Adam West is a famous actor, although his long time in Hollywood since childhood has left him relatively divorced from reality. West tends to treat all of life like a movie set, apparently unable to tell the difference between fantasty and an actual life or death situation. Although this often causes trouble for those around him, it has also imbued West with a surprisingly larger than life physicality, including getting around via Grappling Hooks and surviving encounters with actual supervillains. West's questionable grip on reality does not go unnoticed by others, which either causes people to disregard him or consider him a derranged lunatic.
Catman is the superhero alter-ego of Adam West. He lived at his Stately Manor, but currently lives at "It's a Wrap" Retirement Community, both in Dimmsdale. He is a good friend (as well as a legal guardian) of Timmy Turner. He is a parody of the 1960s Batman who was portrayed in live-action by the great Adam West and of course directly based after Catman, another hero made by DC comics but had become a less prominent superhero and hardly known nowadays to the people of Dimmsdale. Despite knowing he had simply played the role of Catman in his youth, West truly believes himself to be a superhero, and is unable to recognize the efforts of those who try to convince him otherwise. On his own he is a fairly ineffectual hero, but often times proves more capable with the unknowing aid of Timmy and his Fairies.
There appear to be two separate versions of Adam West featured on the show. The "Catman" version of the character was the first to appear, and was acknowledged as an aging actor convinced he was an actual crime-fighting hero and actually half cat. This version of West never appeared out of his Catman costume, and references to him actually being Adam West were eventually dropped in favor of simply acknowledging him as "Catman". The second version is portrayed as the actual Adam West without the Catman identity, focusing soley on his profession as an actor, though still portrays the physical tendencies associated with his role as the 1960s Batman. This version of West was more highly revered than the Catman version, who was seen as a senile lunatic. There two versions of Adam West were never directly linked with one another however.
West is the first person to guest star as himself in the show, The second one is Jay Leno.
West has brown hair on the show, but at the time in real life had entirely grayed hair due to his advanced age.
He has also played a fictionalized version of himself in shows Johnny Bravo (which Butch Hartman worked on prior to creating The Fairly Oddparents), The Simpsons, and was a recurring parody of himself on Family Guy up until his death.