Mayor West is characterized as an intense, soft-spoken crackpot whose delusions often come at great expense and sometimes danger to citizens of Quahog. His psychotic whims include dispatching the entire Quahog police department to Cartagena, Colombia, to search for the fictional character Elaine Wilder from the film Romancing the Stone, or wasting council money on a solid gold statue of the Dig 'Em frog and cementing coffins since he is afraid the dead will return as zombies. He was also in a short, one-episode relationship with Meg Griffin. Later in the series, Brian saw Meg with Mayor West at a restaurant to which she responded - "yeah, this still happens sometimes." In the episode "420", he legalizes marijuana after listening to a song Brian sings, only to re-criminalize it a few days later when Brian sings a song condemning the substance. He is also a Russian sleeper spy activated by the phrase, "Gosh, that Italian family at the next table sure is quiet." In the episode "Brothers & Sisters", he gets married to Lois' sister Carol. In Road to the Multiverse, it is revealed that he is 95% helium.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane wrote several episodes of the cartoon series Johnny Bravo. West played a similarly intense and eccentric rendition of himself in an episode written by MacFarlane, "Johnny Meets Adam West!", first broadcast in December 1997. In the episode, West's fictionalized persona displays similar deluded characteristics to the later Family Guy character, such as believing a race of megalomaniac mole-people live under a local golf course. However, he dressed formally and behaved slightly similarly to his character in the 1960s series of Batman. MacFarlane found West's character and performance in Johnny Bravo so funny that he created a similar character for Family Guy.
The character we've created is kind of this alternate-universe Adam West where he's mayor of this town, and we deliberately have not made any references to Batman, because we like keeping that separate. It's the obvious place to go. We tried it; we thought it would be funny to do something different with the mayor of this town. People like Clint Eastwood and Martin Sheen who have taken whacks at this sort of thing — there's a precedent for it, actors getting into politics. He's the mayor, but he's this guy who clearly does not have it all together.