Talk:The Greatest American Hero

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Trivia --> references in popular culture[edit]

It seems to me that while 'trivia' sections are discouraged in wikipedia 'references to the show in popular culture' sections are not. Why not simply change the section name and remove any entries that do not meet that description? I reckon about half (the middle) of the section would fall into this category, some of the other titbits could go and a few others could be worked into another section. For example the first fact about the superhero name could maybe go into the 'Premise' section. 1bj05hua (talk) 20:17, 5 April 2008 (UTC)[]

Like Superman[edit]

The fact that the lead character's abilities mirror Superman is very relevant considering that DC Comics threatened legal action during the series' run. The Green Lantern reference has an equal revelancy.

I'm gone out on a limb putting in the Superherobox template in this article, but the character seems close enough. What do you think?



In the section about the powers bestowed by the suit, there's mention made of the "vibes" he could get about objects. Is it possible or beneficial to add a link to the psychometry article? The telekinesis is mentioned by name and linked.

Ben — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)[]

DVD compromised[edit]

Watching the episode "Operation Spoilsport" I noticed that Joey Scarbury's cover version of Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" had been removed from the sound track of the episode, even though at one point Ralph specifically states that was the name of the song being played on the radio. Having seen the original broadcast, I have always been struck by how well the song was used as a repeated musical cue in this episode. I presume the producers of the DVD release did not want to license the song and felt that the bland folk rock they swapped in was an acceptable substitute. It is not. If there is a Wikipedia article cataloging home video releases with compromised artistic value, this article should link to it.

There isn't. And honestly, I'm not sure it's widespread enough of a practice to have one. Hero was one of the few not to liscense the songs. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:51, 2 February 2006 (UTC)[]
How about now? It's a pretty common and infuriating practice on DVDs presently. WKRP was gutten, the first set of the second season of The Fugitive cause a major controversy.ssosmcin August 1, 2008
The article mentions the use of Elton John's "Rocket Man" in the Pilot. This song is also missing from the DVD version (as rented from Netflix). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:59, 1 September 2010 (UTC)[]


Around the time of the Greatest American Heroine, I faintly remember there being progress toward making a Greatest American Hero cartoon. Obviously it never got made, but I'm wondering if anyone could verify this was considered/attempted and if so, a brief mention of how far it had gotten.

I see nothing on the web about it and Cannell's never mentioned it as far as I know. --Woohookitty(meow) 12:50, 24 September 2006 (UTC)[]

Secret Identity[edit]

The issue of his alter ego seems to be missing, does the superhero persona have a name/is Hinkley actually referred to as 'the greatest american hero' in-costume? If his secret identity was an issue, shouldn't he have.. like.. a disguise on? 20:38, November 1, 2006 (UTC)

A pair of glasses worked for Superman. But I don't remember him ever getting enough publicity that he needed a secret identity. There may have been an isolated reporter that threatened to expose him, but after he saved the reporter later in the episode, the reporter agreed to not reveal who he is. Val42 14:27, 4 November 2006 (UTC)[]
Actually, he didn't really have an alter ego. He was Ralph, in suit and out. I think the key is that they didn't hide the superhero stuff from his girlfriend. And he never let friends/family/students who didn't know about the superhero stuff ever see him in costume (except in the circus episode, where it fit). And actually, the words "Greatest American Hero" are only used in the failed sequel pilot. It's never used in the actual series. --Woohookitty(meow) 16:41, 4 November 2006 (UTC)[]


Someone added this to the article.

There is a new version of the show in pre-production. Its scheduled for online distribution. Their website it up at TGAH

This seems slightly feasible, but you'd think they'd know how to spell. --Jnelson09 19:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)[]

Wasn't his identity keep from Pam the 1st half of Season One, more than the Pilot, epy 1 and 2? Are ALL the episodes of the 1st Season accounted for? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 5 February 2010 (UTC)[]

  • I heard that at one point there was going to be remake starring Gary Oldman as Ralph Hinkley and Malcolm McDowell as Bill Maxwell. Not the first actors that I would have cast for these roles, but now that would've been interesting. (talk) 18:54, 11 June 2010 (UTC)[]

clarification of changes[edit]

I just made several changes, and wanted to assure the original writer that I am not trashing the article. Bill Maxwell calls the suit the "magic jammies", not red. Ralph does not have X-ray vision. I watched the entire series for a third time a few weeks ago, and am pretty certain these changes are correct. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2008 (UTC)[]

