Saturday, June 10, 2017

KERPOW!! Batman Has Died.

While reading this LA Times piece about the iconic Adam West and the original Batman show from the mid 60's, it's kind of hard to believe it was only originally aired for two years.





Of course I used to watch it, that's what kids in the 60's did back then.

Adam West, star of the 'Batman' TV series, dies at 88

Adam West, who donned a cape, cowl and tights to became an overnight sensation in 1966 as the star of the campy “Batman” TV series, has died, according to a family statement. He was 88.

West, who later lamented being typecast as the iconic Caped Crusader but eventually embraced having been part of American pop culture, died Friday in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, according to multiple reports.

A former Warner Bros. contract player, West was appearing in TV commercials in the mid-1960s to help pay the rent. But several commercials he did for Nestle’s Quik chocolate powder — parodies of the popular James Bond movies in which West played a dry-witted character called Captain Q — had an unexpected outcome.

They caught the attention of 20th Century Fox TV producer William Dozier, who was looking for someone to star as Gotham City millionaire Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego, Batman, in a farcical new series for ABC.

Adam West: Hollywood Star Walk
Based on the DC character created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939, “Batman” debuted in January 1966 as a twice-weekly half-hour program — 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the Wednesday episode ending on a cliffhanger.

West knew his life would never be the same the night the heavily promoted first episode aired.

“I stopped at the market on the way home,” he told Esquire magazine in 2004. “I thought, ‘Tonight, I just want to be alone. I’ll stop, get a steak and a six pack, whatever, then go home and watch the debut of the show.’

“As I walked through the checkout line, I heard people saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, hurry up. “Batman” is coming on!’ And I said to myself, ‘Goodbye, anonymity.’ ”

The tongue-in-cheek series roared into public consciousness like the Batmobile out of the Batcave.

Snip

The “Batman” series spawned a 1966 movie version and an array of merchandise, including lunchboxes, dolls and toy Batmobiles.

Both nights of “Batman” were rated in the top-10 list of shows for the 1965-66 season. But as with any fad, the show’s popularity eventually began to fade.

By the fall of 1967, the series was cut back to once a week, and it was canceled in March 1968.



Another thing I never knew about him was that he was originally from the Pacific NorthWest.

Born William West Anderson on Sept. 19, 1928, in Seattle, West grew up on a farm outside Walla Walla, Wash., before his parents divorced and he moved to Seattle to live with his mother and her new husband.

He majored in English literature at Whitman College in Walla Walla. He later did post-graduate work in communications at Stanford University but dropped out after six weeks to take a job at a Sacramento radio station.

West, who was drafted into the Army in the early 1950s, was hosting a local daily variety show in Hawaii with a chimp named Peaches and acting in community theater when a Hollywood agent saw him playing the lead in a production of “Picnic.” In 1959, West became a contract player at Warner Bros.

So long Batman.

Thanks for the memories.

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