Interesting Facts About The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger and his sidekick, Tonto, are a part of American folklore. They first appeared on the radio in 1933, in Detroit (WXYZ). The Lone Ranger is a masked vigilante hero that helps to save the oppressed in the SW United States during the 19th Century. He was once a member of the Texas Ranger, who, along with five other rangers, were ambushed by a villain named “Butch” Cavendish. The other five rangers were killed, but a friendly indian, named Tonto, saved the surviving ranger who masked himself to conceal his identity. Now, as the Lone Ranger, he and Tonto ride off to fight injustice. The series was the first television “hit” in the 1950s and a show I fondly remember from my youth (in reruns). One thing I always found interesting about the Lone Ranger was the “code” that he followed that was originally conceived by the writers of the series. They wanted the Lone Ranger to be an example for children, so they devised some very interesting rules for the hero. Here are five that really stuck in my memory:
THE LONE RANGER NEVER DRINKS
It was the 1950s and the Lone Ranger never went into a saloon or bar. In fact, only criminals and bad elements went into establishments that offered beer and whiskey. If the Lone Ranger and Tonto had to go to a place to find information, it was typically a cafe or restaurant and the Lone Ranger always ordered a “coffee – black“. I am guessing the lack of cream and sugar made him look tough…Note: You will never see them smoking, either. Another activity in which only bad guys participated.
THE USE OF SILVER BULLETS
Did you ever wonder why the Lone Ranger only uses silver bullets? It isn’t because he was worried that he might have to shoot a werewolf. In fact, if you pay attention to the series, the Lone Ranger never kills anyone. He disarms them… He doesn’t even try to wound a bad guy. He uses the silver bullets because they are expensive to make and that if someone finds a silver bullet, they know it was from him. Also, silver is a precious metal and it reminds the Lone Ranger that life, itself, is precious.
THE LONE RANGER ONLY FIGHTS AMERICANS
To avoid criticism from minority groups, the Lone Ranger never fights Mexicans or Native Americans. All of his opponents were American citizens and none of them ever had any identifying ethnic names. Typically, you would find villains with only one name or a nickname attached to a non-descriptive last name, such as: the aforementioned “Butch” Cavendish, Collins, or even El Mundo (who turns out to be a Texan trying to steal Mayan treasure). Apparently, the only wrong doing done in the Old West was that being committed by evil, rich people, cattle thieves, and the military complex. Probably true…
THE RANGER HAS AN M.A. IN ENGLISH
While others may use words like “ain’t” and “I dunno”, the Lone Ranger only spoke in perfect diction. Even Tonto, who was often criticized for his pigeon-English (“Him go over Hill, Kemo Sabe.“), was unable to learn anything from the Lone Ranger’s perfect English. There must have been a lot of “schoolin’” for the Texas Rangers back in those days. It is a wonder that no one was able to make the connection between the Lone Ranger and that of his alter ego, John Reid. They were the only two people in the Western United States with these qualities.
This is the faithful sidekick of The Lone Ranger. Tonto also had a similar set of rules to follow, but that isn’t the interesting fact about this native American cohort. The name Tonto isn’t Native American. It’s Spanish and Italian in origin and it means, “Stupid”. For this reason, in some European countries and in Mexico, he is called “Toro” (bull). The series always explained that he called the Lone Ranger “Kemo Sabe”. According to Tonto, the name meant “Trusted Scout”. However, it comes from the Spanish phrase “que no Sabe” which means…”Clueless One”. I am guessing if the Lone Ranger knew that, he might have forgotten about his code….