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Old 12-25-2005, 02:48 AM
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Default The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas, actor, sportscaster, and writer, was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. He told a little story about Clayton Moore, the actor that played The Lone Ranger on the television series from 1949 to 1957 and continued playing the role in public appearances long afterward. Jay said he was on a radio show where Clayton Moore was a guest back in the early 70s. At the end of the remote broadcast, Moore's ride to the airport didn't show up, so Jay was asked to give him a ride. Moore was agreeable to this arrangement, in complete Lone Ranger getup climbed into the back of Jay's Volvo, with Jay and his producer, both sporting the long hair that was stylish as the time. He said they were in bumper to bumper traffic, nearly completely stopped when the jerk in front of them backed up and hit the Volvo, then took off. He said they gave chase to the hit and run driver, going for all the 4-cylinder Volvo was worth. They finally caught up with the guy, got out of the car and confronted him, saying they were calling the cops. They guy took one look at them and said "Go ahead, who are they going to believe, a couple of long-haired hippies or me?" At this point, Clayton Moore climbed out of the backseat of the Volvo, wearing mask and all (pre-lawsuit that forbid him that), approached the hit and run driver and said "I think they will believe The Lone Ranger, citizen"
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Interesting story! Everything I've ever read about him suggests that Clayton Moore was a real class act, and that he wasn't just playing a character, but that he basically was TLR.

I suppose it might be a bit unhealthy to identify with a character too much, but I've read lots of interviews with people who knew him who insisted that CM did his sincere best to live up to the ideals of the character he was so famous for playing. Not such a bad thing, in my opinion.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Pretty high standards to live up to, I think, but admirable.
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren
At this point, Clayton Moore climbed out of the backseat of the Volvo, wearing mask and all (pre-lawsuit that forbid him that)
What lawsuit was this?
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

I found this at http://www.debac.net/lone_ranger.htm
The Lone Ranger CreedI 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 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.
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

When that abomination of a movie The Legend of the Lone Ranger came out, the owners of the character went to court and forced Clayton Moore to stop appearing in public as The Lone Ranger, and he was forbidden to wear the mask.

The public backlash was so great that this is generally seen as one of the reasons the movie was a complete flop. There was even a popular song released about how tragic it was that The Lone Ranger was forbidden by law to wear his mask.

Cheers,

Michael

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Old 12-25-2005, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren
At this point, Clayton Moore climbed out of the backseat of the Volvo, wearing mask and all (pre-lawsuit that forbid him that)
What lawsuit was this?
In 1975 the owner of The Lone Ranger rights, Jack Wrather, obtained a court order stopping Clayton Moore from appearing as The Lone Ranger. The court order was lifted in 1987.

ETA: The movie Michael mentions didn't come out until 1980. It flopped because it sucked.
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

The Legend of the Lone Ranger was indeed a piece of utter dreck!


I've sometimes thought on the nature of "heroes." Perhaps Clayton Moore did take his obsession with the character he made so famous beyond what was entirely healthy, but I've always admired the choices he made. From what I understand, he made a conscious decision to always have the Ranger speak properly, to never treat anyone disrespectfully, and to always behave courteously toward others. That wasn't written into the scripts, but was how CM chose to play the character, because he felt it was appropriate for a character that he knew was a role model to behave that way.

Similarly, he apparently got into trouble with studio heads for his refusal to endorse products he thought were inappropriate for TLR to advertise. You have to admire him for that, I think.



An acquaintance of mine once told me that it was "immature" to pay attention to heroes, because there are no heroes, and it only creates a false impression of how the world really works. I think that's an unnecessarily cynical view of the world. For one thing, though I knew TLR wasn't real even as a kid, he (and other heroes) nonetheless inspired me to want to be a better person. And as "The Lone Ranger Creed" illustrates, we can all be heroes in our own way, if we simply choose to. That doesn't seem like a bad thing to me at all.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Probably the subject of another thread, but what would the world be like without heroes? I grew up looking up to my dad and The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Gary Cooper, and many others as heroes. What was wrong with the example they set?
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

Excellent suggestion, Warren. I started a thread in "Philosophy."

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 12-25-2005, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: The Lone Ranger Story as told by Jay Thomas

I've always loved villains, however heroes like the Lone Ranger and Superman have always attracted me as well. The reason for liking the villains aren't important here but the heroes are. To me, idealistic heroes are important because they keep the mind focused on what should be - as opposed to what is. While compromise is important in the real world, one should never lose sight of the ideal and thus risk becoming as harmful in the long run.
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