Adam West got the part of the Mayor in Family Guy after Seth McFarlane had written another pilot for the actor.
By Jessica Scott | Updated
The late Adam West brought us a lot of laughs over the years. He is best known for his role as Batman on the delightfully cheesy television series from the 1960s, but some younger viewers may recognize his voice from a totally different kind of show: Family Guy. When IGN asked how Adam West got involved with Family Guy as Mayor, he had this to say: “I had done a pilot with Seth [MacFarlane] that he had written for me. It turned out we had the same kind of comic sensibilities and got along well.”
“When Family Guy came around and Seth became brilliantly successful,” Adam West continued, “He decided to call me and see what I was doing. He asked if I would like to come aboard as the Mayor, and I thought it would be neat to do something sort of absurd and fun.”
One of Adam West’s favorite parts of working on Family Guy was the fact that he was able to bring his own ideas to the show. He said that “the wonderful thing… is to be trusted.” The showrunners allowed him to make a lot of his own decisions about where to take the character and how to put himself into it. It gave him a creative freedom he didn’t always feel he had while working on other projects.
Adam West went on to say that his favorite episodes of Family Guy were the ones that let him run with some really crazy, out-of-the-box ideas. He had as much fun making the show as viewers had watching it.
In addition to Adam West’s involvement with the Family Guy series (he also hosted an online game based on the show), he will forever be associated with the Batman franchise. West was often asked about making another Batman series, perhaps one written by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane himself. He was open to the idea and took it as a compliment that fans still loved his character decades after the original series ended.
In 2012, IGN also asked Adam West what he thought about Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight series. That one gave us a much broodier version of Batman, a seemingly far cry from the jocularity of the Batman series and Family Guy. West said he was a fan, and that he found it compelling that a character like Batman can be portrayed in so many different ways.
In his words, Christopher Nolan did “The Dark Knight, and I did the Bright Knight.”
Adam West made many cameos after Batman, usually playing a fictionalized version of himself as he did on Family Guy. In Season 3 of 30 Rock, for instance, the actor showed up for Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) birthday party and made a joke about the Penguin that no one understood, as no one knew who he was.
On the Big Bang Theory, he appeared to be a bit more successful, however. The main characters were arguing over which Batman incarnation was the best, and Adam West chimed in, saying his Batman was better than Christian Bale’s. “I never had to say ‘I am Batman,’” he said. “I showed up, people knew I was Batman.”
Adam West lent his voice to many animated series outside of Family Guy as well, playing multiple different characters on The Simpsons and Fairly Oddparents. He also appeared as a Batman or batman-like character in several shows like Futurama and Robot Chicken.
Adam West will always be remembered for his role as Batman, but Family Guy introduced him to a whole new audience that will continue to think of him fondly for decades to come.