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The Green Hornet Show Summary

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The Green Hornet Show Summary Empty The Green Hornet Show Summary

Post by Seamus on 3/9/2019, 5:25 pm

Written By StrobeSML

Perhaps the most striking remembrance most people have of the radio show is the buzzing sound leading to "Flight of the Bumblebee," the theme music for the Green Hornet. But behind the scenes of this pulp hero, there is so much more. Created by George Trendle, this show had over 1000 episodes that ran from 1936 - 1952, an impressive run. Until 1944, the scripts were writing by Fran Striker, the same writer who did the scripts for the Lone Ranger. Sadly, less than 100 of those episodes are known to exist.

The Green Hornet was viewed by criminals and the general populace alike to be a gang leader that controlled the crime of the city. Nothing could be further from the truth. Britt Reid, publisher of the "Daily Sentinal", was a hunter of fiends and criminals that had been branded a criminal himself. With a green mask, gas gun, a super-powered car known as the "Black Beauty" and a Filipino aide by the name of Kato, Reid set out to round up racketeers, murders, and spies in each half-hour episode while trying to avoid the police.

Britt Reid's ancestry is interesting in itself. He was born in Texas and raised by Dan Reid, the nephew of John Reid (better known to radio audiences as the Lone Ranger). Of course, the Lone Ranger was another character that was created by George Trendle which gave a much greater continuity to this corner of radio's world. In fact, he is considered to have funded his purchase of the Daily Sentinal with money gained from the silver mine used by the Ranger.

The style of the show reflected the same style as the Lone Ranger, but set in modern times. Unlike the Lone Ranger, who was often thought of as a crook by the general populace but confessed his innocence at any opportunity, the Green Hornet, at times, seemed to revel in his outlaw status, adding to the myth of the Hornet as a criminal at every opportunity. It seemed that the Hornet either appeared to muscle in on the bad guy's crime or was one of the secret bosses of every racket that was broken up. The fact that the Sentinal was the source of most of the bad press on the Hornet makes it seem even more so.

Britt Reid had two faces in the show. At times, he was the crusading publisher that would wildly follow a story. Other times, he was portrayed as a rich dilettante that was just playing at being publisher, his indifference quite puzzling to his co-workers. However, the Hornet aspect of his character was tough, never hesitating to use his gas gun and leave a hornet seal at the scene of a crime. When the Hornet did profit from his crime busting, some worthwhile charity was bound to get an anonymous contribution of the riches.

Kato was, if possible, even more capable than Reid, however. While ostensively in service to Reid as his valet, Kato was the one who could be depended on to have everything ready for the Hornet's jaunts. He created the formula for the gas gun, drove the Black Beauty, and occasionally played spy or lookout for the man in the Hornet's mask. Though he normally stayed in the shadows, he would occasionally be the one to rescue Reid from a tight spot or use his own considerable ingenuity to break a case. Originally, Kato was listed just as being Oriental, but after the attack at Pearl Harbor, it was stated that he was definitely Filipino.

The staff of the Sentinal was also strong, crossing paths with Hornet as often (if not more) than the law. There are three members of the staff that consistently appeared in most stories. Lenore Case (known as Casey to most of the others) was Reid's secretary through most of the show, with occasional forays into being a journalist. Brash and outspoken, she would often be able to hold her own in verbal contests with the other members of the Sentinal's crew. She tended to either be infatuated or motherly toward Britt Reid and often served as a prompt for his actions. Ed Lowry was the ace reporter for the paper, often turning up stories that the Hornet would eventually break. Perhaps the most sharp-witted of the staff, he often would be at the right place at the wrong time. Mike Axeford was the wildest character of the bunch. A retired police officer who was hired to be the bodyguard of Britt Reid and later became a reporter for the Sentinal, Mike was often the foil for Britt's getting away to roam the streets as the Hornet. To balance this, Axeford was also the one with the closest contact with the police, giving Reid the information needed for the Hornet to ride again.

Cast Information:


Britt Reid/ Green Hornet - Al Hodge (-1943), Donovan Faust (1943), Bob Hall (1944-51), Jack McCarthy (1951-52)

Kato - Tokutaro Hayshi (A.K.A. "Ray Toyo"), Rollon Parker, Michel Toland

Lenore Case - Lenore Allman

Mike Axeford - Jim Irwin
Announcers - Fielden Farrington, Charles Wood, Mike Wallace (yes, Mike Wallace), Hal Neal, Bob Hite

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