Kato!" Then, with a roar of Black Beauty's mighty engine and the squeal of
tires, The Green
TV version of this radio classic of the 1930's and 1940's was launched close on
the flying heels of
in 1966, and was produced by the same production team. The
plot outline was familiar: Britt Reid, crusading editor and publisher of The
Daily Sentinel, fought crime in the secret guise of The Green
Hornet. Only his faithful manservant Kato, his admiring secretary Casey, and the
D.A. knew that Reid and the Hornet were one and the same. Others, including hard-nosed, crime reporter
Mike, never made the connection.
changes were made in adapting
television, and to the 1960's. In addition to The Daily Sentinel, Britt
owned a TV station. The evil he fought often involved organized crime (not the
bizarre villains of
and of course, the crime-fighting gadgetry was brought up to date.
chief piece of hardware was the Hornet's souped-up car, the Black Beauty
1966 Chrysler Imperial, rebuilt, at a cost of $50,000, by Hollywood customizer
Dean Jeffries). Among its features were a built-in TV camera which could
"see" four miles ahead, a kind of exhaust apparatus which spread ice over the
road to foil pursuers, and brushes behind the rear wheels which lowered to sweep
away tire tracks. For face-to-face combat, the Hornet had a special non-lethal
gas gun which immobilized adversaries, and a sting gun which penetrated steel.
not generally known that The Green Hornet was directly related to George Trendle's
other major hit, The Lone Ranger, whose plot is closely paralleled. In fact,
Britt Reid was originally introduced to radio audiences as the son of Dan Reid,
the Lone Ranger's nephew.