Meeting Adam West, "Batman" and the Batmobile

Herbie J Pilato
[The Classic TV Preservation Society]

To this day, no matter who else plays the role, Adam West will always be considered by many television and movie fans as the ultimate Batman.

West played the Caped Crusader alongside Burt Ward as Robin on the classic TV series Batman, which originally aired on ABC from January 1966 to March 1968.

West and Ward had many co-stars on the series who played arch villains to Batman and Robin, including Julie Newmar as The Catwoman, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Cesar Romero as The Joker, and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, among many others.

But another key co-star on the series was the Batmobile that the Dynamic Duo drove throughout the famed Gotham City.

It was the beginning of the era of cool TV cars that also featured spiffy automobiles on The Green Hornet and The Monkees, and later, in the '70s, with cars like the red and white Torino driven on Starsky and Hutch, and the General Lee on The Dukes of Hazzard.

In recent years, TV and movie conventions like The Hollywood Show, and The Mid-Atlantic Convention allow television and film fans and buffs to meet their favorite pop-culture stars.

One such convention took place in 2004 in Santa Monica, where a TV Batman reunion was taking place that included West, Ward, Gorshin, and more.

Since I lived in Santa Monica at the time, it was easy for me to attend the pop culture convention. As the author of several books about classic TV shows, I would also be able to interview various of the celebrity actors who attended (including June Lockhart from TV's original Lost in Space series).

But it was Adam West who I was most excited about meeting.

Decades before, I would see from a distance when Burt Ward had been chosen as the "live and in person" star of the Shrine Circus that was making a stop in my hometown of Rochester, New York. And in 2016, I would later have Ward on my classic TV talk, Then Again with Herbie J Pilato.

But I had never met Adam West, and I wanted to change that.

Little did I know, that not only would I meet him, but I would end up leading him to the Batmobile.

Here's what happened:

After about an hour or so after first arriving, I learned that West might not be attending the event. He was late, stuck in traffic, and there was talk of him canceling his appearance.

But then he finally showed up. But no one in the room knew it was him. No one, that is, but me. And when he walked into the room, I noticed that he looked confused. He was supposed to be stationed near the Batmobile, and he was unable to find it. His trusted colleague, manager, and dear friend Fred Westbrook, who later would become a dear friend to me as well, was by West's side. And Westbrook, too, looked confused as to where West was to be stationed.

So, I discreetly approached both of them, turned to Mr. West, and asked, "Might you Are you looking for the Batmobile?"

West nodded his head slightly, and whispered, "Yes. Yes, I am."

I smiled and said, "Follow me."

And I then proceeded to lead Batman to the Batmobile.

"Holy Cherished-Memory-Lane moment!"
[The Classic TV Preservation Society]

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS: A TREASURE HOUSE OF DECEMBER MEMORIES REVEALED, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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