I make it no secret that I wish I was Batman, and the reason for that was Adam West.
Enjoying the reruns of the 60’s Batman show was one of the highlights of my childhood. While other kids were out playing baseball, I was reading Batman comics, drawing Batman, trying to create my own Batman utility belt.
Fast forward to my early adulthood. I was a newbie, wanna-be comedian running my mouth occasionally at a comedy club in Waikiki.
I have a plethora of stories about how interacting with the audience went so very wrong for me in those early days. Variously, my inept attempts at crowd work were met with stone cold silence, frantic flashes of “the light” (the device meant to signal to a comic that his time on stage was over) and even a death threat.
But on one night early in my painful growth as a comedian, right in the front row sat an older gentleman with a familiar set of good looks.
I glanced at him and offered, “Hey, what’s up. Anybody ever tell you that you look like Adam West?”
“I am Adam West,” said the man to my complete disbelief and proceeding ridicule.
What followed was a couple of minutes of my not-finest moments calling an old and heavy guy, “old,” and “heavy.” Ugh. (It’s why today I’d rather not go in on an audience member, unprovoked, with the knives out. I’d rather celebrate the person and find something funny about them being awesome.) If this is all that happened, it would be bad enough, but after the show one of the club’s staff came up and said, “Man, I think that really was him. The reservation was under Adam West.”
Why wouldn’t it be Adam West? He started his whole show business career in Hawaii back in the 50’s with a children’s television show. It wouldn’t be a stretch for Mr. West to have come back to his one-time home and enjoy a comedy show. That is, until the open mic idiot on stage verbally assaulted him. This open mic idiot. The one who idolized Adam West.
Adam West was the greatest Batman ever. Even though he ranked only at number eight on my list of Top Ten Superheroes In The History Of Ever, he truly was the greatest because he was the Batman of my childhood.
Adam West taught me that there are more important things than self-interest. He was offered to be Sean Connery’s successor as James Bond. BUT TURNED IT DOWN BECAUSE HE WASN’T BRITISH.
Adam West taught me that you can be anything in this life.
Most of all, Adam West taught me that you can conduct yourself with grace and dignity in the face of an uninvited verbal puking upon by an ignorant, ill-advised, inexperienced, idiot open mic comic.
For these and so many more reasons, I am so sorry to you, Adam West. I offer you a million apologies. May you rest in Bat-peace.
Goodnight, good knight.