I just wanted to point out that in at least one episode, Ralph does seem to have X-ray vision. The episode with the circus, he is on the roof and stares down an airvent, he then sees through a wall into an office where the acrobats are holding the agent hostage. Its a brief scene, lasts maybe 5 seconds max but it exists. As for any other instances, I'm not certain. (talk) 02:49, 5 July 2010 (UTC)[]

origin of Bill Maxwell's name[edit]

No one seems to have asked Stephen Cannell about Bill Maxwell's surname. I've always assumed it's a reference to Maxwell Smart, but that's just a guess. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2008 (UTC)[]

Joel Colon[edit]

Does the information that Joel Colon helped with the costumes come from the DVD set? (Inline references are your friends...) Schissel | Sound the Note! 03:12, 18 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Greatest American Heroine[edit]

I've heard about The Greatest American Heroine follow-up, but beginning only quite a few years after it supposedly happened, and in sources that contained enough problematical statements otherwise to make me have to take this with a large grain of salt. Indeed, by then Comics Scene magazine was reporting a GAH reunion TV-movie being in development, with no mention of this being reflected in its announced plotline, or having happened at all (this project itself never happened). Heroine certainly never turned up in the GAH syndicated rerun package shown in Denver, Colorado, during the 80s, but to be fair it just might have been off the air there by the time this (alleged) 1986 production could have been added to it. The first season DVD package is said here to contain it, but why there, since if it exists, it would be the final episode? Are you sure that it is actually there? Can someone confirm it? --Ted Watson (talk) 20:18, 11 May 2009 (UTC)[]

Lo these many years later, of course, the article well documents "Heroine" 's existence, as is indeed the truth. Naturally it did not appear in syndicated rerun packages until after 1986, the year it was produced. And I can confirm that, oddly enough, it is included in the season ONE DVD set. 2601:545:8202:4EA5:8C90:73C:C87B:7834 (talk) 14:05, 3 September 2017 (UTC)[]

Series Title[edit]

Does anyone know how the series got its title? I did not see a reference in the article. I ask because, honestly, it has got to be one of the worst series titles in all of television history. Really. I would like to know if they ever had any alternates, because I think anything would have been better. "Ralph and the Suit", "Trial and Error Hero". See, those are bad, but better than the real one and I thought them up in seconds! Bigmac31 (talk) 22:05, 2 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Ralph's Son[edit]

Forgive me if I didn't read the article closely enough, but I didn't see a mention of this. I seem to recall that Ralph had a son at the start of the series that just disappeared later? I don't know if it was just for the pilot or for the entire first season or what, but I'd like to see it covered in the article - why the character was removed, how long he was there, if he was explicitly ret-conned out of existence or with his mother or swept under the rug in out-of-sight-out-of-mind fashion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 14 April 2010 (UTC)[]

Kevin was in a few episodes in the first season and he's mentioned in the 2nd Season (specifically in Operation: Spoilsport) but not seen (as I recall). They solved the problem of Kevin and Ralph's ex-wife Alicia by never mentioning him again. No ret-con, no explanation--he just wasn't there (didn't even go to Ralph & Pam's wedding!). Probably for the best as his presence was awkward (can't really let the kid in on the secret of the suit). But it would've been very easy to write in a quick resolution by simply saying "Ralph lost the custody suit." (talk) 22:25, 24 May 2011 (UTC)[]

Number of Episodes[edit]

The article is inconsistant with the episode count. The side-bar and DVD table indicates 44 episodes, but the text before the table indicates that there are 43 episodes in the series. I have the Millcreek complete series box which indicates 43 episodes in the series. I would correct what I believe to be an error, but withough having access to the individual seasons I am reluctant to do so.

If anyone has the individual seasons perhaps the episode count listed can be confirmed? -- (talk) 15:01, 3 July 2012 (UTC)[]

It looks like "The Greatest American Heroine" is not included in the full series set I have. Is there more than one full series box set, one that may include the failed spin-off pilot? -- (talk) 11:56, 5 July 2012 (UTC)[]
Shouldn't there still be 44 episodes even if "The Greatest American Heroine" isn't included, though? Is another episode missing? Alphius (talk) 17:19, 9 August 2015 (UTC)[]