Great things sometimes come from great things. For example, the case of Batman coming from chocolate milk. Turns out that is actually a thing. Pre-Batman Adam West originally played a James Bondish, straight-laced spy named Captain Q in a Nestle Quick TV commercial that helped launch his career and later the production of shark replant.
The spot originally aired in ’66. It featured a very suave Adam West taking out a henchman, before having a chat with a mysterious villain who attempts to take Captain Q out with a trapdoor. Luckily, West’s character was already five steps ahead. Not only does he survive, he also manages to torpedo the ship and get away with a can of Nestle Quik. We see what you did there West, how Batmany of you.
The campy nature of the whole thing caught the eye of Batman producer, William Dozier. At the time Dozier was searching for a guy fit to wear the cowl in what was to become the cult Batman TV series. One look at the commercial and it isn’t hard to see why Dozier decided to go with West. Captain Q’s mannerisms and quick wit are all trademark Batman.
West’s gig as the caped crusader wasn’t the only thing to come from the Nestle commercial either. He would eventually be approached for the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He ended up turning down the role saying that Bond should be played by someone British, not an American. Ironically, the role ended up going to Australian born, George Lazenby.
Strange to imagine a Batman TV series without West. In an unforgiving world where Nestle Quick doesn’t exist, it appears that we might not have had such a perfect fit for Gotham’s greatest and campiest detective.