The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Infobox actor

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caption = Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger

"The Lone Ranger" is an American, long-running, old-time radio and early television show created by George W. Trendle (with considerable input from station staff members), and developed by writer Fran Striker.

The eponymous character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by Paul Halliwell, who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic American Indian assistant, Tonto. Departing on his horse Silver, the Ranger would famously say "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" as the horse galloped toward the setting sun.

On the radio and TV-series, the usual opening announcement was:

There existed another title sequence, one more common to syndication, briefly telling the Ranger's origin and how he first met Tonto. The theme was sung by a male chorus, and the lyrics are as follows:

cquote|Six Texas Rangers "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)" rode in the sun "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)"; Six men of justice rode into an ambush, and dead were all but one.

One lone survivor "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)" lay on the trail "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)"; Found there by Tonto, the brave Injun Tonto, he lived to tell the tale.

"(Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away!)"

His wounds quickly mended "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)" and then in the night "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)", Six graves were put there to hide from the outlaws that one had lived to fight.

He chose silver bullets "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)" the sign of his name "(Hi-yo, hi-yo)"; A mask to disguise him, a great silver stallion, and thus began his fame.

"(Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! THE LONE RANGER IS HIS NAME!)"

This version of the opening credits was first seen in the episode "Lost City of Gold."

In later episodes the opening narration ended with: "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear... The Lone Ranger rides again!" Episodes usually concluded with one of the characters lamenting the fact that they never learned the hero's name ("Who was that masked man?"), only to be told, "Why, he's the Lone Ranger!" as he and Tonto ride away.

The theme music was the "cavalry charge" finale of Gioacchino Rossini's "William Tell Overture", now inseparably associated with the series, which also featured many other classical selections as incidental music including Wagner, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky. The theme was conducted by Daniel Perez Castaneda.

Inspiration for the name may have come from The Lone Star Ranger, a novel by Zane Grey. Karl May's tales of Old Shatterhand and Chief Winnetou may have influenced the creation of the concept; they in turn were influenced by the "Leatherstocking Tales" of James Fenimore Cooper. The legends of Robin Hood and the popular character Zorro were likely inspirations also.

Birth of the radio series

The first of 2,956 episodes of "The Lone Ranger" premiered on radio January 30, 1933 on WXYZ radio in Detroit, Michigan and later on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network and then on NBC's Blue Network (which became ABC, which broadcast the show's last new episode on September 3, 1954). Elements of the Lone Ranger story were first used in an earlier series Fran Striker wrote for a station in Buffalo, New York.The hero is a Texas Ranger named Reid, who was one of six Texas Rangers chasing the Cavendish Gang. The leader of the group of rangers was Captain Dan Reid, his brother. (Some later radio reference books, beginning with "The Big Broadcast" in the 1970s, erroneously claimed that the Lone Ranger's first name was John; however, use of his first name was deliberately avoided on both the radio and television programs. Some say that Captain Reid's first name was also avoided, but the name Dan did appear in a phonograph record story of the Lone Ranger's origin, featuring the radio cast, issued in the early 1950s and in a miniature comic book issued in connection with the TV show. At least one newspaper obituary upon Fran Striker's 1961 death and a 1964 Gold Key Comics retelling of the origin both stated that the Lone Ranger's given name was "Dan Reid," not "John." It must be acknowledged that the use of the first name John in the 1981 big-screen version, "The Legend of the Lone Ranger", gave it a degree of official standing, although the completely different names found in the 2003 TV-movie/unsold series pilot undercuts that. The name of Captain Reid's son, and the Ranger's nephew, a later character who became a sort of juvenile sidekick to the Masked Man, was also Dan Reid.) After entering a canyon known as "Bryan's Gap", the party finds itself in a murderous ambush arranged by Butch Cavendish, leader of the "Hole in the Wall Gang" and a man named Collins, who has infiltrated the Rangers for the gang as a scout, that seemingly leaves every ranger dead. Then Cavendish shoots Collins in the back, reasoning that someone who would betray the Rangers could also betray his gang.

Reid's childhood friend, a Native American known as Tonto (his tribe was seldom specified, but some books say he was probably supposed to be an Apache, while the radio programs identified him as a Potawatomi), comes upon the massacre and discovers Reid is still alive. Tonto takes him to safety and nurses him back to health. Tonto reminds Reid of when they were young, and Reid had rescued Tonto after renegade Indians had murdered his mother and sister and left him for dead. Reid gave him a horse, and Tonto insisted that Reid accept a ring. It is by this ring that Tonto recognizes Reid.

