Despite the fact that he was praised prominently in the very first item on the list, there was no greater outcry generated by this week's
Inventory on sidekicks cooler than their heroes than the omission of Kato, the kung-fu kicking chauffeur of the Green Hornet, portrayed in the 1966 TV show by the incomparable Bruce Lee. Why did we mention Kato in the entry for Tonto and not give him his own entry? It wasn't on purpose; I can't speak for the other writers who contributed to the list, but I simply didn't remember Kato until I was researching the Tonto listing, and was reminded that Kato was originally created as a Tonto analogue when The Green Hornet radio series was started as a spinoff of The Lone Ranger. So I just mentioned them both in the same blurb. But the Kato fans have a point; we are talking about Bruce Lee here, after all. So I spent some time google-surfing, and came up with a few examples of his coolness:
• Here's a brief overview of the Green Hornet TV series from the British website Teletronic.
• A clip from the crossover episode of Batman in which the Green Hornet and Kato visit Gotham City and wind up fighting the dynamic duo by mistake. This particular fight fizzles out, but it's pretty clear that Kato would have kicked Robin from here to Thursday.
• Here's a YouTube compilation of Kato fight scenes. Here's another one, this time set to Rage Against The Machine's "Renegades O Funk" for no particularly apparent reason. And, a little less interesting, here's a collection of outtakes from the show.
• A podcast of 20 episodes of the original Green Hornet radio serial. Also, a script for the 1943 episode "The Corpse That Wasn't There."
• A how-to guide for making your own Green Hornet and Kato costumes.
• And now for some non-Kato Bruce Lee: Lost footage from Game Of Death, his final film, which (according to a brief voiceover at the end of the last segment) was edited the day before he died. Part 1, 2, 3, and 4. Parts 3 and 4 comprise his fight to the death with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which is 10 different kinds of awesome and probably my favorite Bruce Lee fight scene of all time.
• Lee's brother Robert sings "The Ballad Of Bruce Lee" and other songs celebrating his late sibling, c. 1975.
What's not cool about Kato?