huge chunk of Batman's popularity and pop culture-recognition-factor traces back to the TV show.

••

The real problem lies in the persistent myth that "Batman" was a HUGE HIT. It was -- for half a season. (It was a "mid-season replacement show" at first.) When it came back for a full season, the ratings steadily declined, so that it was renewed, yes, but cut in half, from an hour a week to half an hour. And then it was gone.

But in Hollywood only that surge of "Bat-mania" is remembered, and to this day there are those who think the hugely successful movies could be even MORE successful if only they were more like the show. (Ladies and gentlemen, Joel Schumacher.)

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Larry Morris
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 18  


<<Tongue-in-cheek tone aside, his Batman still embodied the noblest and most heroic aspects of the character, and represented a perfect heroic ideal for kids. And he still does>>

Amen.  RIP.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 19  

Sometimes I think that "Batman" wouldn't have made any kind of big splash at all if not for this...

The bright, perhaps occasionally garish, color palette truly resonated with 1966 and in the immediate years thereafter, not only among the kinds of artistic images that youth (and then the wider culture) began to respond to the most but also just as a part of the overall move back then away from black&white TV shows.

I know that for myself, "in color" was a big draw. We didn't have a color set, but we had a relative who did, and I cannot tell you the treat it was to visit her and watch the show in all its splashy glory.



Edited by Michael Penn on 11 June 2017 at 8:39am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 20  

If "Batman" had been shot in black&white, I wonder if it might have been an entirely different show? Would they have gone for something more moody, more atmospheric? Or would William Dozier's stated contempt for the character have still gotten in the way?
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Thom Price
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:52am | IP Logged | 21  

If BATMAN had started it a bit earlier, it almost certainly would have been in B&W; but it also probably would have been one of those 60s shows that underwent an abrupt tonal shift when moving to color.  The end result must just have been the same!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 22  

The real problem lies in the persistent myth that "Batman" was a HUGE HIT. It was -- for half a season. (It was a "mid-season replacement show" at first.) When it came back for a full season, the ratings steadily declined, so that it was renewed, yes, but cut in half, from an hour a week to half an hour. And then it was gone.

But in Hollywood only that surge of "Bat-mania" is remembered, and to this day there are those who think the hugely successful movies could be even MORE successful if only they were more like the show. (Ladies and gentlemen, Joel Schumacher.)

++++++++


I've been slowly rewatching the series on Blu-Ray, over the past year or so. The first season is pretty much the show that I remember and love from my childhood. The latter half of the first season and the first third of the second season (which is where I'm currently at) took a sharp turn into more overt absurdity and celebrity guest-stars--clearly an attempt to bolster ratings after the initial fad and novelty of the show had worn off. 


I do think that an important factor in the success of the show is that electric onscreen chemistry between West (absolute master of playing absurdity with a straight face) and Ward (no acting experience, but buckets of enthusiasm and charm).


Last night, I watched "Hizzoner The Penguin/Dizzoner The Penguin", in which the Penguin runs for Mayor of Gotham City (due to an outdated part of the city charter which allows convicted criminals to run for office), and Batman starts his own campaign (and wins!) as a countermeasure.

At one point in the episode, there was this exchange:


ROBIN: Don't you think we should make these election posters a little bigger, Batman?

BATMAN: I think these are quite large enough, Robin. After all, the voters are interested in issues, not window-dressing.

ROBIN: Sure, Batman, but a little showmanship wouldn't hurt us any.

BATMAN: No, Robin, I want to conduct a campaign that deals with the issues. I'm convinced the American electorate is too mature to be taken in by cheap, vaudeville trickery. After all, if our national leaders were elected on the basis of tricky slogans, brass bands and pretty girls, our country would be in a terrible mess, wouldn't it?


This immediately brought to mind the troubled times we Americans live in. West's Batman always knew the right thing to say--even during the most ridiculous circumstances--and I gosh-darn teared-up, watching this scene.


Preach on, Batman.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 11 June 2017 at 12:37pm
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 10:56am | IP Logged | 23  

BATMAN , to me, was a staple show to watch when I was a kid. It was what it was, and I was ok with that. 

Adam West was perfect for the role. He has one of those deep voices that once you hear him, you'll never forget. And the pacing in which he said his lines - awesome.

RIP
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 4:49pm | IP Logged | 24  

The news of Adam West's passing hit me harder than I would have expected. He had a kind of agelessness to him, a quality that went with his gracious demeanor and his sense of humor.

I've always felt ambivalent about the TV series; though it's pretty reliably fun to watch, I disliked the relentless campiness of it even as a kid. No question about it, though: I always enjoyed West's performance as Batman. 

R.I.P.    


Edited by Ted Downum on 11 June 2017 at 4:50pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 7:06pm | IP Logged | 25  

Actual Bat Signal tributes in Charleston, South Carolina for Adam West.
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