(This is actually a retroactive change to Tonto's origin. As originally presented, in the Dec. 7, 1938 radio broadcast, Reid had already been well-established as the Lone Ranger when he met Tonto. In that episode, "Cactus Pete", a friend of the Lone Ranger tells the story of how the masked man and Tonto first met. According to that tale, Tonto had been caught in the explosion when two men dynamited a gold mine they were working. One of the men wanted to kill the wounded Tonto, but the Lone Ranger arrived on the scene, and made him administer first aid. The man subsequently decided to keep Tonto around, intending to make him the fall guy when he would later murder his partner. The Lone Ranger foiled both the attempted murder and the attempted framing of Tonto. No reason was given in the episode as to why Tonto chose to travel with the Lone Ranger rather than continue about his business. A reasonable assumption would be that he felt a sense of gratitude to the man).

While Reid recovers, Tonto buries the dead rangers. Reid vows to bring the killers and others like them to justice. So he asks Tonto to make a sixth grave to make people think that he had died as well. But Collins is also still alive, and tries to kill the pair so he can take Tonto's horse, Scout. But he falls to his death while trying to drop a rock on Reid. Thus perished the only other man who knew that Reid survived.

By happenstance, the pair discovers a magnificent white stallion, wounded by a buffalo. Reid and Tonto nurse the stallion back to health, which is then adopted by Reid as his mount, Silver. Whenever the Ranger mounts Silver he shouts, "Hi-yo Silver, away!" which besides sounding dramatic, originally served to tell the radio audience that a riding sequence was about to start. (Bill Cosby explained, in "Cosbyology", that when the TV version came around, The Lone Ranger still used the line "Hi-yo Silver, away!" for reasons he could not figure out.)

They also find an old mentor of Reid's, who has discovered a lost silver mine some time back. Reid's mentor is the only one other than Tonto who knows the identity of the Lone Ranger, and he is willing to work it and supply Reid and Tonto with as much silver as they want. Using material from his brother's Texas Ranger vest, Reid fashions the mask that will mark him as the Lone Ranger. In addition, the Lone Ranger decides to use only silver bullets--the precious and valuable metal serves to remind the masked man that life, too, is extremely precious and valuable, and, like his silver bullets, not to be wasted or thrown away. Vowing to fight for justice and never to shoot to kill, together, the Lone Ranger and Tonto wander the Old American West helping people and fighting injustice where they find it. During these adventures, Tonto often referred to the Ranger as "kemo sabe" (often spelled "quimo sabe" but pronounced the same way), a word he said meant "faithful friend" or "trusty scout" in his tribe's language.

The Lone Ranger displayed in the adventures that he was also a master of disguise. At times, he would infiltrate an area using the identity of "Old Prospector", an old-time miner with a full beard, so that he can go places where a young masked man would never fit in, usually to gather intelligence about criminal activities.

According to "The Legend of Silver", a radio episode broadcast September 30, 1938, before acquiring Silver the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. After Dusty was killed by a criminal that Reid and Tonto were tracking, Reid saved Silver's life from an enraged buffalo, and in gratitude Silver chose to give up his wild life to carry him. Silver's sire was called Sylvan, and his dam was Musa.

The origin of Tonto's horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rode a white horse called White Feller. In the episode titled "Four Day Ride," which aired August 5, 1938, Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend, Chief Thundercloud, who then takes and cares for White Feller. Tonto rides this horse, and simply refers to him as "Paint Horse," for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout in the episode "Border Dope Smuggling," which was broadcast on September 2, 1938. In another episode, the lingering question of Tonto's mode of transport was resolved when the pair found a secluded valley and the Lone Ranger, in an urge of conscience, released Silver back to the wild. The episode ends with Silver returning to the Ranger bringing along a companion who becomes Tonto's horse, Scout.

Premiums from the radio series

"The Lone Ranger" program offered many radio premiums, some of which were rather anachronistic for a 19th-century hero. The Lone Ranger used a silver bullet for identification, so some of the premiums reflected that theme. One ring had a miniature of one of his six-guns atop it, with a flint and striking wheel, as used in cigarette lighters, so that "fanning" the miniature pistol would produce a shower of sparks. During World War II the premiums took on a patriotic theme. After the war, one ring offered on the program was the Kix Atomic Bomb Ring, also known to collectors as the Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring. This ring was a miniature spinthariscope that actually had a small amount of radioisotope in it to produce the scintillations caused by nuclear reactions. With its tailfin piece removed, though, the "bomb" body looked like a silver bullet.

