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To most of us, Chuck Norris is best known as “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which was produced by Norris Brothers Entertainment, a partnership between Chuck and his brother, Aaron. As Walker, Norris was able to fictionalize his strongly-held belief that a person should only use force when he absolutely must. An inspiration to millions of people, Walker’s strength, patience and kindness made Chuck Norris a superstar.

Says Norris, “Well, yeah, I would have to say that Walker is as close to Chuck Norris, as anything that I’ve ever played, because there were eight and a half years of that character. I think that Walker showed the vulnerable side of Chuck Norris, as well as the combative side of him."

In fact, “Walker” is more than a success. It might be appropriate to call it iconic, even more so since Conan O’Brian chose “Walker” to feature each night in a hugely popular prank called “Conan’s Walker, Texas Ranger Lever.” It began when Conan’s network NBC and Universal merged two years ago, and he found out that he could show any clip in the library without paying a royalty. He chose “Walker, Texas Ranger” to spoof, broadcasting a “Walker” clip every time he pulled the silly red-and-yellow lever. “It’s him!” Conan would shout with glee each time Walker appeared on the screen. “I can show this clip whenever I want without paying as much as $20. Unbelievable!" he stated.

Well, Chuck Norris thinks it’s unbelievable as well. “Well,” he says, “I have to be truthful, it kind of surprises me, that of all the things that are going on, on the Internet right now, you know, I never envisioned something like this ever materializing. People send me e-mails of different things that the college kids are saying about me out there. And some of them are funny and some are a little bit gross, to say the least. But I’m thinking, ‘Golly, I mean, why have they picked me to be the central character of all these things that’s going on?’ And I have to say that maybe it’s because of Conan, because he’s so fixated on the Walker character every night, and opening it up on his show.”

He continues, “I don’t know if you know, but I did his show about a year ago. Where I came on and beat him up for doing that. But the thing is, you know, I don’t take it offensively. I’ll tell you, he’s a great guy and I really enjoyed doing the show with him."

Among his many ventures, Norris has recently published a new book of fiction, entitled “The Justice Riders.” It’s about a band of multi-racial friends who band together to cure injustice during the Civil War. The leader of the group is named Ezra Justice, and “There’s a little bit of Walker in Ezra Justice,” Norris says. “And, of course, you know, a little bit of my character, because I wrote the book,” he adds, laughing.

He continues, “Writing it was very challenging. But the thing is that I’ve had this concept in my mind for a long time, as far as making a movie, I’d like to have made this a movie. But I thought, well, ‘this is a great opportunity for me to try my hand at fiction.’ And I love the story concept that I wound up writing, you know, dealing with a few men who helped to change the course of history. At first, they are dealing with the Civil War, but eventually, they become law enforcement officers as the books come out.”

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 55 - September 2018
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