Are you a fan of the classic Western TV series The Lone Ranger? It was one of the best TV shows produced in America and one that showed us heroism, friendship, and loyalty – which are qualities that we all love to see in modern TV shows.
If you’re a huge fan of the show, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you’ve never seen the show, we highly recommend it! But even if you’re a diehard fan of The Lone Ranger, there are probably many details about the iconic series that you didn’t know!
Do you know how the show got its start? Do you know how it became popular? And who exactly was The Lone Ranger based on anyway?
Stay tuned to learn about the huge details you likely missed in The Lone Ranger…
HOW THE LONE RANGER BEGAN…
Westerns are one of the most popular genres in America. It’s perhaps the only genre that represents the American spirit – exploring the unknown, being courageous, and standing up for what’s right.
The Lone Ranger was the epitome of the American ideal. The Lone Ranger was a surviving Texas Ranger who roamed the land with his sidekick Tonto to assist those in danger and needed rescuing.
The show ran from 1949 to 1957 and remains one of the most popular American TV shows of all time.
But how exactly did The Lone Ranger get started? As history tells us, it all began from the mind of Fran Striker…
Before we tell you more about some of the huge details you missed in The Lone Ranger, please like this video and subscribe to Facts Verse for more great content and interesting stories from some of your favorite classic shows! Now, back to the video…
FRAN STRIKER AND GEORGE W. TRENDLE
Fran Striker was one of America’s most notable radio and comics writers. He began his radio career working as a radio announcer and later began working as a continuity writer.
As he rose in ranks, he soon penned his first radio script – which was a biography of American songwriter Stephen Foster. He soon began writing radio scripts in a variety of genres, showing a natural flair for penning Westerns.
He soon became a freelance writer and tried selling his scripts to various radio stations across the country. His fate changed when he met the famous radio producer George W. Trendle.
It’s in the early 1930s when Fran Striker created the character of The Lone Ranger, with the early scripts being reworked from an earlier series called Covered Wagon Days. There was a bit of a conflict between Fran Striker and George Trendle as to who was the creator of the character. Striker would later go on a popular TV show called To Tell the Truth to confirm that he was, in fact, the creator of the show.
Despite this conflict, the two formed a partnership to produce a radio series called The Lone Ranger. This soon became one of the most popular radio series of all time. The duo of Striker and Trendle became household names in the radio industry. The character of The Lone Ranger became one of the most popular characters among fans of Westerns. The Lone Ranger was a representation of the American hero that we all admired.
But, this was only the beginning…Join Facts Verse to know about Huge Details You Missed in the Lone Ranger.
THE TV SERIES
As the character became more popular, he made appearances in comics and a few films written by Fran Striker. But he reached a wider audience with The Lone Ranger TV series.
In the TV series, a group of six Texas Rangers are shot at. The sole survivor becomes known as The Lone Ranger. He’s found by the Native American Tonto who becomes his friend. Together, the duo traverse around America to help the victims of crimes. The Lone Ranger became the symbol of justice in the Wild West. He joined the leagues of classic Western characters that Americans have always identified with.
The show first launched in 1949. There 78 episodes shown over 78 consecutive weeks. After this initial run, the entire 78 episodes shown once more before new episodes were produced! Clearly, the American public couldn’t get enough of The Lone Ranger.
Clayton Moore was the first actor who played while John Hart played the role for one season. Jay Silverheels played the role of Tonto. The show and its two main characters soon became an embedded part of American popular culture.
THE RULES FOR THE LONE RANGER
It was clear that Fran Striker and George Trendle understood the impact that the show and its characters had on the American public.
As such, they crafted the character in such a way that he’d serve as a great role model for the audience. The Lone Ranger never used vulgar language, slang, or even improper grammar! He also always wore a mask and never identified himself as being “The Lone Ranger.” If anyone did question his identity, he presented them with a silver bullet!
He also never smoked or drank. While the Wild West was full of saloons where one could grab as many drinks as they pleased, they weren’t the kinds of places where you’d find the Lone Ranger spending his free time!
It also seldom fought against non-Americans. In the rare event that he battled someone foreign, the scripts didn’t include the characters surname. In many cases, the villains would called by a nickname. This was perhaps to avoid upsetting foreign cultures or minorities. It was also one of the rare shows that had a Native American character in a lead role.
The show was truly groundbreaking. Before we had popular Westerns such as Gunsmoke or Bonanza, we had The Lone Ranger. This was the TV show that proved that Americans wanted to watch Westerns each week on their television. The Western not just to confined to the radio, comics, or cinema.
WHAT ABOUT TONTO?
While it may have been the main hero, one cannot help but appreciate the heroism of his sidekick Tonto as well.
Tonto first appeared in The Lone Ranger radio series. He made his first appearance in the 11th episode and his existence was solely so that The Lone Ranger could talk to another character regularly!
But it clear that Tonto destined to become a more integral character to the stories. Tonto spoke English as his second language and often referred to The Lone Ranger as ‘Kemo Sabe’ which translates to ‘Faithful Friend.’
It should be noted that the name Tonto means ‘Wild One.’ However, this unique and rather cool-sounding name isn’t so flattering in Spanish. In Spanish, ‘Tonto’ is often translated as ‘stupid!’ As such, Tonto was renamed ‘Toro’ in Spanish speaking regions.
While Tonto is often seen as the sidekick, the stories were told from his perspective in the 2013 film The Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp played Tonto in this film while Armie Hammer played The Lone Ranger.
WHO INSPIRED THE LONE RANGER?
One question that fans of The Lone Ranger have wanted to know for years is who exactly, if anyone, was The Lone Ranger based on? Is he truly a fictitious character? Or was there a real-life Lone Ranger who inspired the famous character?
Well, there isn’t a consensus on who The Lone Ranger character was based on. The two most common beliefs are that he was based on a famous Texas ranger named Captain John R. Hughes. There’s also a belief that he was based on Bass Reeves – a famous black U.S. Deputy Marshall. There’s also a school of thought that believes it was based on Robin Hood or Zorro.
The mystery still remains on who exactly inspired The Lone Ranger? Any guesses?
THE LONE RANGER’S LEGACY
So how big of a hit was The Lone Ranger TV series? The ABC network which aired The Lone Ranger found one of its biggest hits with The Lone Ranger. While it first aired in 1949, it became one of the most popular TV shows of the 1950s.
The theme song remains one of the most popular and recognizable theme songs in American television history. The song is the March of the Swiss Soldiers by Gioachino Rossini. The theme song has been sporadically used in other productions – including in a Mickey Mouse cartoon called The Band Concert.
The character of The Lone Ranger was so popular that actor Clayton Moore would make public and TV appearances playing the character even after the show ended! In fact, it’s almost as if Clayton Moore was born to play the role. He embodied the role and could appear as The Lone Ranger even when the camera wasn’t rolling. He clearly loved the character and was passionate about the show. While he was replaced by John Hart for one season, he came back and played the character until the TV show ended.
It has also had many incarnations in films – with the 2013 film being the most recent addition to the series.
Today, The Lone Ranger remains one of the classic American TV shows. The character is also an icon of Americana, and Clayton Moore especially deserves to be recognized as one of the classic Western actors – alongside John Wayne, Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper, and Clint Eastwood.
If you’re a huge fan of The Lone Ranger, you’ll have no problem understanding why this show became so popular. If you’ve never seen an episode before, we cannot recommend it enough!
Are you a fan of any of The Lone Ranger?
Do you feel the show still holds up today? Or do we need to update it for newer audiences to relate to it?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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