Actors who played the Lone Ranger

On radio, the Lone Ranger was played by several actors, including John L. Barrett who played the role on the test broadcasts on WEBR during early January, 1933; George Seaton (under the name George Stenius) from January 31 to May 9 of 1933; series director James Jewell and an actor known only by the pseudonym "Jack Deeds" (for one episode each), and then by Earle Graser from May 16, 1933 until April 7, 1941. On April 8, Graser died in a car accident, and for five episodes, as the result of being critically wounded, the Lone Ranger was unable to speak beyond a whisper, with Tonto carrying the action. Finally, on the broadcast of April 18, 1941, deep-voiced performer Brace Beemer, who had been the show's announcer for several years, took over the role and played the part until the end. Fred Foy, also an announcer on the show, took over the role on one broadcast on March 29, 1954, when Brace Beemer had a brief case of laryngitis. Tonto was played throughout the run by actor John Todd (although there were a few isolated occasions when he was substituted with Roland Parker, better known as Kato for much of the run of sister series The Green Hornet), and other supporting players were selected from Detroit area actors and studio staff. These included Jay Michael (who also played the lead on "Challenge of the Yukon" aka "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon"), Bill Saunders (as various villains, including Butch Cavendish), Paul Hughes (as the Ranger's friend Thunder Martin and as various army colonels and badmen), future movie star John Hodiak, Janka Fasciszewska (under the name Jane Fae), and others. The part of nephew Dan Reid was played by various child actors, including Bob Martin, James Lipton, and Dick Beals.

The last new radio episode of the "Lone Ranger" was aired on September 3, 1954.

The Green Hornet

The radio series also inspired a spin-off called "The Green Hornet" which depicts the son of the Lone Ranger's nephew Dan [radio episode "Too Hot Too Handle," "The Green Hornet", November 11, 1947, ABC radio network.] , Britt Reid, originally played by Al Hodge, who in contemporary times fights crime with a similar secret identity and sidekick, Kato. In the Green Hornet comic book series published by NOW Comics, the Lone Ranger makes a cameo via a portrait in the Reid home. Contrary to most visual media depictions, and acknowledged by developer/original scripter Ron Fortier to be the result of legal complications, [ Murray, Will, "Where Hornets Swarm," "Comics Scene", # 9, (October) 1989, Starlog Communications, Inc., p. 41.] his mask covers all of his face, as it did in the two serials from Republic Pictures (see below). However, the properties have been acquired by separate interests and the familial link has been ignored in the Western character's various incarnations. Not surprisingly, the Lone Ranger-Green Hornet connection is part of Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe, which connects disparate fictional characters.

Other media

The series also inspired numerous comic books, two movie serials, books, and a live action television series (1949-1957) starring Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger; Moore's tenure as the Ranger is probably the best known treatment of the franchise.

Film serials

The Lone Ranger serials from Republic Pictures are something of enigmas to many serial and Lone Ranger fans, because they are very rare and hard to find. The few prints that are in circulation of the first one do not contain the complete serial and are usually either subtitled in Spanish or dubbed in French. The hero's identity is unknown even to the audience here, with six men suspected of being behind the mask. As the chapters unreel, they are killed off one by one, but each actually appears in the costume in various scenes. As the character played by Lee Powell is ultimately revealed to be the true identity of the Masked Man, that actor is often given sole credit for the part. Two other suspects were played by Bruce Bennett and George Montgomery, then still billed under their respective birth names of Herman Brix and George Letz. The second serial, "The Lone Ranger Rides Again", came out in 1939 and starred Robert Livingston. The depiction here is as inconsistent with its predecessor as either is with the radio original. The only known reels of this production were discovered in Mexico and have Spanish subtitles. George W. Trendle disliked the treatment his character was given here. However, he retained long-term ownership, and when given the masters, he made no effort to store them properly. Consequently, they soon deteriorated, and only those foreign prints survive. Given all the differences between the two serials, it is perhaps surprising that Tonto was played in both by Victor Daniels, one of two actors known as Chief Thundercloud. [ [ MTV Movies] ]

Television series

A much more well known and influential adaptation of the Lone Ranger was the 1949–1957 television series starring Clayton Moore (though with John Hart as the Lone Ranger from 1952–1954) and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The live-action TV series initially featured Gerald Mohr as the episode narrator. He was also narrator for seven episodes of the radio series in 1949, 1950 and 1952. Fred Foy served as both narrator and announcer of the radio series from 1948 to its finish, and became announcer of the TV version when story narration was dropped there.

Although George W. Trendle retained the title of Producer, he recognized that his experience in radio would not be adequate for producing the television series. For this, he hired veteran MGM film producer Jack Chertok. Chertok served as the producer for the first 182 episodes, as well as a rarely seen 1955 color special, retelling the origin.

The first 78 episodes were produced and broadcast for 78 consecutive weeks without any breaks or reruns. Then the entire 78 episodes were shown again, before any new episodes were produced. It was shot in Utah and California.

When it came time to produce another batch of 52 episodes, there was a wage dispute with Clayton Moore (until his death, the actor insisted the problem was creative differences), and John Hart was hired to play the role of the Lone Ranger. Once again, the 52 new episodes were aired in sequence, followed by 52 weeks rerunning them. Despite expectations that the mask would make the switch workable, Hart was not accepted in the role, and his episodes were not seen again until the 1980s.

In a radio interview, posted at [] , Clayton Moore acknowledged that he had a dispute with the producers over money and wanted better treatment. That was the reason he was replaced by John Hart.

