On Thursday, January 7, 2016, Decades TV aired a couple of episodes of “Tarzan,” the 1966-1968 television show staring Ron Ely. I was pretty psyched about it. I haven’t seen that show since I was a child and it’s never been available on Netflix or Hulu or even YouTube.
As is Decades way, they also made a few statements about the show and its history. Those statements about Tarzan however, made me wonder just how well they research and brings into question all of their statements.
The statement that bothered me? They stated that Tarzan’s first appearance was on January 7, 1929 in the comics.
That statement is partly correct. January 7, 1929 did mark Tarzan’s first appearance in comics with artwork by the great Hal Foster, who later went on to create his own hero, Prince Valiant. (Although Wikipedia says this is the date of the first comic strip on their Tarzan [comics] page, on their Hal Foster page they state the comic strip actually started on October 20, 1928. So as my Econ Professor always says, you pays your money and takes your choices.)
Either way, by 1929, Tarzan had already appeared in thirteen novels written by his creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs.He would end up writing a total of 24 novels based on his famous vine-swinging character
The jungle lord had also been adapted in film in 1918, portrayed by Elmo Lincoln. In 1921 there had been a stage play based on the Ape Man played by Ronald Adair.
Sorry Decades TV, but you screwed up.
Currently, if you would like to see Ron Ely in his role of Tarzan again, it is being shown on Heroes and Icons Network on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoy.