Was Adam West’s Batman the best Batman on TV or in films?
Absolutely. And not just because he’s from Walla Walla — although it certainly does sway the argument in West’s favor.
The fact is that West’s Batman was different from every other screen version of the Caped Crusader. He played the part for three seasons starting in 1966, and did so with wry humor and a self-deprecating, campy style that made the ABC show must-see TV for kids and adults.
When West (born William West Anderson) died this month at the age of 88, folks in his hometown immediately thought of honoring him with a statue — wearing, of course, the iconic cape and cowl of the world’s greatest detective.
It’s a great idea. It would create a link between West’s Batman and his hometown, Walla Walla.
A petition was started through Change.org to place a statue in Walla Walla. It is aimed at the Walla Walla City Council and states, “With the recent passing of pop culture legend and Walla Walla native ADAM WEST, we are proposing a bronze statue of Adam West as BATMAN from his iconic role in the 1960s TV series, to be commissioned and placed in downtown Walla Walla.”
As of this writing the petition had over 1,200 electronic signatures.
Of course, who would pay for this statue and where it would be placed could be controversial, as seems to be the case with art placements in the city. Holy Civil Discord, Batman!
Still, if folks could lighten up a bit, much like West did when playing Batman on TV or on the big screen in 1966’s Batman: The Movie, it could be a fun project.
Several downtown kaffeeklatsches on Main Street could be overheard this week discussing the possibility of a Batman statue.
And a few sipping their early morning coffee wondered out loud whether it might be even better to set up a giant Bat Signal at City Hall (like the one Police Chief Clancy O'Hara used to signal Batman) that could be shined on the Marcus Whitman Hotel or the clouds in the night sky on special occasions.
Pow! Zowie! That’s an idea that would KO the Joker with one punch.
That wouldn’t be too expensive and would, again, be a whole lotta fun.
Let’s provide Batman (the best Batman) a final resting place in Walla Walla with a statue, a bat signal — or perhaps both.