The Green Hornet is one of those “super-heroes” that isn’t really super…you know, like Batman. The character of The Green Hornet was created in Michigan for Detroit radio WXYZ by Fran Striker (and possibly radio owner George W. Trendle), who also created ‘The Lone Ranger’.

The Green Hornet radio program debuted on WXYZ Radio in Detroit on January 31, 1936, the same station that aired “The Lone Ranger” and another creation of Striker’s, “Sgt. Preston Of The Yukon”. The show proved to be very popular with Michigan audiences and on April 12, 1938, the show went national and aired for twelve years, ending in 1950. The show had a great opening intro: “He hunts the biggest game! Public enemies that even the G-men cannot reach!” However, the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover got angry over that statement. He complained that Green Hornet’s radio intro was demeaning to his own stable of G-Men (government agents). He complained so loudly that WXYZ was forced to change the intro to say “Public enemies who try to destroy our America!”

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So who is Green Hornet?

His everyday persona is Britt Reid, owner and publisher of a daily newspaper. At night, he becomes ‘The Green Hornet” by wearing clothes that are all green: hat, mask, coat, gloves…probably socks and underwear as well…who really knows. Reid uses his newspaper to expose and intimidate criminals, but he realizes this is not enough. So he adopted the night character he called “Green Hornet” to fight criminals in his own way. The Green Hornet’s character has similarities to Batman, Superman, and The Lone Ranger.

No super-powers
Drives a technology-laden, sleek dark vehicle (Black Beauty – Batmobile)
Originally believed to be a criminal by police & public
Has a partner/sidekick/assistant (Kato – Robin)
Long green overcoat – Batman wears a long cape

Works for a daily newspaper (Daily Sentinel – Daily Planet)

Wears a mask
Ethnic partner (Kato - Tonto)
Green Hornet (Britt Reid) is the grand-nephew of The Lone Ranger (John Reid)

Like Superman, Batman, and The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet made many film appearances in movie theaters:
1940: “The Green Hornet” (serial)
1941: “The Green Hornet Strikes Again” (serial)
1966: “The Green Hornet” (TV program)
1974: “The Green Hornet” (TV episodes squeezed into a movie)
1994: “The Dragon & The Green Hornet”
2011: “The Green Hornet” (Seth Rogen)

There are numerous short films about GH and even two new “Green Hornet” projects in the works: a TV show and a new movie, “The Green Hornet & Kato”.

It is unfortunate that many Millennials and members of Gen-Z aren’t familiar with Green Hornet. I suggest they start their GH education watching the 2011 Seth Rogen film and work their way back. Or get some of the old GH comic books.

The Green Hornet

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