7 incredible things you didn't know about 'The Incredible Hulk'
Learn where to spot yak hair, James Bond villains, and legendary comic book artists in the 1978 TV series.
"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Actually, Dr. Banner, we love it when you blow a fuse. Then again, we never had to face the wrath of the Hulk.
For five seasons, primarily on Friday nights, David Banner wandered America, performing good deeds with the occasional green outburst. As one of the earliest Marvel heroes to go live-action, the big guy was a pioneer of our superhero-saturated pop culture. Here are seven things you probably didn't know about The Incredible Hulk.
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1. Bond villain Richard Kiel was originally cast as the Hulk, and one shot of him remains in the pilot.
Best known for tormenting Roger Moore as the metallic-toothed Jaws in several James Bond films, Kiel landed the role of the Hulk and began filming the pilot. Measuring at over seven feet tall, Kiel had the height for a Hulk. However, the son of producer Kenneth Johnson noted that he did not have the bulk of the Hulk. Enter bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who had just finished fourth in the inaugural World's Strongest Man competition. One shot of Kiel remains in the first episode, an overhead view as the Hulk looks up a tree, pictured.
2. His wig was made of yak hair.
Ferrigno sat in the makeup chair for three hours to go green. Fortunately, he was not allergic to yak.
3. Hulk creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee both made cameos.
Stan Lee pops up in most Marvel productions, and the original Hulk writer would finally show his face in one of the three TV movies that followed after the series, 1989's The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. Hulk designer and penciller Jack Kirby, a giant of comics, makes a cameo at the end of "No Escape," playing a sketch artist.
4. Bixby reunited with his 'My Favorite Martian' costar Ray Walston.
Bixby made his television debut in 1961 on an episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Two years later, after several more guest spots on various shows, the actor landed a sitcom lead in My Favorite Martian. He would appear in 107 episodes alongside Walston. Over a decade later, Walston would turn up as the title character in the Hulk episode "My Favorite Magician."
5. Lou Ferrigno played a non-Hulk character in "King of the Beach."
Bixby announced at the start of this season four episode, "In his first speaking role, Lou Ferrigno meets the Incredible Hulk." Indeed, the bodybuilder sticks to familiar territory — the gym — in this tale of a restaurant worker with big dreams and bigger muscles.
6. Marvel Comics heroes Daredevil and Thor appeared in the Hulk TV movies.
Stan Lee was not the only Marvel legend to appear in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, the second of three TV movies made for NBC. The vigilante lawyer Daredevil appears, looking rather similar to his modern Netflix incarnation. In the prior television film, Thor wielded his magical hammer in what was meant to be a pilot for an Asgardian series. David Banner died at the end of the third, though there were plans for a fourth, The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk.
7. 131 different things caused David Banner to "Hulk out".
What causes David Banner to become angry? Many, many things. Some of them were reasonable, such as being attacked by a bear or being fed poisoned sushi. Others a bit short-tempered, like when he didn't have enough change for a payphone or the time he got a speeding ticket. Thanks to the Internet, there is a list of all the causes of Banner's Hulk-outs.