Was ‘Batman’ Star Adam West Kicked Out of an Orgy for Staying in Character?

Batman's sex life became a hot topic on social media in June 2021.

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Claim

Actor Adam West was once kicked out of an orgy because he wouldn't stop playing Batman.

Rating

Context

This anecdote truly originated with actor Adam West, who wrote about the incident in his memoirs and has told the story in several interviews. However, West's co-star Frank Gorshin said he had no memory of the event.

Origin

Sex is a popular topic on social media. Comics are popular, too. But rarely do we get a crossover trend that hilariously combines the two.

That’s what happened in June 2021, after Variety published an article about the subversion of the super hero genre. More specifically, Variety reported that the producers of the adult animated series “Harley Quinn” had asked the show to remove a scene in which Batman performed oral sex, saying “heroes don’t do that.”  

This sparked a conversation about sex, masculinity, and Batman’s love life. As this conversation was churning away on social media, Amanda Wong, a Vancouver artist who was worked on shows such as “Carmen Sandiego” and “Rick and Morty,” posted a screenshot of a piece of text that supposedly relayed a story told by Adam West, the actor who portrayed Batman on TV in the 1960s, about how he was once kicked out of an orgy because he refused to break character. 

This anecdote comes from an interview West gave to the entertainment news website Blastr (now Syfy Wire) in 2014. The actor was asked about his favorite memories of co-star Frank Gorshin, who played the Riddler, and West responded:

What’s your favorite memory of Frank Gorshin? He defined that role so well.

Well, I think one of my favorite memories is that Frank and I were invited to a party one night and we decided to go, a Hollywood party we didn’t know anything about. We were kind of laughing and having a few beers and said, “Let’s go over there.” We walked in … and it was an orgy. So I immediately went into the Batman character, and Frank went into the Riddler character, because we were getting the big giggles. It was so funny to us, what we walked into. And we were kicked out. We were expelled from the orgy.

West also wrote about this incident in his 1994 book “Back to the Batcave,” and told this story during an appearance on actor Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast in 2014. You can hear West tell this story around the 44-minute mark.

 
While West told this story for decades before his passing in 2017, we haven’t been able to find any other sources to corroborate this chain of events. The one person who would have been able to confirm this story, Frank Gorshin (the actor who played “The Riddler” in the TV series), who was supposedly with West during this odd orgy, said that he did not remember the incident.

20 Apr 1997, Sun Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey) Newspapers.com

The Asbury Press published a brief Q&A with Gorshin in 1997. The newspaper included an excerpt from West’s book and then asked Gorshin about the event:

“Once, we walked into a party where clothing was unwelcomed,” West wrote in “Back to the Batcave,” his 1994 book. “However, after Frank and I got comfortable amid the sea of legs and breasts, I felt a little silly so I began to do Batman. Somewhere across the room, Frank became the Riddler, and it was so ridiculous in that setting that we couldn’t stop laughing. We had the distinction of being thrown out of our first and only Hollywood orgy.”

[…]

Section X: In “Back to the Batcave,” Adam West wrote that you two “closed a few bars” in your time, and he related an anecdote in which you and he attended a party where, in his words, “clothes weren’t welcome.” He called it your “first and last Hollywood orgy.” Do you remember closing bars with Adam, or going to that party?

Gorshin: We’d go out and tip a few, you know (laughs). I don’t remember closing any bars. It was never that serious.

Section X: You don’t remember that party?

Gorshin: No.

We can’t confirm that Adam West was really kicked out of an orgy for refusing to break character as Batman. While this anecdote truly did originate with the actor, his co-star (and alleged co-conspirator) said he had no memory of the event.

If this story really is true, we imagine it looked something like this: