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Original ‘Danno’ thinks new show has right stuff

    From left, Al Harrington, Herman Wedemeyer and Jack Lord of the original “Hawaii Five-0” posed for the camera in 1972.

BOOK ‘EM DANNO: With the new "Hawaii Five-0" show getting its premiere Monday at Sunset on the Beach, followed by the Sept. 20 CBS kickoff on television, I made contact with Jimmy MacArthur at his Palm Desert, Calif., residence to see what he thought of the modern version of the program. Jimmy was a regular on the old show, playing Danny Williams. Series star Jack Lord made his character even more widely known by saying, "Book ’em, Danno," at the end of episodes after they had nailed a criminal.

"I think it’s going to be very good," Jimmy said of the new series. "A different kind of show. Why shouldn’t it be? A new show 40 years later."

Asked if there was any chance the original Danno would be willing to appear in a guest role in the new program, he said: "There was some talk earlier but nothing ever came of it." That’s unfortunate. …

AL HARRINGTON, a regular playing Ben Kokua on the old "Five-0" for four years of its 12-season run, said of the new show: "I think it’s a blessing for Hawaii if Middle America buys into it like the old show with Steve McGarrett (as portrayed by Jack Lord).

I wish them luck as long as they convey us to be real people. There is always a fear they may not interpret us they way Leonard Freeman did. He had a great insight on Hawaii’s culture and people." Freeman was the creator and producer of "Hawaii Five-0" and wrote the first episode.

He stressed having Hawaii’s people in the show and in important roles, Al said. "It was a wonderful thing to be a part of," he said. Al grew up in the modest Halawa Housing area he jokingly calls the "Beverly Hills of Hawaii" and was an awesome running back for Punahou, class of ’54, and a star at Stanford. He was drafted by Baltimore but decided to go on a church mission instead of continuing with football in the NFL. Besides his "Five-0" career, Al was a Waikiki headliner in big showrooms and a Punahou teacher. …

SUNSET JAZZ at La Pietra is scheduled for Sunday and tickets, starting at $50, will be sold at the door. The program includes Shari Lynn, Jimmy Borges, DeShannon Higa, Hot Club of Hulaville, Pat Hennsey’s HPU Big Band, and the Saloon Pilots. Wine, coffee and dessert are included in the ticket price; call 922-2744. … Congratulations to former KHNL-TV anchorwoman Diane Ako, who has been named public relations chief for the Halekulani and Waikiki Parc hotels. … Kristian Lei is returning home next month after a lengthy run in Disney’s "Lion King" in Hong Kong. …

WAIKIKI YACHT Club General Manager Guy Azuma was taken back to his old haunt for dinner at Oahu Country Club on a recent Sunday by Dr. Thomas Sakoda and his wife, Ryuko. The OCC staff members were surprised to see Guy, the club’s former food and beverage manager, on the other side of the table and were extremely careful not to make any mistakes, as he had trained many of them. Puamana, the club’s Sunday group, serenaded him at tableside. …

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Fridays. E-mail him at


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