The Brown Hornet
|The Brown Hornet|
|Genre||cartoon science fiction superhero parody|
|Created by||Bill Cosby|
|Voices of||Bill Cosby|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Cosby|
|Distributor||Group W Productions (syndicated)|
|Original channel||CBS (1972-1984)
First-Run Syndication (1984-1985)
The Brown Hornet was a show-within-a-show (or more accurately, a cartoon-within-a-cartoon) on the Filmation animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids from 1979 to approximately 1984. The Brown Hornet was a show that Fat Albert's gang watched on a barely working television in their clubhouse. Originally the Brown Hornet was presented on a radio program by Cosby as an African-American version of the Green Hornet. During the cartoon the character was rewritten as a caped and masked space hero.
The Brown Hornet was a golden-garbed black superhero who traveled the universe and always seemed to thwart the evil-doers and teach viewers a valuable lesson in the process. In each opening, the mighty Hornet and his two trusty masked sidekicks, his big and bumbling pink-clad pal Stinger and their squeaky little white robot Tweeterbell, were facing certain doom aboard their hornet-shaped spaceship until the fearless hero used one of his many amazing superpowers to save them all, usually with a simple snap of his fingers. Their victory would be fleeting, however, as the episode would often end with a new threat emerging.
In one episode[which?] of Fat Albert, Weird Harold is seen playing a Brown Hornet arcade cabinet at a video arcade. In another episode, Fat Albert and his friends make their own Brown Hornet movie to submit to a film festival. The Brown Hornet also features prominently in Fat Albert's Easter Special, (1982) where the Brown Hornet teaches Fat Albert and his friends the spirit of giving and rejuvenation.
The Brown Hornet's name is a play on the name of the old time radio hero The Green Hornet. In fact, Bill Cosby had done a syndicated radio Brown Hornet series around 1970 that directly parodied the old program and serials and the hardboiled detective genre in general as the hapless hero drove around in his "very fast car" the White Beauty having myriad misadventures with his hoarse-whispering sidekick Leroy and pet dog Weaver. However, the cartoon Brown Hornet is closer to a parody of Space Ghost - a confident and daring space-faring superhero.
Fictional theatrical film
The fictional film The Brown Hornet: The Great Galaxy World Adventure Movie was featured in Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Movie.
The Brown Hornet - Bill Cosby
Stinger - Lou Scheimer
Tweeterbell - Erika Scheimer
Black Thought of the hip hop band The Roots mentions the Brown Hornet in the lyrics to Thought @ Work.