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The Lone Ranger is an Americanmarker radio and television show created by George W. Trendle 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 Indian sidekick, Tonto. Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would famously say "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" as the horse galloped toward the setting sun.

Opening and closing sequences

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

There existed another title sequence, one created for the second post-TV series feature film The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (see below), 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:

In later episodes the opening narration ended with: "With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! 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 "March of the Swiss Soldiers" finale of Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture, now inseparably associated with the series, which also featured many other classical selections as incidental music including Bizet , Mendelssohn Fingal's Cave Overture, Liszt Les Preludes, and Schubert . The theme was conducted by Daniel Perez Castaneda.

Classical music was used because it was in the public domain -- thus allowing production costs to be kept down while providing a wide range of music as needed without the costs of a composer. While this practice was started during the radio show, it was retained after the move to television in the budget-strapped early days of the ABC network.

Other classical music utilized in the radio program were portions of the overture to Der Freischütz, by Carl Maria von Weber, and Les Préludes, by Franz Liszt.

Birth of the radio series

The first of 2,956 episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on radio January 30, 1933 on WXYZmarker radio in Detroit, Michiganmarker 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 Yorkmarker.

Fictional character biography

Originally, the character's true identity was not revealed, though it was hinted that behind the mask he might be a historical Western hero (such as Wild Bill Hickok). Then, after a preliminary version of the character's now-standard origin appeared in the Republic movie serial of 1938 and elements of that story were worked into the radio series, the hero was revealed to be a Texas Ranger named Reid, who was one of six Texas Rangers chasing the Cavendish Gang. After entering a canyon known as "Bryant'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.

(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 dig a sixth grave so people will believe that he too is dead. 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, and Reid then adopts the stallion as his mount, training him to respond to the name of Silver. Whenever the Ranger mounts Silver, he shouts, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" Besides sounding dramatic, this shout 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 had discovered a lost silver mine, called "The Lone Star 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 dead 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 "ke-mo sah-bee," also spelled "quimo sabe," a phrase 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 discover a secluded valley and the Lone Ranger, in an urge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild. The episode ends with Silver returning to the Ranger, bringing along a companion who becomes Tonto's horse, Scout.

In Spanish, "Tonto," which translates from the Spanish as "stupid" or "dumb," is named "Toro" (Spanish for "bull") while "The Paint Horse" is always named "Pinto" (a Spanish word to refer to any "painted animal" in particular).

The Lone Ranger's name

Although the Lone Ranger's last name was given as Reid, his first name was not revealed. According to the story told in the radio series, the group of six ambushed Rangers was headed by Reid's brother, Captain Dan Reid. 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, both the radio and television programs avoided use of his first name. 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, rather than his brother's, was "Dan Reid," not "John." It appears that the first use of the name "John Reid" was in a scene in which the surviving Reid creates an extra grave for himself among those of his fallen Ranger companions. It must be acknowledged that the use of the first name John in the 1981 big-screen film, 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.

Premiums from the radio series

The Lone Ranger program offered many radio premiums, including the Lone Ranger Six-Shooter Ring and the Lone Ranger Deputy Badge. Some of the premiums used a silver bullet motif. 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 adapted to the times. For example, in 1942 the program offered the Kix Blackout Kit.

Some premiums were rather anachronistic for a 19th-century hero. In 1947 the program offered 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.

General Mills, which produced the Kix cereal brand, also produced the Cheerios brand of cereal. In 1947, Cheerios produced a line of Frontier Town cereal boxes with the Lone Ranger likeness on the front of the box. Different versions of the boxes would have Frontier Town buildings on their backs. Children would collect the different boxes and cut them out. One could also send in ten cents and a box top to get each of the four map sections of the town. These as well as nine different boxes were needed to fully complete cardboard Frontier Town.

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.

Transcribed repeats (of 1952-53 episodes) continued on ABC until June 24, 1955, then selected repeats appeared on NBC's late-afternoon weekday schedule [5:30-5:55pm Eastern] from September 1955 through May 25, 1956.

