Monday, January 31, 2011


Here's another chance - like the recent Rooster Cogburn post - to jump on the bandwagon for a current movie. (That's not to say I support that movie; in fact, I haven't seen it....)

In a 1963 episode of 'Burke's Law', Henry the chauffeur groused about getting out of bed late at night to drive Captain Burke to a murder scene:

"Never had aggravation like this when I worked for Green Hornet!"

As I mentioned, "Who Killed Alex Debbs?" took place in 1963, at some point in October. (It aired on October 25.) The TV series version of 'The Green Hornet' debuted September 9, 1966.

But that first episode of the show, "The Silent Gun", was not an origin story. The Green Hornet and Kato were already a crime-fighting team, fully operational.

So at some point before October of 1963, it's pozz'ble - just pozz'ble! - that the Green Hornet had Henry as his chauffeur and sidekick in fighting crime.

Why would Henry quit that in order to work for Captain Burke? Age - and with it the diminishment of skills - could have been a factor.

And maybe - this being just a theory of relateeveety, of course - Henry helped Brit Reid with a replacement by offering his own son to take his place. Henry's son was named after him, but he used the nickname of "Kato" to establish his own identity. (I'm familiar with that concept, actually - I'm Thomas O'Brien III, but I've been known by my initials sounded out since before I was born.) It could also be that "Kato" was the surname for their family. In either of the two series, we never did learn what Henry's last name was.

Eventually, Henry, Jr. - Kato - also grew too old for the job. Maybe the Green Hornet, who would have also aged, finally retired. He may even have been killed during the course of his crime-fighting activities. But I think eventually Henry, Jr. would put aside the identity of "Kato" and once again he could have replaced his father - this time as the chauffeur to Captain Burke. When it comes to recastaways, Toobworld Central always gives a pass when it comes to the depiction of aging. Like Cary Elwes and Jon Voight as Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II, or Levar Burton and John Amos as Kunte Kinte/Toby. So I've got no problem in the change in appearance from Buce Lee as Kato to Danny Kamekona as Henry.

It could be that Captain Burke never really knew any of this about his chauffeurs; so that when Henry mentioned that he worked for the Green Hornet, Amos just shrugged it off as a joke. In another episode, Burke threatened to send Henry back to his previous employer - Charlie Chan (who does exist in Toobworld). And as another theory of relateeveety, the Chinese-American detective could have verified Henry's claim to have worked for him because family should always look out for each other. That's right - I'm suggesting that Henry could have been a cousin to Charlie Chan, or related in some way to the amazing Chan clan.....

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that this resume revision is what Henry told his old Captain in order to hide the truth from him. After all, the Green Hornet was considered technically on the wrong side of the Law. O'Bviously, this only concerns the televersion of Green Hornet and Kato. The characters are true Multiversals - beginning with their radio program origins in 1936, branching out to comic books, prose, a movie serial in the 1940's and now the current movie in theatres. Toobworld needs to ignore all of those in order to limit the splainins for all of the recastaways, but in the Wold Newton Universe, Win Scott Eckert and his cohorts have done an excellent job melding them together.

One concept that Toobworld Central does embrace is that the Green Hornet is related to the Lone Ranger. Back in the early days with the radio program, a genealogical link was suggested between Britt Reid and John Reid, who roamed the wild wild West as the Lone Ranger. Back then, the family connection was a lot closer, but for Toobworld alone we have to settle for several generations between the two men (and not a direct line of descent at that.)

And that means, in the grand scheme of all things Toobworld, 'Burke's Law' can be theoretically linked to the TV version of 'The Lone Ranger'... and to 'Batman' while we're at it, since Green Hornet and Kato appeared in a crossover between both shows. Anyhoo, hopefully you'll find this theory of relateeveety to have some merit in linking 'Burke's Law' to 'The Green Hornet'.

'Burke's Law' (1963)
'The Green Hornet'
'Burke's Law' (1994)
"Pope John Paul II"
'The Lone Ranger'
'Charlie Chan'


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