As a promotion for the movie, on Tuesday, Syfy is showing all 26 episodes of the 1966 TV series with Van Williams and Bruce Lee from 10 AM to 11 PM. I never seen any of them, just the Batman  guest appearances. I wonder if they're included? I'm going to tape some of it. Anyone else?

BTW, did you know that the original Green Hornet was the grand-nephew of the Lone Ranger and the inspiration for DC's Crimson Avenger and the Sandman?

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Over the weekend I read my hardcover collection of the first twelve issues of Now Comics’ Green Hornet for the first time and I am now kicking myself for having waited so long! Writer Ron Fortier folds the radio show and the television show into a single continuity and makes Green Hornet a generational hero. The Britt Reid of the television show era (born 1936) is the nephew of the original Green Hornet of the thirties (born 1906), and his nephew in turn (Paul Reid, born 1967), becomes the new Green Hornet featured in this series. Also, Britt Reid II has a son, Dan Reid III, born 1983. The origin story (issues #1-6) is supplemented by the memoirs of the first Britt Reid, as well as Reid and Kato family trees to which I referred several times during the course of reading the story. It’s very like The Watchmen in that respect.

It is also like The Watchmen in another respect: the artwork. The artist of the first eight issues is Jeff Butler (co-creator of The Badger), whose style is not unlike that of Dave Gibbons to begin with. In addition to that, the time frame of the non-linear story is revealed through the front page of The Sentinel or the post mark on a letter or some other subtle visual reference. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but here’s a word to the wise: these issues are available cheap online.

Here’s what Van Williams had to say in his introduction to the collected edition:

Hello out there, Green Hornet fans. Many of you might not realize that I was just as much a Green Hornet fan as a lot of you were and are.

I followed the “Lone Ranger and Tonto” for many years on radio and TV, and also the old radio “Green Hornet.” Many an even was spent around the radio listening to the exciting tales of “The Green Hornet and Kato.” I didn’t really discover that the Green Hornet was a modernization of the Lone Ranger until I was signed to play the Green Hornet in the television version of the show. I thought the writers did an excellent job of adapting the shows from the old West to a modern city.

Working with Bruce Lee was a real kick. He had tremendous enthusiasm for his role as Kato, not so much for acting, but in his dedication to showcasing what he called “Jeet Kune Do.” This was his own interpretation of an ancient Chinese martial art learned under the tutelage of many Chinese grand masters.

Bruce’s dedication to the ancient masters and his desire to follow the design they taught never wavered. He was very upset with many of the portrayals of “Kung Fu” and “Karate” that came after him and were obviously poor copies of his art.

Bruce would drive the people on the set nuts by constantly practicing his kicks and backhands on everyone. He was a perfectionist, and never wanted to portray his art in a phony way.

The people on the show, the cast, were all very friendly and worked very hard to make the show a success.

NOW Comics has come up with a very interesting concept in that they are working with three generations of Green Hornets. By developing three separate time frames to work out stories in, they have three distinct eras of history to surround their heroes with.

When I was doing the TV show, I was very insistent that we follow the original premise of the “Green Hornet,” and I think we did stick to the original as close as we could, making the show very believable. We developed many sincere fans over the years; the comic books and books are staying with the original premise and will not only keep our loyal fans, but hopefully develop new ones.

I hope to see many of you at the comic conventions and personal appearances I have lined up. I always enjoy meeting fellow fans and discussing the show or the comics, and answering any questions you may have.

Thanks for posting that, Jeff.  In a fortunate fashion, it serves as a good post script to the Deck Log Entry I have just submitted.

 

It was also enjoyable to read Van Williams' remarks.  There aren't many folks in or from Hollywood who I would ever care to meet, but Williams is one of them.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
I did notice in one of the episodes I’ve seen so far that the Green Hornet wore a different style mask, one with “expression lines.” I hope that one didn’t last long.

That mask was worn only in the first episode filmed---"Programmed for Death" (though it aired as the third episode of the season). You probably noticed that Bruce Lee also wore a similarly styled mask in that episode.

Apart from fashion concerns, the eyeholes were too small for either Williams or Lee to see adequately. (Adam West experienced the same problem with his Batman cowl.) So following that one-time appearance, those masks were jettisoned and replaced with masks that were made out of plastic moulded from the actors' faces. It took some time to get them just right, though. In the interim, Williams and Lee wore the first generation of the moulded masks for a couple of episodes. They strongly resemble the final product, except that they are duller in colour---especially the Hornet's.
You're very welcome! I gathered from one your earlier posts to this thread that you might enjoy reading Williams' comments.
I was wondering what your your thoughts were on the NOW series, Jeff. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I came into the series initially a bit later in the run, and then I went back and picked up some of the earlier issues just a few years ago. I liked the series a lot, and enjoyed some of the miniseries they did as well (like Dark Tomorrow and Solitary Sentinel for instance).
The Green Hornet movie opened at #1 with $34 million. It was the second highest grossing film for a MLK weekend. So congrats to all involved!
"That mask was worn only in the first episode filmed---"Programmed for Death" (though it aired as the third episode of the season)."

Heh. I knew if anyone here had the explanation for that it'd be you, Commander.
Another feather in the cap for The Wild, Wild West!

This is probably more suitable for the thread about favourite bits of business from movies and television, but the mention of The Wild, Wild West and the fight scenes reminded me of one moment when the show poked fun at itself.

 

Usually, I can quote episode and airdate for these kind of things, but this one just eludes me.  Even when I consult Susan E. Kesler's book on the series, I find no mention of the scene I am about to describe.  All I can tell you is that it was from one of the seasons filmed in colour and it is probably the last season, because as I recall, it was when Robert Conrad changed his hairstyle from being swept back to a low part.

 

I do remember the scene quite well, though.  It was a situation in which the show was going to make fun of the fact that, in almost every episode, it seemed, there was a scene in which Jim West would duke it out with several foes at once. 

 

Jim West is chasing a suspect down a western city street and the suspect rounds a corner.  West follows and comes face to face with a half-dozen or so tough guys, all pointing their six-shooters at Jim.

 

West throws up his hands in capitulation, but before any unpleasant shooting can take place, Artemus Gordon steps out of a near-by alley, with his own gun pointed at the outlaws.  "Drop 'em!" says Artie, and the toughs all toss their pistols away.  Jim looks at his partner with relief and gratitude.

 

At that point, Artie holsters his own weapon, then nods to West and the crooks and says "O.K., gentlemen, have at it!"

 

Jim gives Artie a double-take, and then the fight is on---while Gordon stands back and watches.

Many thanks for posting that, T.P.  I've never read anything to this depth in Williams' own words on his opinions of the show. 

 

I enjoyed it greatly, even if I did have to mentally jog myself into realising just how long ago 1988 was.

Am I a hypocrite for starting this thread yet dropping both The Green Hornet and The Green Hornet: Year One from my order?

And yes, thanks Turn! Great article! Made me miss Starlog all over again!

...Considering the greatly increased number of commercials per average commercial TV hour ( or half-hour ) to-day versus the mid-60s , how edited are the versions that SyFy showed ? ( I don't have cable:-( . )

  Assuming that the 26 episodes of TGH included one episode of the two=part Batman crossover , I suppose SyFy might've skipped those and just run the " pure " 25 ?

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