At the end of the fifth year of the television series, Trendle sold the Lone Ranger rights to Jack Wrather, who bought them on August 3, 1954. Wrather immediately rehired Clayton Moore to play the Lone Ranger and another 52 episodes were produced. Once again, they were broadcast as a full year of new episodes followed by a full year of reruns.

The final season saw a number of changes, the most obvious at the time being an episode count of the by-then industry standard 39. Wrather invested money out of his own pocket to film in color — then-perennial third place finisher ABC telecasting only in black and white — and to go back outdoors for more than just second-unit style action footage, the series having been otherwise restricted to studio sound stages after the first filming block. Another big change, not readily detectable by the viewers, was replacing Jack Chertok with producer Sherman A. Harris. By this time, Chertok had established his own television production company and was busy producing other shows.

Wrather decided not to negotiate further with the network and took the property to the big screen, canceling TV production. The last new episode of the color series was broadcast June 6, 1957 and the series ended September 12, 1957, although ABC reaped the benefits of daytime reruns for several more years. Wrather's company produced two modestly budgeted theatrical features, "The Lone Ranger" (1956) (the cast included former child actress Bonita Granville, who had, by then, married Wrather) and "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" (1958). Exactly what happened remains unclear, but Wrather changed distributors between films, indicating some problem.


season1: N/A

season2: #7

season3: #18

season4: #29

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season8: N/A

See also List of Lone Ranger Television Episodes

"The Return of the Lone Ranger"

An attempt by CBS to revive the series in 1961, "Return of the Lone Ranger", did not get past the pilot stage. The Lone Ranger was played by Tex Hill in this production.

="The Legend of the Lone Ranger" (1981)=

So far, none of the modern remakes of "The Lone Ranger" have proven popular, with 1981's "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" causing much upset among fans when the movie studio filed a lawsuit and obtained a court injunction to prevent Clayton Moore from appearing as the Lone Ranger anywhere else, and then gave a cameo to his unsuccessful TV replacement, John Hart; the film was a spectacular failure. It did not help that lead actor Klinton Spilsbury's lines had to be overdubbed by James Keach, who never even received screen credit.

Many fans were also quite upset at the way in which the film depicted the events in the life and career of the Lone Ranger, blatantly disregarding much of the existing background material, which is considered by many to be canon, and changing it. Several important events in the background of the Lone Ranger were completely contrary to the well-established and accepted background material. These included events such as Tonto teaching the Lone Ranger how to shoot guns. In the original concept, Reid was already an established ranger and considerable marksmen. In the film, however, the Lone Ranger has little or no experience with guns and proves to be a terrible shot. When Tonto witnesses what a bad shot Reid is, he suddenly introduces him to a silver bullet, telling him that using silver bullets would allow him to hit his target because silver is pure. Of course, he then becomes a perfect marksman. In this treatment, the Lone Ranger seems like an ineffectual idiot without Tonto.

The event in which the Lone Ranger and Silver meet is not only portrayed completely differently than in the radio and TV shows, but it is almost insulting to the fans. Again, Tonto is responsible for Silver and the Lone Ranger teaming up, and the Lone Ranger's initial attempts to ride and train the great white horse are nothing less than lame attempts at buffoonery. Perhaps, the most blatant example of the film's disregard for well-established canonical background information is obvious when John Reid is introduced in the film's beginning, not as an established Texas Ranger as he was in all other versions of the Lone Ranger saga, but, instead, he is a young attorney from the East, who is visiting his brother, the captain of the Texas Rangers. It is only after his brother and the other Texas Rangers are killed in the Cavandish ambush (except John Reid, who accompanied them, not as a fellow Texas Ranger, but only as the brother of Dan Reid) that Reid wants justice and to avenge his brother's death by becoming the Lone Ranger - which is ironic, considering that in the film, he was not an authentic Texas Ranger. In the film, Reid has no clue how to go about achieving his new goal, and, therefore, it is up to Tonto to teach him and show him the way.

Clayton Moore controversy

In an attempt to distance the new film from the original classic series, Clayton Moore was asked to stop referring to himself as "The Lone Ranger" and refrain from wearing the signature costume (particularly the mask) at personal appearances. This request caused a storm of negative publicity. Moore, wearing large sunglasses instead of the mask, was interviewed on news shows across the country about the injunction, and he gained more notoriety than the film did. After the film failed in the theaters, bridges were mended, and Moore was allowed to use the trappings and name of the character, which he did until his death.

"The Lone Ranger" (2003)

In 2003 the WB network aired a two hour Lone Ranger TV movie, the pilot for a possible series. However, the movie was greeted unenthusiastically; the Reid family name became Hartman, and while there was still an empty grave alongside those of the five dead Rangers, its supposed occupant was unidentified, and the hero maintained his unmasked identity as well, becoming a cowboy version of Zorro. Consequently the project was shelved.

