Incredible Hulk Bodybuilding
No other TV series has had as much impact on the popularity of bodybuilding than "The Incredible Hulk" starring bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno.
It all started in 1977, the same year as Pumping Iron was released, when Universal Television licensed the rights to Marvel Comics Hulk character.
They cast Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner, and originally Richard Kiel as the Hulk. But they soon realized that while Kile has the height (he was 7' 2"), he didn't have the muscles. So they hired Lou Ferrigno, who was at that time the world’s largest bodybuilder standing 6'5" tall and weighing 275 pounds.
The first TV movie aired in the fall of 1977 and was a big hit, so they made it into a weekly series that ran from 1978 to 1982 and even made some follow up TV movies in the late 1980's.
The weekly show each had two transformations of Banner changing into the Hulk, with Lou Ferrigno painted green, growling and flexing his gigantic muscles.
It was the beginning of the muscle craze, with more people working out to be like their heroes such as Hulk, Rocky, Conan, etc. And women loved to see the Hulk’s muscles rip out of his clothes.
The Incredible Hulk TV series made Lou Ferrigno and bodybuilding famous the world over.
To date Lou Ferrigno is still the only human to play the Hulk, all others have been computer generated.
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