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, 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 through 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, 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 owners, 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, gramophone records, 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 serial from Republic Pictures are enigmas to many serial and Lone Ranger fans, because they are very rare and hard to find. The existing film material for the first one, The Lone Ranger, is incomplete and either subtitled in Spanish or dubbed in French. The hero's identity is unknown even to the audience in the original 1938 serial, 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. Prior to the serial's release in 1938, the radio Lone Ranger's origin had been unknown and hints had been dropped that he might be a historical figure in disguise. An alternate origin for Tonto, with him being rescued in a mine accident, had also been provided on radio. The 1938 Lone Ranger serial is notable for presenting first version of the canyon-ambush and subsequent scenes of Tonto nursing the Ranger back to health and the Ranger swearing vengeance for the first time, which were adapted with minor modifications to become the standard origin of the radio and television versions of the character. Much of the familiar transitional music used in the radio series after 1938 originated in the first Republic serial. The plot device of the hero's identity being concealed from all and multiple candidates being killed off one by one was used again in the Columbia serial Flying G-Men and Republic's The Masked Marvel.

The second Lone Ranger serial, The Lone Ranger Rides Again, was released in 1939 and starred Robert Livingston. It gave the Lone Ranger a second companion, Juan, a Mexican played by Duncan Renaldo, and its standard Western plot concerned a battle over land between outlaws and ranchers. The only known copy of this serial was discovered in South America and was Spanish-subtitled and cut together as a long feature and so missing most opening titles and original cliffhanger ending resolutions. Robert Livingston wanted his face to be seen onscreen and consequently appears plain-faced, pretending to be rancher "Bill Andrews" in most dialogue scenes. Owner George W. Trendle disliked the fact that the Lone Ranger appeared without his mask throughout the serial and consequently decided to terminate Republic's license to use the character, see that both serials should be destroyed to prevent their further exhibition after the license expired, and offer the character to Universal Pictures instead. A third Lone Ranger serial was announced in promotional advertising by Universal but never produced. Some have suggested that Trendle retained prints of the Lone Ranger serials but made no effort to store them properly, and they deteriorated, however, Clayton Moore notes in his autobiography, I WAS That Masked Man, that he witnessed the master material for the Lone Ranger serials being burned on the Republic Pictures back lot. Either way, only Spanish-subtitled foreign dupe prints of the two Lone Ranger serials survive on film today. The Serial Squadron, an organization which restores classic movie serials, painstakingly reconstructed a subtitle-free English digital video version of the serial in 2007, re-creating the original opening titles and restoring the original cliffhangers.

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.

Television series

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.

The film depicted in a different manner commonly recognized events in the life of the Lone Ranger. For example, Tonto is the one to teach the hero how to shoot, when, in previous stories, he is already a well-trained shot. Tonto is also mainly responsible for training Silver. A third diversion is that Reid is not originally a Texas Ranger, simply a civilian observer who survives a massacre. Tonto then becomes a mentor figure in his quest for revenge.

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 theatres, 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 as in the second film serial. Consequently the project was shelved.

Future Lone Ranger film

In March 2002, Columbia Pictures announced their intention to make a Lone Ranger film with Classic Media, who owned the film rights. Husband and wife producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher joined the project. Columbia studio executives compared the tone to The Mask of Zorro, and considered to rewrite Tonto as a female love interest. The projected budget was set at $70 million. In May 2003, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script. They previously wrote the western-themed Unforgiven (1992). By January 2005, the Peoples script was rewritten by Laeta Kalogridis, with Jonathan Mostow to direct.

The Lone Ranger languished in development hell. In January 2007, The Weinstein Company was interested in purchasing the film rights from Classic Media. However, the deal with The Weinstein Company fell through, and Classic Media's later parent Entertainment Rights optioned the property. By May 2007, producer Jerry Bruckheimer (alongside Entertainment Rights) set The Lone Ranger up at Walt Disney Pictures. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who worked with Bruckheimer and Disney on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, were being considered to write the script. In late March 2008, Elliott and Rossio were in final negotiations. Disney announced in September 2008 that Johnny Depp is portraying Tonto.

In April 2009 it was announced that Mike Newell was in talks to direct The Lone Ranger feature for Disney.

Disney's production would not be without coincidence. When Walt Disney built the Disneyland Hotelmarker, the owner of the rights to The Lone Ranger franchise was the Wrather Corporation, and was coincidentally the hotel's actual owner. The Disney Corporation eventually bought the hotel from Wrather but the hotel's steakhouse continued to carry Bonita Granville Wrather's name for many years afterward.


The Lone Ranger: The Lost Episodes, 2001

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.

The Format Films animated cartoon, 1966 to 1968

An animated series of the Lone Ranger produced by Herbert Klynn and Jules Engel of Format Films, Hollywood, and designed and animated at the Halas and Batchelor Cartoon Film studios in Londonmarker, Englandmarker, 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. (Tiny Tom, voiced by Dick Beals). Regardless, this animated cartoon was credited as being a Jack Wrather production, and it provided the first exposure many 1960s children had to the characters.