Future Lone Ranger film

On March 27, 2008, "The Hollywood Reporter" reported that Disney is planning to bring the Lone Ranger back to the big screen in a live-action film. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who were the screenwriters for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film trilogy, are in final negotiations to write the screenplay for Disney and "Pirates"’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer. [] On September 24, 2008, it was announced that Johnny Depp had been signed to play Tonto. []


In 2001, GoodTimes Home Video released a videotape called "The Lone Ranger: The Lost Episodes." Along with clips from the first serial, trailers for the two post-TV series features, commercials with Moore and sometimes Silverheels in character, and two complete television episodes, there was a cartoon short, said to date from the late 1930s. However, with on-screen dialog balloons instead of recorded voices, it seems to come from the silent era. It remains a mystery.

An animated series of the Lone Ranger ran from 1966 to 1968 on CBS; the show lasted thirty episodes (invariably split into three separate shorts, with the middle segment being a solo adventure for Tonto, so that there were 90 installments in total), and the last episode aired on the 9th of March 1968. These Lone Ranger adventures were similar in tone and nature to CBS' science fiction Western, "The Wild Wild West" in that plots were bizarre and had elements of science-fiction and steampunk technology thrown in. Even the Lone Ranger's arch villain in the animated series was a dwarf, similar to James T. West's nemesis, Dr. Loveless.

The Lone Ranger was featured, along with Zorro and Tarzan, in "Adventure Hour" cartoon shorts in the early 1980s, produced by Filmation. These episodes featured William Conrad as the voice of the Masked Man, though he was listed in the credits as "J. Darnoc" (Conrad spelled backwards). This series took a more realistic tone with a heavily historical context to include an educational element to the stories. Conrad starred in the original radio version of "Gunsmoke" as Marshal Matt Dillon and was the announcer/narrator for the cartoon escapades of Rocky & Bullwinkle. This time he had 14 episodes, split into two adventures at a time, for a total of 28 stories.


During the years The Lone Ranger was being broadcast on the radio, a number of radio premiums were offered over the air. Many of them were rather anachronistic, such as The Kix Blackout Kit, a 1942 World War II premium, and the Kix Atomic Bomb Ring, a 1947 premium. Others, like The Lone Ranger 6-Shooter Ring and The Lone Ranger Deputy badge, a 1949 premium, were correct for the 19th Century.

There have been many Lone Ranger commercial toys released over the years. One of the most successful was a line of 10-inch action figures and accessories released by Gabriel Toys in 1973. In 2006 it was announced the Lone Ranger will be made as an action figure in the new "Indie Spotlight" toy line by Shocker Toys.

Video games

The "Lone Ranger" series also inspired a NES video game, simply titled "The Lone Ranger", produced by Konami in 1990.


The first Lone Ranger novel appeared in 1936, and eventually 18 volumes were published, as listed below. The first book was written by Gaylord Dubois, but the others by Fran (Francis Hamilton) Striker. Striker also re-edited, and re-wrote parts of later editions of the first novel. First published between 1936 and 1956 in hardback by Grosset and Dunlap, these stories were reprinted in 1978 by Pinnacle Books.
• "The Lone Ranger" (1936)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Mystery Ranch" (1938)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Gold Robbery" (1939)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Outlaw Stronghold" (1939)
• "The Lone Ranger and Tonto" (1940)
• "The Lone Ranger at the Haunted Gulch" (1941)
• "The Lone Ranger Traps the Smugglers" (1941)
• "The Lone Ranger Rides Again" (1943)
• "The Lone Ranger Rides North" (1943)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Silver Bullet" (1948)
• "The Lone Ranger on Powderhorn Trail" (1949)
• "The Lone Ranger in Wild Horse Canyon" (1950)
• "The Lone Ranger West of Maverick Pass" (1951)
• "The Lone Ranger on Gunsight Mesa" (1952)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Bitter Spring Feud" (1953)
• "The Lone Ranger and the Code of the West" (1954)
• "The Lone Ranger and Trouble on the Santa Fe" (1955)
• "The Lone Ranger on Red Butte Trail" (1956)

Comic strip

King Features Syndicate distributed a newspaper strip of the Lone Ranger from September 1938 to December 1971. The original artist was Ed Kressy, but he was replaced in 1939 by Charles Flanders who drew the strip until its conclusion. [] In 1981 the New York Times Syndicate launched a second Lone Ranger strip. The strip was written by Cary Bates with art by Russ Heath. [] It ran until 1984. Two of the storylines were collected in a comic book by Pure Imagination Publishing in 1993.

Comic books

In 1948 Dell Comics launched a comic book series which lasted 145 issues. This originally consisted of reprints from the newspaper strips (as had all previous comic book appearances of the character, in various titles from David McKay Publications and from Dell); however, original content began with #7. Tonto got his own spin-off title in 1951, which lasted 31 issues, followed by Silver the horse in 1952, which ran to 34 issues. In addition Dell published three big Lone Ranger Annuals, and an adaptation of the 1956 film.

