In honor of the late Adam West, Entertainment Weekly recently released an interview with Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel, where they look back on their 1991 NBC comedy pilot starring West, Lookwell, one of the funniest TV pilots ever made. The interview was conducted before West passed away over the weekend, but it still serves as a great remembrance of not just a beloved pilot but a show that wouldn’t be the same if West hadn’t taken on the starring role – which, if NBC had their way, would’ve never happened. “We were so excited to write a vehicle for Adam West, but it really turned out to be a great vehicle for Conan as well, because this kind of sh– is really in his wheelhouse,” Smigel told Entertainment Weekly. “By ‘sh–,’ I, of course, mean brilliant, articulate nonsense that sounds like music out of Adam West’s mouth.” O’Brien also commented on how quickly he and Smigel came up with the idea for the pilot: “People always say the good songs are written in, like, two minutes, and all the things that Robert and I have worked on — the really, good fun stuff — happened really quickly.” Here’s another excerpt from the interview:
SMIGEL: I feel like Adam had another eureka moment that he came to on his own once we were in production. I remember him running to our office on a Sunday when we weren’t expecting him and he was wearing [laughs] a straw hat and beige shorts — not at all ironically — and he had told us that he had been walking on the beach and he had figured out the character. He was saying it with the same kind of exuberance Batman would have if he had cracked the code required to get into a criminal’s lair. I don’t remember anything about what he said he had cracked about the character — all I can remember is Adam West in a straw hat, dancing on air.