For those growing up in the 1980s, they would remember that ‘Knight Rider was one of the biggest shows of the time. Created by the late great Glen Larson, it was a show about a lone crusader known as Michael Knight and his trusty sidekick, KITT the talking car, taking on criminals and protecting the innocent. KITT abbreviates to ‘Knight Industries Two Thousand’ and is an artificially intelligent car with a very cool personality.
He was working with the Knight Foundation’s law enforcement wing ‘Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). Michael Knight was played by former ‘Baywatch’ star David Hasselhoff. This show made ‘The Hoff’ a household name. Knight was ably assisted by FLAG chief Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare) and KITT’s mechanic Bonnie Barstow (Patricia McPherson) who was replaced by April Curtis (Rebecca Holden) for just the second season.
The show ran for four seasons between 1982 and 1986 and was later followed by a television film called ‘Knight Rider 2000’. A 2008 series sequel only lasted a season and lacked the charm Hasselhoff and the KITT voice actor William Daniels brought to the original. One of the sexiest things of KITT was the red scanner up front that would go back and forth. The car was able to drive by itself and assist Knight in missions, whether it is a rescuing an innocent victim or chasing bad guys. ‘Super Pursuit Mode’ and ‘Turbo Boost’ were perhaps a few of the most memorable features of KITT.
The show’s famous theme song has lived on today in remixes and party anthems such as ‘Fire it Up’ by Busta Rhymes and ‘Mundian to Bach Ke’ by Punjabi MC’. It was unofficially used in the 1991 Bollywood film ‘Patthar Ke Phool’ starring Salman Khan and Raveena Tandon.
There are many things that fans of the series do not know. We are excited to reveal five things that make for very interesting trivia. According to the IMDb, the red scanner on KITT’s hood was actually based off ‘The Cylon’ and its roving eye from ‘Battlestar Galactica’- also created by Glen Larson. The voice modulator was shown with three red lines that would move up and down depicting KITT’s speech patterns. In the first season, the three lines were originally red square box lighting up whenever KITT would speak.
Patricia McPherson was replaced by Rebecca Holden in the second season because the producers wanted to add a dose of sex appeal. After the successful lobbying by Hassellhoff to bring McPherson back, the character of ‘Bonnie Barstow’ returned to the delight of the fans.
During the ‘turbo boost’ sequences, the camera switched to another angle before KITT touched ground. It was because in most occasions, the front end of the stunt vehicle was pretty much totaled upon impact.
KITT was a modified Pontiac Trans-Am and after the show became a smash hit, aftermarket kits were designed so that fans can install the scanner to their own Trans-Am cars. Pontiac was flooded with requests for the black Firebird Trans-Ams with all the modifications so fans could have an authentic KITT car of their own. During the show’s run, KITT was referred to as the ‘Black Trans-Am’ and later as the ‘Black T-Top’.
The voice actor of KITT’s evil twin KARR was notably Peter Cullen famous for being the voice of Transformers’ Optimus Prime in the films and animated series. KARR was programmed to think for its own well-being unlike KITT that was programmed to protect human life.
Knight Rider is still an iconic show and well-loved by fans even today. Will KITT ever return on screen? Hopefully it has enough in its tank for one more ride!