The Dell series ended in 1962, but Gold Key Comics launched its own Lone Ranger title, initially reprinting material from the Dell comics, in 1964. Original content did not begin until issue #21, in 1975, but the magazine itself folded with issue #28 in 1977. Additionally, Hemmets Journal AB published a three-part Swedish Lone Ranger the same year. Gaylord DuBois wrote many of the Lone Ranger, Tonto and Silver comic books for both Dell and Gold Key. He developed Silver, in the "Hi Yo Silver" comics, as a hero in his own right.

In 1994, Topps Comics produced a four issue mini-series, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto", written by Joe R. Lansdale and drawn by Timothy Truman.

The first issue of a new Lone Ranger series from Dynamite Entertainment by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello shipped September 6, 2006. It has started as a 6 issue miniseries but due to its success it has become an ongoing series by the same team. On September 15, 2006 Dynamite Entertainment announced that "The Lone Ranger" #1 had sold out of its first printing. A second printing of the first issue was announced, a first for the company. [] While overall considered a critical success, the new series has received some backlash from classic Lone Ranger fans for its graphic depictions of violence. The series has received an Eisner Awards nomination for best new series in 2007.

The Lone Ranger Creed

In every incarnation of the character to date, the Lone Ranger has conducted himself by a strict moral code. This code was put in place by Fran Striker at the inception of the character. Actors Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, taking their positions as role models to children very seriously, also tried their best to live by this creed.

"I believe....."

"That to have a friend, a man must be one."

"That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world."

"That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself."

"In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right."

"That a man should make the most of what equipment he has."

"That 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always."

"That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number."

"That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken."

"That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever."

"In my Creator, my country, my fellow man."

In addition, in order to ensure that their character remain constant and true to their theory, Fran Striker and George W. Trendle drew up these guidelines and list of rules which embody who and what the Lone Ranger is and why he has remained a hero and a

*The Lone Ranger is never seen without his mask or a disguise.

*With emphasis on logic, The Lone Ranger is never captured or held for any length of time by lawmen, avoiding his being unmasked.

*At all times, The Lone Ranger uses perfect grammar and precise speech completely devoid of slang and colloquial phrases.

*When he has to use guns, The Lone Ranger never shoots to kill, but rather only to disarm his opponent as painlessly as possible.

*Logically, too, The Lone Ranger never wins against hopeless odds; i.e., he is never seen escaping from a barrage of bullets merely by riding into the horizon.

*Even though The Lone Ranger offers his aid to individuals or small groups, the ultimate objective of his story is to imply that their benefit is only a by-product of a greater achievement -- the development of the West or our Country. His adversaries are usually groups whose power is such that large areas are at stake.

*All adversaries are American to avoid criticism from minority groups.

*Names of unsympathetic characters are carefully chosen, avoiding the use of two names as much as possible to avoid even further vicarious association. More often than not, a single nickname is selected.

*The Lone Ranger does not drink or smoke, and saloon scenes are usually interpreted as cafes with waiters and food instead of bartenders and liquor.

Popular culture

*Throughout the run of the situation comedy "Happy Days", the Fonz (Henry Winkler) references the Lone Ranger as his hero. In one episode, the Cunninghams arrange a meeting between the Fonz and the Lone Ranger (portrayed on this occasion by John Hart) as a birthday surprise. The Fonz is left speechless until he utters the oft-cited and -parodied line, "I didn't even get a chance to thank him", after the Lone Ranger leaves him with a silver bullet and presumably "rides off into the sunset".

*The widespread popularity and admiration of the radio and TV series lent itself to inevitable parodies and takeoffs in cartoons and other popular media. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels were not above joining in the fun, playing their own characters in TV ads from time to time, for modern products such as "Aqua-Velva" after shave lotion and Amoco "Silver" gasoline and Jeno's Pizza Rolls (who were using his theme).

*The Lone Ranger appeared in a chocolate advert, in which he was put into a difficult situation as to with whom he should share his last Rolo, his beloved horse Silver or best friend Tonto. Hence the chocolates slogan "Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?". (He gave the last Rolo to Silver, for which Tonto ended up punishing him).

*Clayton Moore also appeared in a commercial for wrap-around sunglasses that darkened upon exposure to bright sunlight. Because Moore had made it a point never to appear in the media without his mask, the viewers saw an unfamiliar face whose familiar voice was hawking the product. When the sunglasses had completely darkened, replicating the Lone Ranger's mask, it was clear who he was.

*Famous Seventies singer-songwriter Jim Croce references the Lone Ranger in his song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" with the admonition that "You don't tug on Superman's cape / You don't spit into the wind / You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger / And you don't mess around with Jim." In addition, American singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett references Tonto and the Lone Ranger in his song "If I Had a Boat", from the album Pontiac. The lyrics include the following lines: "The mystery masked man was smart/He got himself a Tonto/'Cause Tonto did the dirty work for free/But Tonto he was smarter/And one day he said, 'Kemo Sabe/Kiss my ass, I bought a boat/I'm going out to sea!'"