The Lone Ranger's voice was provided by Michael Rye {r.n. Rye Billsbury}, who had portrayed Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy on radio. Shepard Menken played Tonto. The narrator in the opening title was Marvin Miller. Other "guest voices" were provided by Paul Winchell and Agnes Moorehead.

The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, early 1980s

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 had 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.


Besides the premiums offered in connection with the radio series, 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.

Video game

A video game titled The Lone Ranger was released by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in .


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. Fran Striker himself initially scripted the feature, but time constraints soon required him to quit, replaced by one Bob Green, later followed by Paul S. Newman and others. 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. Such was the Ranger's popularity at the time that even his horse Silver had a comic book, starting in 1952 and running to 34 issues. In addition Dell published three big Lone Ranger annuals, and an adaptation of the 1956 theatrical 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 #22, in 1975, but the magazine itself folded with issue #28 in 1977. Additionally, Hemmets Journal AB published a three-part Swedish Lone Ranger story 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. True West magazine awarded the publication the "Best Western Comic Book of the Year" in their 2009 Best of The West Source Book!


A popular record The Lone Ranger by Quantum Jump charted twice in the UK. It was banned from the air on its first release but then sold over 500,000 copies when re-released.

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 legend:

  • 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

  • The World Famous Lawn Rangers, a “precision lawn mower drill team” from Arcola, Illinoismarker, are named for Clayton Moore, television's original Lone Ranger, who served as the Grand Marshall of the town’s 1980 Broomcorn Festival Parade.

  • Throughout the run of the situation comedy Happy Days, the Fonz (Henry Winkler) references the Lone Ranger as his hero. In one episode, he dons a mask on Halloween and tells everyone he's the Lone Ranger (although dressed in his usual garb). In another, Pinky (Roz Kelly) wants to partner with the Fonz in a demolition derby. He insists that there are always two men, citing the Lone Ranger & Tonto, as well as Batman & Robin and the Green Hornet & Kato. In yet another 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!" He delivers this line after the Lone Ranger leaves him with a silver bullet and presumably "rides off into the sunset." (Hart similarly usurped Clayton Moore's identification in the role in "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," the sixth episode of The Greatest American Hero, a television series produced as a satire of the super-hero genre. This was because the episode was produced and shown at a time when Moore was under court injunction against such identification.)

  • 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 (a parody by Stan Freberg of a Lark cigarette commercial running at the time).[17376]
  • 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.

  • Moore also made numerous personal appearances around the country after he stopped being the Lone Ranger on TV. At an appearance at Builder's Emporium (a hardware chain retailer that went bankrupt and consequently is now defunct) in Woodland, California in the early 1980s, the waiting crowd grew so large that extra police had to be dispatched to the location to control the hundreds of people who came to see him.

  • In the "Operation Tiger" (1970) episode of the World War II-set television series Hogan's Heroes, Colonel Hogan decides to go against direct orders from London and rescue the French underground agent called Tiger, who has been captured by the Gestapo. When the other members of his unit (initially) refuse to help, Hogan announces that he will make the attempt by himself, saying, "You just elected me Lone Ranger." One by one, the others agree to be Tonto.

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

  • In the Steven King horror film It Bill Denbrough calls his bike Silver after the Lone Ranger's horse.

  • In the movie Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, the main character, played by Jim Carrey, can be seen covering his hands over a projection screen putting shadows over another character's face, giving the distinct look of the Lone Ranger. Soon after doing this he yells, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" Carrey also uses the same catch-phrase in Bruce Almighty before he starts up his supercar and drives through a traffic jam he had just cleared.

  • In the movie Constantine, Constantine´s sidekick asks him, "Why do I always have to be your slave?" To this, Constantine replies, "You´re not my slave. You´re a much-appreciated apprentice, like Robin (Batman) or Tonto (The Lone Ranger), or the skinny fellow with the fat friend (Jay and Silent Bob)!"

See also


  1. "Too Hot Too Handle," The Green Hornet (radio series), November 11, 1947, ABC radio network.
  2. Murray, Will, "Where Hornets Swarm," Comics Scene, # 9, (October) 1989, Starlog Communications, Inc., p. 41.
  3. Scapperotti, Dan, "Then you are...Lone Ranger," Comics Scene, #9, (October) 1989, Starlog Communications International, Inc., p. 44 (also corroborates artists source).
  4. Lone Ranger #1 Sells Out!

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.
  • Jones, Reginald, The Mystery of the Masked Man's Music (ISBN 0-8108-3974-1).

External links

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