Adam West, the Beloved TV Batman, Recalls the Early Days When He Was 'the Bright Knight'

Pam WrightLife

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Adam West, like most young kids of his generation, devoured Batman comic books growing up and loved playing Batman and Robin with other kids.

“Then I forgot about it,” said West in a phone interview to The Seattle Times.

It was many years later when West received a phone call about playing the DC Comics' superhero in a Television series, that Batman would again enter his life for good.

West, 86, said he thought the idea was a little ludicrous at first.

“I thought, ‘I’m trying to have a serious career,’” he remembered.

But, after reading the scripts for the first two episodes, he changed his mind.

“I fell down laughing,” said West. “I said, ‘I have got to do that.’ It was easy. Your sense memory comes back to when you were a kid playing Batman.”

He reiterated how important that first interview was for him in an interview with U-T San Diego.

“From the moment I read that first script by Lorenzo Semple Jr., I said, ‘Sign me up.’ I found it so amusing, so incredibly funny, but so exciting for kids that I just wanted the chance to cook with that character.”

Warner Home Video has released the entire series, which also starred Burt Ward as Robin, Alan Napier as butler Alfred and Neil Hamilton as the police commissioner, for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD. The set features all 120 episodes, which have been digitally remastered, as well as some added features.

“It was a classy show,” said West. “I have become convinced that everything that is classy doesn’t go away.”

The show became a huge hit and was renowned for its slap-stick humor.

“It was an absurdist comedy and a social satire,” said West. “We worked very hard to shape it in that direction — fun for the kids and exciting for adults who could get the laughs.”

West said he still enjoys participating in conventions such as Comic-Con in San Diego.

“People love Batman, and I would be stupid, I would be a fool if I didn’t love Batman,” said West. “There is no better way to keep a career going and keep your fans.”

Neither Tim Burton nor Christopher Nolan ever asked West to be in either the Batman movies, he said, but he doesn't worry doubt that.

“I don’t even think about that stuff,” he said. “They have the Dark Knight. I was the Bright Knight.”

Pam Wright