*Lenny Bruce had a stand-up routine later developed into an animated short by Jeffrey Hale; [ "Thank You Maskman"] that parodied The Lone Ranger.

*The Lone Ranger is also parodied in a The Far Side cartoon, in which the now-retired Ranger looks up "Kemosabe" in an Apache-English dictionary and discovers that the word actually means "horse's rear end."

*Bill Cosby must have been enough of a Lone Ranger fan to do a comedy monologue all about him on his '60's record, "I Started out as a Child". In addition, Cos has also portrayed either the Lone Ranger or Tonto in sketches of many of his 1970's TV appearances, notably an "Electric Company" sketch with Fargo North, Decoder. And most recently, he devoted the entire last chapter of his 2001 book, "Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy", to the Lone Ranger.

*In the BBC series "Torchwood" lead character Captain Jack Harkness references a homosexual relationship between The Lone Ranger and Tonto with the sarcastically delivered line "Yeah, and the Lone Ranger didn't have a thing with Tonto."

*A short Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon about a group of sugar ants parodied The Lone Ranger as "The Lone Ant", a masked, mute ant who, unlike the rest of the ant colony, cannot eat sugar or any sweet junkfood; he brings home healthy grains such as soybeans and corn and is thus ostracized, until the rest of the ant colony gets into trouble with a chocolatier who looks like Peter Lorre and sounds like Elmer Fudd, and only The Lone Ant can save them.

*The British music group Quantum Jump achieved a UK hit single in 1979 with their song "The Lone Ranger". The song suggests a homoerotic context for the relationship between the Lone Ranger and Tonto ("Maybe Ranger he a poofter/Try it on with surly Tonto/Let me say to mister lawman/Tonto doesn't mind") but is better remembered for its distinctive chant of "Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu", the name of a mountain in New Zealand.

*In the movie "Airheads", the protagonists' band is called "The Lone Rangers", prompting a running gag "You can't pluralize The Lone Ranger!"

*Boot Hill, the TSR roleplaying system, includes a character definition for The Lone Ranger. This character has an assortment of special powers, such as always drawing first, never missing, only shooting the gun out his opponents hands, and unable to be knocked out in a fist fight.

*In the DC Comics Elseworlds title, "Superman: A Nation Divided", Superman, after serving the Union through the Civil War and beyond, finds a message from Jor-El that says he is meant to lead the people of the west. He then fashions his ship into a silver horse and dons the traditional garb of the Lone Ranger, minus the mask, preparing to become the hero of the West. The last panel shows "Atticus Kent" atop his silver horse in the classic Lone Ranger pose.

*In another Elseworlds title, "Batman: The Blue, the Grey, and the Bat", a Civil War-Era Batman goes around the West stopping Confederate gold thieves and bandits, with civilians uttering the classic phrase "Who was that masked man" after every encounter.

*In a DC comic showcasing various lapsed titles, the origin of a character named John 'Johnny Thunder' Tane (who indeed also used disguises from time to time) is speculated upon by characters in the comic; one such possible origin is actually the origin of the Lone Ranger.

*DC Comics' multi-generational Impact Comics version of the comic book character The Black Hood had a story in which he alledgedly inspired the creation of the Lone Ranger radio series. A young man dons the hood in the Old West to save a group of men from being lynched. Decades later, a member of the Mutual writing staff recalls the adventures his grandmother told him of a mysterious man in a mask who helped the underpriviliged in the West. However this is erroneous since, while debuting on the Mutual network, the show initially was strictly the work of staffers at Detroit radio station WXYZ.

*In the film "Chicken Run", Rocky the Rhode Island Red (Mel Gibson) refers to himself as "the Lone Free-Ranger," a double pun on The Lone Ranger and "free range" chicken.

*A novelty record entitled "Tonto and the Fat Opera Singer" featured the faithful indian companion in a brief radio-style adventure with the titluar performer. The record features a number of sound effects and "cut-in" style musical cues.

*In the television adaptation of "Band of Brothers", during the events of "Currahee" Captain Herbert Sobel uses "heigh-ho silver!" as his battlecry when in a combat drill he spots the enemy platoon.

*In the comic book series "Jack of Fables", the Lone Ranger is never seen, but his presence and heroics are implied, as Jack discovers silver bullets he custom ordered were purchased by a masked man with a native friend. When Jack decides to track down this individual he comes across some ranchers who claim they were saved by this mysterious man who left behind a silver bullet.

