Way back in the misty past of this blog’s history, I wrote a posting called “Those Thrilling Years”, in which I paid tribute to an iconic TV western of my youth called The Lone Ranger. As part of that posting, I deconstructed the show’s famous opening narration, paying adulatory homage to every word, phrase, hoof beat, and flourish.
I did that before I knew how to find things on YouTube and transfer them to my blog. (I hope I didn’t get too technical on you there, using words like “find” and “transfer.” Sometimes, I get carried away by the excitement of the progress I’ve made adapting myself to modern technology.)
Today, rather than mere description, I give you the material in action. I show, rather than tell, adhering to the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. (And those are good words. In my case, it could be twelve-fifty.)
Today’s offering is not my favorite opening narration to a show. That would be the aforementioned The Lone Ranger.
A fiery horse with the speed of light
A cloud of dust
And a hearty, Hi-yo, Silver
And so forth.
It may not even be my second favorite narration. That’s probably
Here’s O. Henry’s famous Robin Hood of the Old West
The Cisco Kid!
But it is definitely my third favorite. And the difference between them is negligible, a virtual three-way “Photo Finish.”
I am speaking in this instance of the well-known (to those who well know it, though considerably less so to those who don’t) opening narration to the 50’s television series,
The Adventures of Superman
All three of these narrations, among a handful of others, reflect a consummate skillfulness in their construction. No extra words, and every word, the right word. Listen to the Superman narration. Which words would you change? I wouldn’t change any of them. And I couldn’t say that about anything I have ever written.
The best introductions sent you racing to sit in front of your televisions. (If you weren’t there already. I was. I was hardly anywhere else.) Ready for fun, and primed for adventure.
To me, these efforts, in their own contexts, rank up there with Shakespearean sonnets, epic poetry, and reverberating Haikus, if there were less words and they were written in Japanese.
Am I overselling? Perhaps. But just listen. And tell me if you believe that I’ve seriously missed the mark.