Seth MacFarlane first worked with Adam West, who died Friday at age 88, on the Cartoon Network series Johnny Bravo. “It turned out we had the same kind of comic sensibilities and got along well,” West told IGN. Years later, as MacFarlane was gaining notoriety, he reached back out to the Batman actor for a role in his new series, Family Guy, as the disillusioned mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island.
MacFarlane described the character to The A.V. Club as an “alternate-universe Adam West” in the vein of “actors getting into politics.” He said, “The first couple episodes we did, we got a great response from fans in their teens, who I can’t imagine, necessarily, know who he is from the old Batman show. He’s one of the characters we get the most requests for more of.”
As fans and members of the industry continue to cope with the loss of West, we celebrate a voice role he spent 17 years perfecting.
1. Cat Launcher
If you’re a pizza guy bringing Mayor West a pizza with Canadian bacon instead of actual bacon, he’ll consider it an act of war. It’s moments like this when his Cat Launcher comes in handy. West chases the delivery man around town, slinging frantic cats in his face.
2. West kills the Noid
When Meg gets a job as the mayor’s assistant, she learns firsthand what the day-to-day is like for local government. Mostly, it’s just making sure the Noid doesn’t ruin the freshness of West’s pizza. Their encounter is one of the more adult scenes on Family Guy, but, then again, children aren’t really this show’s prime demographic.
3. “Somebody’s stealing my water”
During Meg’s reporter phase, she heads to the mayor’s office to try and find kernels for her first big story. West tries to avoid her at every turn, like when he throws himself out a window because she “can’t interview a dead man.” When she finally tracks him down, she finds out he’s been spending taxpayer money to find out who’s stealing all his water.
Mayor West loves his Taffy. Bask in the glory that is this nearly 30-second clip of him eating his favorite candy.
5. West’s press conference
West has a pretty foolproof plan for dealing with the press: If he can’t see them, they can’t see him. It’s that simple. Melissa McCarthy might want to incorporate that into her Sean Spicer impersonation should she return to Saturday Night Live next season.
6. Fighting fire with fire
In one of the fan mail episodes of Family Guy, the Griffins get superpowers after they’re coated in toxic waste. The town wants to put a stop to their rampage, so the mayor tries to become a superhuman himself. Only instead of pyrotechnics or transformative abilities, he gets lymphoma.
7. Light Bright
Highlighting West’s ongoing delusions, he suffers an identity crisis when he can’t find enough pieces to finish spelling his name on the Light Bright board. Why aren’t there enough pieces? Is it because his name is really “Adam We”? Officer Joe Swanson is the unfortunate soul having to deal with this.
8. Shouting match
To offer some context, Stewie is screaming because he walked in on his parents having sex on the living room floor. West is screaming because, well, he’s Adam West.
9. West falls in love
What starts as his first attempt at doorbell dashing becomes the moment West falls in love — with Lois’ sister, no less. Yes, we should never forget that West became Peter’s brother-in-law.
10. The Adam West song
The Adam West song is really simple and easy to pick up. It’s just two words — and West himself will walk you through it.