The "Lone Ranger" "theme"

Rossini's finale to the "William Tell Overture", which was supposed to represent a cavalry charge, was the perfect music for the Ranger as he and Silver sped along. The very recognizable theme and its meter led to the following joke:

: Question: Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?: Answer: To the dump, to the dump, to the dump-dump-dump! Since the theme song was so closely associated with the Lone Ranger, [ CBS News Anchor Dan Rather remarked] "An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger." There are stories of conductors who, while conducting the Overture, have had to stop when children in the audience shout, "Hi-yo Silver, away!"Fact|date=October 2008 Cartoonist Dave Berg did a four-panel cartoon along similar lines for his "The Lighter Side Of..." feature in "Mad Magazine" during the years Leonard Bernstein broadcast the "Young People's Concerts" on CBS. In the first panel, Bernstein says, "A grown-up is someone who can listen to "The William Tell Overture" without once thinking of the Lone Ranger." Two children sit in front of the television, concentrating, grimly determined not to think of the Lone Ranger — until Daddy gallops though the room, shouting, "Hi-yo, Silver, AWAY!!" In the song, "Pony Express" by Danny & The Juniors, are the lines "...Tonto, Silver and my old vest...we ain't missing the Pony Express...Giddy Up Giddy Up Giddy Up Giddy Hi Ho Silver...." During the 1960s, a series of television commercials for Lark cigarettes featured the famous Lone Ranger theme, as a sign, mounted in the bed of a white pickup truck, urged people on the street to "Show us your Lark pack". In a spoof of these spots, an ad for Jeno's Pizza Rolls (posted on YouTube: [] ) asks party goers to "Show us your pizza roll pack". The Jeno's spokesman is interrupted by an executive-type man, lighting up a cigarette from a red pack (the color of a pack of Larks), who says "You know, I've been meaning to talk to you people about that music you're using." Suddenly a gloved-hand slaps the cigarette smoker on the shoulder and the camera pulls back to reveal that the hand belongs to The Lone Ranger (played by Clayton Moore), along with Tonto (played by Jay Silverheels) standing beside him, as the Ranger says to the cigarette smoker, "You know, I've been meaning to speak to you people about the same thing." Jay Silverheels then offers his "kemo-sabe" a Pizza Roll from a tray offered by a waiter, but the Ranger cooly and without even looking at him or the pizza rolls declines with a simple hand gesture, although Tonto fills his saddle bag with them anyway. It ends, predictably, with an elderly woman coming up to the spokesman asking "Who was that masked man, anyhow?" As the spokesman replies, "I don't know...but I wanted to thank him!" the cry is heard of "Hi-yo, Pizza Rolls! And away!" over the sound of galloping hooves. Written by Stan Freberg, it was regarded as one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed TV ads of the period -- after one showing on "The Tonight Show" Johnny Carson remarked that it was the first commercial he had ever seen to receive spontaneous applause from the studio audience.


*In Brazil the Lone Ranger is known as "Zorro." Zorro himself is also known by that name there, leading to a degree of ambiguity and confusion.

*"Tonto" (the name of the character's sidekick), in Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, means "fool" or "idiot" (although this appears to have been a coincidence, given the character's intelligent personality). In the Potawatami language (Potawatami being the tribe he was identified as belonging to in the radio dramas), the name translates as "Wild One". For Spanish speaking audiences, the name was changed to "Toro", the Spanish word for "bull". Another suggestion has been that Tonto responded by calling the Lone Ranger "quien no sabe" which roughly translates from Spanish as "he who knows nothing" or "clueless." (In "Cosbyology", after Bill Cosby discovers this and tells his wife, she apparently said that The Lone Ranger and Tonto sound like a married couple.)In Mexico, when someone says something like "we are in trouble", it's common to answer "¿Estamos, Kimosabi?," which means, "Are we, Kemo Sabe?" (This is probably an echo of a joke dating back at least to the early '70s: The Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding the range when they hear a swarm of hostile Indians behind them. They urge their horses to a gallop, only to find more Indians ahead. They are trapped. Lone Ranger: "What do we do now, Tonto?" Tonto: "What do you mean we, paleface?")

ee also

* The term Sloane Ranger referred originally to the young, upper class and upper-middle-class men and women living in West London. The word play term combines "Sloane Square", the fashionable and wealthy London area associated most in the public imagination with "Sloanes", and the television cowboy character "The Lone Ranger".


Further reading

* Bisco, Jim. "Buffalo's Lone Ranger: The Prolific Fran Striker Wrote the Book on Early Radio." Western New York Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2005.
*Reginald Jones, "The Mystery of the Masked Man's Music" (ISBN 0-8108-3974-1)

External links

*imdb title|id=0041038|title=The Lone Ranger
*rhof|id=287|title=The Lone Ranger
* [ International Superheroes page on the Lone Ranger]
* [ Database and Cover Gallery for the Lone Rangers various Comic Book incarnations]
* [ Historical Chronology (Fictional)]
*The Lone Ranger on [ OldTimeRadio]
* [;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A507036;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 The Lone Ranger at the National Film and Sound Archive]
* [ National Public Radio's Lone Ranger feature]
* [ Lone Ranger Fan Club]

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