the PB broadcast and 'Tonto'

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 21 20:52:08 UTC 2008

I listened to the whole 12-minute broadcast and heard only the expalantion of
the meaning of kemosabe, not the meaning of Tonto. Am I looking in the wrong

In a message dated 2/21/08 3:27:02 PM, dad at POKERWIZ.COM writes:

> Ah ha. Delving further into the depths of NPR archives, it turns out that
> the origin of Tonto's name had in fact been covered in the original story,
> but had been cut due to time constraints (figures they would cut the
> Indian's part...). Rather than tell you about it, you can go here
> and hear it for yourself (Click on the "Listen Now" link). Hint: It's a
> little bit of an anticlimax and it would appear that Fran Striker did not
> know that the word "tonto" meant stupid, fool, etc. in Spanish.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
> RonButters at AOL.COM
> Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:54 PM
> Subject: Lone Ranger gets his Name
> >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
> >
> >
> >
> > 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.
> > DAD
> >
> **************
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> (
> ffy/
> 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
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