The Green Hornet was an American radio program that ran on WXYZ (Detroit), the Mutual Network and the ABC Blue Network from January 31, 1936 to December 5, 1952. Created by WXYZ's George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, who also created The Lone Ranger, the juvenile adventure series initially starred Al Hodge in the title role, followed by Donovan Faust (1943), Bob Hall (1944-51) and Jack McCarthy (1951-52). The radio show used Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" as its theme song, blended with a hornet buzz created on a theremin.

The series detailed the adventures of Britt Reid, debonair newspaper publisher by day, crime-fighting masked hero at night, along with his trusty sidekick, Kato, a Filipino of Japanese ancestry. With the outbreak of World War II his Japanese heritage was almost completely dropped, leading to the common misperception that the character's nationality had been switched by the show's writers.

In the original introduction of the radio show announcer Mike Wallace proclaimed that the Green Hornet went after criminals that "even the G-Men (FBI agents) couldn't reach". The show's producers were called by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover who prompted them to remove the line implying that some crime fighting was beyond the abilities of the FBI. During World War II, the radio show's title was used as a code name for SIGSALY, secret encryption equipment used in the war.  





The Green Hornet


Alan Hodge