Who was that masked man? Sorry, wrong hero. Ralph never wore a mask, though he did share an episode with Clayton Moore (the original TV Lone Ranger), starring as himself. It was a bit sad at the time to discover Clayton Moore was banned from wearing a Lone Ranger mask. For whatever reasons, the studio wanted it clear that they owned the Lone Ranger, and made it clear they did NOT want Clayton associated with the title. As they put it in the show, any child in America could walk into a store and buy a Lone Ranger mask, but Moore was forbidden to wear one.
As far as the Greatest American Hero goes, that was one of my all-time favorite TV shows. Loved the characters, the actors, the theme music… It hit that perfect spot between idealistic dreams and human nature. People aren’t always perfect, but most of us try our best anyway. Even with a super-powered suit, Ralph was still a normal human being, as mistake prone (or more so) as any of us. He never quit trying, though, and that made him an icon of hope for me.
Agent Bill Maxwell was the perfect foil for Ralph, with his tough-guy, agenda-riddled attitude. In spite of his issues, Bill constantly managed to rise to the occasion and be the best he could be. And Pam was the perfect balance between the two extremes. She often kept the peace between Ralph and Bill (and sometimes Ralph kept the peace between Pam and Bill).
The relation between these three has the same feel (for me) as Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. They’re an incredible team, and they, more than the suit, truly made me love the series. Of course, it wouldn’t have been the same without the suit. The whole super-hero gig was what drew me to the show in the first place.
I didn’t mean to turn this into a review for a 30-year old tv show. But it IS a great show. Even the amazing Nathan Fillian loves the show. In an MTV interview from 2009, Nathan said he would like to reboot the series, with himself starring as Ralph Hinkley.
It’s a shame that never happened. I bet it would have been incredible.
In my own nerdy way, I loved that show, and occasionally played the theme on the piano. Now, years later, my son remembers those days and asked me to reprise the theme song here. There are chords I’m not getting right, and I know it, but I’m playing by ear and can’t find the exact sounds. If someday, I figure it out, I’ll re-post this video.
In the meantime, because my son asked for it, and because we both love the show, here’s The Greatest American Hero. Thanks John, hope you enjoy this!