Lone Ranger gets his Name

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 21 15:53:42 UTC 2008

Thanks for this find. I'm sorry that the interview did not tell us what the
rationale was for Tonto's name.

Of course, being someone for the hero to talk to is shorthand for a lot more,
e.g., Tonto frequently has LR's back in his various crime-fighting endeavors
(cf. Robin for Batman). As I recall, the amount of serious conversation
between LR and the laconic Tonto is far less than what one usually finds among
sidekicks and the big cheese. Tonto also shows far more wisdom and insight than
most sidekicks. And because he is a competent adult who is wise in the ways of
nature, there is less need for LR to protect him or explain things to him. And
there is very little patronizing humor of the sort that one finds in some of
these pairings' interchanges.

In a message dated 2/21/08 5:29:19 AM, dad at POKERWIZ.COM writes:

> I found this NPR site some days ago but didn't pass it on as I figured
> interest in the Lone Ranger had waned. But, FWIW, if you look here
> http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18073741
> they have an interview with Fran Striker Jr., son of the original TLR
> writer.
> Part of what Jr. says is that (quoting the article) "For the first 10
> episodes of The Lone Ranger, the Ranger actually rode alone. (This was
> before they cooked up the backstory of the ambush at Bryant's Gap.) As
> writer Fran Striker told his son, Fran Junior, that posed a problem for
> creating dialogue.
> 'The Lone Ranger had nobody to talk to if he was a lone ranger,' Striker
> says. 'So it was suggested they create a sidekick for TLR. Script 11
> introduced Tonto. And [he] was developed solely for the purpose of giving
> the Lone Ranger someone to talk to.'"
> So Tonto was apparently an antecessor of Tom Hanks's ball Wilson in Cast
> Away and Will Smith's dog in I am Legend; all were created to give a lone
> protagonist someone to talk to.

Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.


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