Tuesday, August 29, 2023



Because I am short of time tonight, because I happened to think about this story and because it made me laugh when I thought of it, I am reposting it.

It was posted in Bytes on March 5, 2023 so it is still quite recent but hey, if you enjoy it, age is no barrier . . . ask Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.




Today’s Bytes describes a story told on the David Letterman Show by an individual named Jay Thomas.

The interview was sent me by John P, a regular provider of items posted in Bytes. Thanks John, it’s a very funny story. The link to Jay Thomas telling the story appears at the end of this post.

By way of background information, especially for younger readers:

  • The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his Native American friend Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of American culture. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show. In 2013, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films released The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto, but it was a box office flop.
  • Clayton Moore (1914-1999) was an American actor best known for playing the Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1952 and 1953 to 1957 on the television series of the same name and two related films.

Publicity photo of Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and his horse Silver from a personal appearance booking at Pleasure Island (Massachusetts amusement park), Wakefield Massachusetts.

  • Jay Thomas (1948 – 2017) was an American actor, comedian, and radio personality. His notable television work included his co-starring role as Remo DaVinci on Mork & Mindy (1979–1981), the recurring role of Eddie LeBec, a Boston Bruins goalie on the downside of his career, on Cheers (1987–1989), the lead character of newspaper columnist Jack Stein on Love & War (1992–1995), and a repeat guest role as Jerry Gold, a talk-show host who becomes both an antagonist and love interest of the title character on Murphy Brown. He had also appeared in various films.

In 2000 on Letterman's show, Thomas told a story about when he was a young disc jockey (around 1972) at WAYS 610 AM in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thomas had been making a promotional appearance at a local Dodge dealership, which had also booked a personal appearance by actor Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, with Moore dressed in his Lone Ranger costume, to open the dealership.

Thomas illustrated his story with a photograph of Clayton Moore at the promotional appearance in full Lone Ranger outfit, with the car dealership owner Pickle Moore:

According to Thomas, he and his colleague Mike Martin, both clad in the hip fashion of the day (including tight jeans, tie-dyed shirts and their hair, which Martin wore long while Thomas himself sported what he called a giant "White Man's Afro"), had secretly gotten "herbed-up" (smoked marijuana) several times throughout the day behind a dumpster whilst the kids were busy with the Lone Ranger.

After the broadcast had ended and the crowd had left, while packing up their equipment, Thomas and Martin discovered that Moore was still there, as the car that was supposed to drive him back to his hotel never arrived; Thomas then offered Moore a ride in his own car, an old, decrepit Volvo, which Moore accepted.

According to Thomas, they did their best not to look stoned.

While stuck in traffic, with Moore sitting quietly in the back seat, an impatient, middle-aged man backed his full-sized Buick into the front end of Thomas' compact Volvo, broke Thomas’s headlight, and then drove off. An angry Thomas chased the Buick down Morehead Street weaving through heavy traffic and forgetting all about Moore still sitting quietly in his back seat.

Thomas finally caught up to the man, blocked his Buick with the Volvo, and confronted him about the broken headlight. The indignant driver denied all; when Thomas threatened to call police, the man exclaimed, "Who do you think they'll believe? Me, or you two hippie freaks?"

At that moment, Moore, still in costume as the Lone Ranger, stepped out of the Volvo, approached the man and said "They'll believe me, citizen!"

The man, incredulous, exclaimed "I didn't know it was you!"

For every year thereafter except 2013, Thomas appeared to repeat the Lone Ranger story, which Letterman called, "The best talk show story, ever."

The link:

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