'Batman' beyond: Adam West's 14 best cameos and appearances
Adam West, who died Friday at age 88, made his name on television in the ’60s-era Batman as a campier version of the Dark Knight. In the years that followed, the actor maintained a healthy career of cameos, voiceover roles, and appearances on shows ranging from Bewitched and Murder, She Wrote to cartoons like Fairly OddParents and Johnny Bravo. Check out his 14 best TV cameos and appearances ahead.
1. Family Guy, various
West debuted as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy in the show’s second season. A fan of Jem and the Holograms who once tried to get superpowers by rolling around in toxic waste, the witless wonder defended the citizens of Quahog, Rhode Island with his cat launcher. Unless you were the Noid, you were probably on his good side.
2. 30 Rock, 2009
In a season 3 episode of Tina Fey’s NBC comedy, West popped up to celebrate Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) birthday — though the fictionalized version of the Batman actor wasn’t exactly a hit at the party: His Penguin reference fell flat, as no one in the room seemed to know who he was, and he flubbed Jack’s introduction by calling him “my good friend, Jake Delahee.”
3. Fairly OddParents, various
In the mid-2000s, West voiced an animated version of himself on the Nickelodeon show, where his alter ego was a parody of Batman called Catman. The not-so-heroic vigilante often needed the help of Timmy and his fairy godparents in getting out of dicey legal situations caused by his incompetence.
4. The Big Bang Theory, 2016
Leonard, Howard, and Raj were debating who’s the best Batman when their fourth passenger, West, claimed Bale’s iteration was overrated: “I never had to say, ‘I am Batman.’ I showed up, people knew I was Batman.” If it were up to him, he’d be on top of the list, Bale would fall below Michael Keaton, and “pretty boy Clooney” would sink to the bottom.
5. Robot Chicken, 2015
AdultSwim’s Robot Chicken aired a special DC Comics episode with West voicing an animated version of his Batman. He dies more easily in this new setting because, while he is still dancing, the Penguin has updated his arsenal with the times: Instead of poison gas, he now fires anthrax.
“I didn’t need molded plastic to improve my physique. Pure West,” the actor said as an animated version of himself on The Simpsons. Homer, Bart, and Lisa slowly backed away from what they assumed to be a senile actor talking about how Batman used to dance and Catwoman used to be played by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriweather, and Eartha Kitt. West also lent his voice years later to an animated version of the ’60s Caped Crusader on the show.
8. Futurama, 2013
Continuing his animated voiceover cameos with Futurama, West popped up this time with his Batman costar Burt Ward, who played Robin in the ’60s series. Both played celebrity heads in jars in a 2013 episode, with West being the one attached to a bat’s body.
9. Funny or Die, 2011
As one of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme victims in this Funny or Die sketch, West was a little “strapped for cash,” so he decided to sell some of his old Batman paraphernalia at a garage sale and maybe get a free trip to Arby’s out of customers if he shared some stories about the Penguin.
10. The King of Queens, 2005
Spence (Patton Oswalt) is pretty pumped to go to a sci-fi convention with Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno, but he ends up ditching him for West when the Batman decides he wants to be his guest. The plan, however, backfires on Spence, who’s ultimately punished for double-dipping.
11. Jay Leno’s Garage, 2016
Back in West’s day, Batmobiles weren’t massive tanks like they are in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight or Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The actor rolled up in Jay Leno’s Garage with his classic ’60s Batmobile and challenged the former late-night personality to a race. Afterward, they celebrated with burgers.
12. Batman: The Animated Series, 1992
West voiced animated versions of himself across various Batman-related properties, including Batman: The Brave and the Bold and The Batman, but his performance as Gray Ghost on Batman: The Animated Series is a tribute to his legacy. On the show, Bruce Wayne, voiced by Kevin Conroy, placed his hand on the shoulder of West’s Simon Trent and explained how he was his childhood hero.
13. Bewitched, 1964
Before Batman, West guest-starred on Bewitched in the season 1 episode “Love Is Blind.” Samantha has Darrin invite a handsome artist named Kermit (West) to dinner as a potential suitor for her friend, Gertrude. Darrin, however, suspects Gertrude to be a witch and tries to sabotage the matchmaking.
14. Animaniacs, 1997
One of his more ridiculous Batman parodies, West returns as the Dark Knight alongside his sidekick, Chicken Boo as Robin. With Animaniacs returning to television, this is also a celebration of what made the cartoon series so great.
30 Rock even has funny credits. An episode ends and, occasionally, we are treated to an extra joke at the expense of Executive Producer Lorne Michaels. These just another testament to how great 30 Rock is.
Season 1 Episode 11 “The Head and the Hair”
Season 3 Episode 2 “Believe in the Stars”
Season 3 Episode 17 “Cutbacks”
(Kenneth is naming the pet birds that Tracy and Jenna bought for him after mistaking him for a murderer)
Season 4 Episode 21 “Emanuelle Goes To Dinosaurland”
Liz is giving a reading at Floyd’s wedding “For he has sold us…”
Season 5 Episode 1 “The Fabian Strategy”
This may not be a direct reference to Lorne Michaels but… Pube Shirt.
Season 5 Episode 14 “Double-Edged Sword”
Season 6 Episode 1 “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”
Season 6 Episode 13 “Grandmentor”
Jack: “This is a group process, Lemon…”
Season 6 Episode 21 “The Return of Avery Jessup”
It could be argued at that some of these are not direct references to Lorne Michaels. There are a ton that are not included here that could be direct references to Lorne. I used my best judgment.
With Bill Cosby in the news for sexual assault, I was reminded of the time where 30 Rock sort of addressed that same situation. Also, I know that Hannibal Buress was a writer but I’m not sure if he was writing on the show during season 3.