During my recent sabbatical from this here blog, I spent part of my time off watching old tv shows. Some of the shows I hand’t seen before like “Mission Impossible” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” While others were random episodes of stuff I found on YouTube and elsewhere.
Two of the shows I watched, I found by accident one afternoon while I had the fiu. I was flipping through the channels and came across something called World Harvest Television (WHT). Most of what airs on this channel is forgettable, but I found out that each afternoon they air the classic “The Lone Ranger” tv show from the 1950’s. And after the Lone Ranger finished his adventure, WHT aired episodes of another classic 1950’s series, “The Roy Rogers Show.”
As it turns out, the Lone Ranger and I go way back. I still have fond memories of watching “The Lone Ranger” with my mom when I was little. It was my mom who introduced me to the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and later to Zorro. I even remember one or two episodes we watched all those years ago, so it was a nice surprise to rekindle those memomries after so long.
There were some things about “The Lone Ranger” that I did not remember. For instance, as a little kids I never realized the Ranger never took his mask off. I can understand the townsfolk and others the duo run into not knowing who the Ranger is behind the mask. But from what I can tell, the show doesn’t even make it clear whether or not Tonto knows who the Lone Ranger truly is.
Another thing I didn’t know before was that two different actors played the Lone Ranger on the show. There was Clayton Moore, who played the role for a total of 169 episodes between 1949–1951, and 1954–1957. When he left the series for a couple of years, actor John Hart took over as The Lone Ranger for 52 episodes between 1952–1953. Of course as a kid, I didn’t notice the actor change. To me, it was the Lone Ranger on the screen, I had no idead who the actors were.
Unlike with “The Lone Ranger,” I don’t have a past with “The Roy Rogers Show.” I was aware of who Rogers was, but only because I was a huge fan of the Roy Rogers fast food restaurants. What can I say? They made some mean cheeseburgers, and I used to eat there whenever I traveled on interstate 95 from Boston to North Carolina every summer. But for all I know the restaurants just slapped his name on the building.
Anyways, in mid DEcember I ended up watching about a week’s worth of “The Roy Rogers Show,” and I’m sorry to say I didn’t like it. Roy Rogers was fine, so was his wife Dale Evans. But I couldn’t stand their comedic sidekick Pat Brady. Adding a little humor to a western is fine, but Brady was so over the top at times that it took you out of the story.
Another thing that threw me off, was the setting of the show. I had watched a few episodes, and assumed the show took place around the same time period as “The Lone Ranger.” But I was wrong, very wrong as it turned out. In one episode, Pat Brady picks up a friend from the hospital, in a car.
Yep, a car.
Now I was confused. Just when the heck did “The Roy Rogers Show” take place anyways? If there were cars around, why would Roy Rogers and the others always go after the bad guys on horses? Surely they could have caught up to the hoodlums faster by car. And why did Dale Evan ride a horse from town to town? It just didn’t make sense and completely destroyed the illusion that this show was a true western.
So those are my thoughts on “The Roy Rogers Show.” It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I get why he was so popular. On the bright side, I re-discovered “The Lone Ranger,” so being sick wasn’t a total waste.