The Greatest American Hero Debuts On ABC — Today In History

The Greatest American Hero Debuts on NBC on March 18, 1981.

A pair of strangers, liberal high-school teacher Ralph Hinkley and right-wing FBI agent Bill Maxwell, have a close encounter in the Southern California desert one night with “little green men”, who give our heroes a red superhero suit. The suit works only for Ralph, and the two, accompanied by Ralph’s cute lawyer girlfriend Pam, reluctantly team up to battle criminals. Problems ensue when Ralph loses the suit’s instruction book, so he had to master the suit’s powers on his own. — IMDB

The Greatest American Hero was so much more than that IMDB description. I remember watching as a kid and thinking that not only could super powers one day befall upon me but that sometimes even supes don’t have it all figured out. I also remember having feelings in my Underoos for Connie Sellecca but I just thought those were a different type of super power.

And the lyrics to the Greatest American Hero theme Believe It Not have been stuck in my head FOR YEARS. Believe it or not.

Let’s hear your Greatest American Hero memories.

Author: Chris

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  1. I was very young when this came on air, and what I remember most is: HE LOST THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. It impressed on me that this one mistake defined all of his misadventures thereafter. I wondered: why didn’t he go back and look for it? Then he could know how to actually use the suit. Of course, that would have defeated the purpose of the show, but…

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    • But honestly, do any of us read the manual on anything?!?!

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