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Adam West will certainly always be remembered as the star of the Batman television series from the 1960s, but he also left an indelible mark on pop culture making regular appearances on the animated hit show Family Guy. Playing a version of himself who also happens to be the mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island, the actor made his first appearance in the show's second season, and made regular appearances in every season after that. Of course, the question always lingered: why did Adam West voice "himself" instead of an original character? Earlier tonight, Ralph Garman, radio host and friend of West's and Seth MacFarlane's, revealed the answer:
I asked Seth once, 'Why didn't you create a character for him? Why is the mayor of Quahog Adam West?' He said, 'Adam West is the greatest character you could ever hope to create. I want Adam to be Adam.' And it's been a dozen years!
Because Adam West's first Family Guy appearance was back in 2000, it's actually been closer to 20 years than a dozen -- but the larger point is that we've been laughing at the antics of Mayor Adam West for a very long time. Garman told this story while on stage during a "Remembering Adam West" panel at San Diego Comic-Con -- joined on stage by writer/director Kevin Smith, Batman: The Movie star Lee Meriwether, and Batman: Brave and the Bold producer James Tucker. Garman, who has also done a lot of voice work on Family Guy, also recounted exactly how it was that Seth MacFarlane originally came to work with Adam West, explaining that their relationship went back to when MacFarlane was a writer on the Cartoon Network series Johnny Bravo. Said Garman,
[Seth] knew Adam could be funny, and he wanted to give him a chance to be so when he was working on a show called Johnny Bravo. And he had an idea for "Johnny Bravo Meets Adam West," with the hopes of spinning it off and giving Adam his own animated serial. And that did not happen, but Seth remembered him when he went on to do Family Guy, and eventually made him the mayor of Quahog.
Between his work on Batman and Family Guy, Adam West most definitely did get the opportunity to show the world how funny he could be before he passed away last month. Because he could act like a limitless nutjob in the animated world, his work on the latter was surreally hilarious, and whenever he was on the screen he truly upped the random humor ante (which is impressive for a show that is almost entirely made up of random humor). To celebrate his many years of great work on the series, we definitely recommend giving the amazing montage video below a watch: