Just as the news media blurred the distinction between actor Paul Reubens and the Pee Wee Herman character he portrayed on television and in films when he was taken into custody on indecent exposure charges in 1991typically running headlines proclaiming �Pee Wee Herman Arrested�, so they had done fifty years earlier after the death of Earl Graser. �Lone Ranger Killed in Wreck� was a typical newspaper headline of the time, as Graser�s name became almost a footnote in news stories that were seemingly reporting the death of the Lone Ranger character himself. The show�s producers pondered a number of options. Finding an Earl Graser sound alike to take over the role was the most obvious solution, but there was no time to conduct a search for one. Other options reportedly considered and rejected included moving actor Al Hodge from the starring slot in The Green Hornet to The Lone Ranger deemed problematic because he was too strongly associated with the former role; utilizing Jay Michael, who was the original Sergeant Preston in Challenge of the Yukon considered questionable because he�d been voicing too many villain characters on The Lone Ranger of late; and even hiring on announcer Mike Wallace, who later became famous as one of the original hosts of television�s 60 Minutes supposedly deemed unsuitable due to questions over his acting ability. Brace Beemer�s voice was noticeably deeper than Earl Graser�s, however, so The Lone Ranger�s producers had to come up with some way of gradually easing him into the role in order to avoid an abrupt transition that might stigmatize Beemer as a mere replacement. The stratagem finally decided upon was a five part transition series in which a bed ridden Lone Ranger struggled to recover from gunshot wounds that rendered him unable to speak. For five episodes in 1941 April 9 through April 18, the Lone Ranger whispered, breathed, grunted, and communicated with Tonto through notes scrawled in pencil as he recuperated with the aid of an Army Surgeon. Meanwhile, Tonto faithfully followed his instructions to �ride for us both� and continually assured the audience that the Lone Ranger would be back in the saddle again one day:The transition series served its dual purpose of convincing children that, despite what they may have heard on the news, the Lone Ranger was not dead, and of providing a bridge to Beemer�s assumption of a full voiced Lone Ranger role. When the Lone Ranger recovered from his injuries and resumed undertaking his usual adventures as well as talking again, maybe some listeners noticed his voice was significantly deeper and richer than before. But it had been a few weeks since they had last heard him speak, and with no reruns available through which the audience might compare his current vocal sound with his previous one, it was natural enough for the difference to be chalked up to inconstant memory and/or the implication that the change was an outgrowth of the Lone Ranger�s gradual return to health and strength.

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