It’s ‘The Green Hornet’!

Originally posted April 24, 2008

Wikipedia notes: “Inspired by the success of the Batman series, ABC brought The Green Hornet to television in 1966.”

The character of the Green Hornet had been the focus of a radio show that ran from 1938 to 1952 and the subject of two movies in the 1940. The televised Green Hornet was played by Van Williams, with his sidekick, Kato, played by the late martial arts star Bruce Lee. Unlike Batman, in which the camp element was played for hoots – “Holy light show, Batman!” – The Green Hornet was presented as a straight crime-fighting drama, running from 7:30 to 8 p.m., Eastern Time on Thursday evenings.

The show was canceled after only one season, leaving as its legacy the fame of Lee – his popularity was so great in Hong Kong, Wikipedia notes, that the show was marketed there as The Kato Show – and the theme song. As I noted yesterday, the theme is an adaptation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and features Al Hirt performing an arrangement by Billy May. Much of its current-day fame comes from its use by film-maker Quentin Tarrantino in Kill Bill, Vol. 1.

Here’s what’s likely the opening sequence to the television show. My only question is whether the still photos at the start were used that way. It seems awfully static to me, even for 1966. Anyone out there know?

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