Even though Adam West passed away at the age of 88 earlier this month, his voice will continue to be heard on Family Guy in season 16. West is best remembered for portraying The Bright Knight in the campy 1960s Batman television series, but a new generation of fans know him best for voicing Mayor Adam West — a kooky and delusional version of himself – in over a hundred episodes of Seth MacFarlane’s long-running animated comedy.
West’s death came several weeks after the season 15 finale of the FOX series aired. Fortunately, animated shows go into production well in advance of their airdates, so we haven’t seen the last of Mayor West just yet.
Executive producer Steve Callaghan, who penned West’s debut episode (season 2’s ‘Fifteen Minutes of Shame’), revealed to EW how many episodes next season will showcase West’s iconic voice.
“Mayor West will be in five more episodes of the show that are scheduled to air this coming season.”
When asked if there were any discussion about not running these episodes, which will feature Mayor West “riding a hoverboard with a rat in his pocket” and presiding “over a ceremony for a group of millennials,” Callaghan said that thought never even occurred to them. In fact, he believes airing them is the proper way to honor West for being an integral part of the series. However, episodes including Mayor West that the late actor hadn’t yet recorded have been altered.
“There were two or three episodes where his character had been written in, but he hadn’t yet recorded those, so obviously we’ve made accommodations for that. There was one scene where he was officiating a wedding, and it was easy enough to just have a different character do that. I [wouldn’t] even consider having someone come in and try to imitate his voice.”
Sadly, this is the second major death of a longtime, well-liked member of the voice cast that the show has dealt with in the past seven months. Carrie Fisher, who died after suffering a heart attack on a plane in late December, portrayed Peter Griffin’s supervisor Angela. She too had recorded voice work in advance, so the show was able to air two more episodes including Fisher’s raspy voice. Neither Mayor West nor Angela will be recast, but aside from considering Quahog going without a mayor for a while, Callaghan still isn’t sure how their departure will be addressed.
“We haven’t exactly decided how we’re going to address the departure of Adam West’s character from the series. In fact, this is something that we’ve been dealing with concerning the loss of Carrie Fisher [who was a recurring guest voice]. But what I can say is that both of their departures from the show will certainly reflect the importance that each of those characters — and actors — had within our series.”
To pay tribute to West, a week and a half after he passed away, Family Guy re-aired and dedicated the March episode ‘The Dating Game’, in which Mayor West outbids Peter for a Medieval Times-like restaurant, to him.
Family Guy returns for an all-new season in the fall of 2017 on FOX.
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