26 years ago today, K.A.R.R. burst onto the scene! Created by writer and producer Steven E. de Souza, K.I.T.T.’s not-so-friendly prototype was the focus of the ninth episode of the series, and the segment that cemented the series’ popularity and saved it from cancellation. In his autobiography, David Hasselhoff says:
“We were in danger of cancellation when Jan McCormack [David’s manager] contacted her connections at Universal and pleaded, ‘Give us another four weeks.’ She got us a reprieve and in those four weeks we pulled things around, thanks largely to an episode called Trust Doesn’t Rust in which writer Steven de Souza introduced K.I.T.T.’s evil twin K.A.R.R.
“Trust Doesn’t Rust was probably the best episode of the first season and one of the best in the series’ entire run. It certainly was the Jekyll and Hyde of talking cars. In December, Knight Rider got better numbers for NBC on Friday nights at 9 pm than its twenty-six previous shows in that slot.”
K.A.R.R. would return in 1984’s classic K.I.T.T. Vs. K.A.R.R., and is due to return in the new series’ episode Knight to King’s Pawn!